7 Essential Tips for SEO Design

Search engine optimisation affects design as well as content. The SEO design of your site is defined as everything the site does, that increases its chances of being indexed by search engine spiders. Your web design SEO is more than just keywords and refreshed page content (though that is part of it). To achieve search engine friendly websites you need to pay attention to all of the design elements in your site.
We’ve put together seven essential tips for search engine friendly design. Use them to make sure your site is right from the start: the best way to make sure that a site is attractive to search engine spiders is to put the right SEO design elements in from day one.

  • Keep your headings and navigation as simple as possible. Search engine algorithms are designed to make them as “human” as they can be: which means they like single level navigational systems that are easy to get around. A heavily hierarchical navigation design is harder for a search engine spider to index.
  • Don’t overlook the possibilities of image SEO. Images are a vital part of all site design and they can be used to enhance the attractiveness of your site to search engine spiders. Save your images with a descriptive file name that is pertinent to the subject matter of the page they appear on. Include concise ALT tags that contain keyword descriptions.
  • Keep your content fresh. Search engine spiders will return to your site regularly if it seems to change regularly. Consider designing a site with a customisable landing page, where different sets of content optimised for different keywords and phrases can appear within the same framework.
  • Use cascading style sheets to rapidly inform the search engine spiders what your site is about. A good SEO design must be WC3 compliant, so don’t just insert the CSS and leave old code in place – get rid of any HTML coding that is no longer needed to avoid confusing the search engine spiders.
  • Pay attention to the load speed of your site. Web design SEO is about getting your site to be as user friendly as possible: the search engines, remember, like to look at your site as though they were human users, which means things that annoy humans will also put off the search engines. You’re looking for a clean design with easy to use functions.
  • Talking of functionality: never insert a Flash script or AJAX functionality where a single page will do. And don’t use Flash navigation unless you absolutely have to. Search engine spiders get confused by Flash and find it hard to index.
  • Stick with the same URL throughout. If you have named your site www.etcetc, then keep it that way. Don’t suddenly switch to etcetc.com: search engine spiders will consider these sites to be two separate entities, and therefore that they represent duplicate content on the Net.

Good web design SEO takes every last detail into consideration on the theory that if you do everything the search engine spiders like, you can’t go far wrong. From image SEO to navigation structure; from using up to date coding to keeping your URL uniform – do as much as you can and you’ll have built a site with strong SEO from day one.