6 Tips For Designing an SEO Friendly Website

Posted in Tips, Web Design3 years ago • Written by 35 Comments

It’s not enough these days to design a beautiful, functional website that addresses your clients needs. If you truly want your client to reap the benefits of having an online presence, then SEO is a necessity. Search Engine Optimization is a method of improving the visibility of a website in search engines through organic search results, and is now a viable online marketing tool for a lot of businesses.

Through the following design practices you can improve a website’s SEO and ultimately their visibility. With these foundations in place, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the website you spent hours designing (and developing) is now a top contender for search engine visibility. You may also find some of these tactics also go far in improving user experience as well.

Keywords

Keywords are an important part of any search engine optimization campaign. If you’re using the wrong keywords, search engines and your target market may never find you. It’s important when starting a website to first establish what the business objectives are. Do you want to target a local area, national or global? With this plan in place you can then build pages that target these specific keywords, or decide where these pages may go down the line once the foundation is built.

The process of creating
1. Create a list of potential keywords (i.e. words that are relevant but not overly used)
2. Input your proposed keywords into a keyword research tool (i.e. Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, Wordstream, etc)
3. Finalize your keyword list based on research (Create a list of both broad and targeted keywords)
4. Prepare them for launch (typically go after 3-4 related keywords per page)

 

Keyword Placement

For a website to successfully integrate into Google you first must tell us what a particular page is about. It’s important to get keywords on the right position on the page, but don’t overdo it. Here are the best places:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description and keywords
  • Website slogans
  • Navigation
  • Breadcrumb trails
  • H1, H2 and H3 tags
  • Bullet points
  • Alt text
  • Title attribute on links
  • The main website copy
  • Internal links
  • Footer links
  • URL’s
  • File / folder names

Search Engine Friendly Navigation

Having Search Engine Friendly Navigation basically means creating a structure that search engines can follow. A major culprit in search engines not being able to find a website is due to the links being images instead of text. So make sure you address this and all links and buttons are text-based. CSS3 can achieve the same effects that Photoshop can, which has contributed a lot in terms of modernizing the web and speeding up load times. Wherever possible, try to avoid the use of JavaScript, as search engines find it difficult to understand and may result in crawling issues. With the push towards mobile devices supporting the web, using advanced scripting languages on your website won’t fly so well, either.

URL’s and Filenames

Having an SEO-friendly URL means search engines can quickly identify what a page is about. It’s also a good tactic to include keywords in the URL as this increases Search Engine visibility.

An example of a not too friendly URL:

http://www.websitestore.com/products/item1?=20193

A better, more descriptive URL would be:

http://www.websitestore.com/home/furniture/ottomans

As you can see, the second option has a better selection of rich keywords, which will help the search engine in their efforts to index you.

It’s also a good habit to name your images using descriptive keywords. An appropriate file name can be the difference between your image appearing in Google images searches or not. For instance the name “1234.jpg” isn’t going to be as successful as “midcentury-furniture.jpg” when someone is looking for design inspiration.

Website Images

  • Images are often an overlooked aspect of SEO, but play just as an important role in the process.
  • You need to optimize your images to achieve faster loading times and subsequent search engine visibility.
  • Try to keep your images’ file size as small as possible so mobile visitors in addition to those with slow internet connections can get the same intended, fast experience.
  • An optimal image size is anywhere from 30-100kb and the best resolution is 72dpi.
  • You can also set the image size as part of the corresponding tag for the image.
  • It’s best to place your images on context in the page. The more relevant the text around your image, the better results you’ll get for rankings.
  • Place your images inside a folder named “images” or something similar so the final URL of the image looks something like this: /images/image.jpg.

Perfect Website Optimization explains how to incorporate keywords into your alt tag.

Social Media

Social Media should be part of your SEO strategy as building relationships and interacting with connections can help build your brand enormously. Not only that but it gives you exposure and helps build a trusted community and gain credibility.
Link building is perhaps the number one reason to jump on board the Social Media bandwagon: the process of visitors sharing links within their own network can result in a large number of inbound links. In summary, social media can provide an organization with an affordable channel that accomplishes results.

Get started by joining:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg

Additional Resources

This guide by Google is a very helpful guide in learning about SEO.

55 Quick Seo Tips Even Your Mother Would Love.

Monitor where you stand with Google Toolbar and Alexa.

Conclusion

These are a few important ways to ensure your website reaches visibility in search engines. Although there are methods in place claiming you can reach the top spot in Google overnight, nothing is as effective as first having a solid foundation for a website in place first – the rest will fall into place. Of course, nothing can help you sell yourself as much as having a trusted, reliable product or service to begin with but with these measures ensure your online presence is seen. Take inventory of your web marketing goals and use the tools that are most appropriate to achieve the results you’re looking for.

14 Written Articles

35 Comments Best Comments First
  • Tobias

    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 23:12

    15

    Hi there,

    I love this article very much. Thanks for sharing those advices. Few months ago I added on a wordpress blog 1 picture to each article as there weren’t any pictures before. Now I have lots of traffic from the image search via google. It’s just amazing what can happen if you adjust a little “screw” in the whole SEO thing.

    I really enjoyed reading this, a lot!

    Thank you and have a great one. Cheers from Germany,
    Tobias

    +1
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:48

      24

      Thanks Tobias! Keep reading!

      0
  • LeeB

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 18:24

    13

    Nice easy to understand article.

    One comment on keywords in titles and headings – it’s beneficial to have the most important keywords/phrase at the beginning.

    +1
  • Norbert

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 08:39

    16

    Very detail and easy discussion! Essential help for any newbie like me :)

    0
  • Michael Francis

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 04:20

    11

    Great article. This helps to explain SEO to people who are NOT designers as well, and why it is as important a service as web design.

    0
  • Tom Ross

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 14:11

    12

    Great article Stephanie, I always need a little reminder about some of these points (especially alt tags on images!)

    0
  • Alessandro

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 12:34

    1

    Thanks for good article, and to use my website screenshot.
    Good job.

    Alessandro

    0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:51

      25

      You’re welcome, Alessandro!

      0
    • Ivan Tsankov

      Saturday, June 4th, 2011 13:17

      2

      Brilliant read! Helped me a lot with the alt tagand Urls (till now I had the y?=131313 things in the end) . You can benefit from Social Media if you know how to make friends. Also you can’t miss the Alexa and Google ranking, they are crucial for your site visibility.

      0
  • Elaine Jones

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 15:34

    17

    Stephanie great article, thank you for sharing. One of my favourite SEO books that has some great tips and tricks is the “The Art of SEO”.

    0
  • alex

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 21:21

    14

    Great post! Bookmarked those tips! Using meta tags is relly effective!

    0
  • Mario Francis

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 01:58

    10

    This is a great article. Easy to understand for those who are NOT designers as well. Now they will know exactly what we mean by SEO, and why it is a valuable service we provide in addition to web design.

    0
  • Stanley

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 17:20

    9

    If you see an image you like, try to make your own…if you see an interesting layout, try to use it as a reference. This way you’ll have a fresh, original site instead of a page full of backgrounds, animations and javascript functions from an overused library…and your site will stand out from the rest.

    0
  • Pratt

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 13:08

    3

    I am impressed with this article. I’m just starting to get into SEO and Internet Marketing. There is soooooo much trial and error involved. I’ve been trying out a lot of methods. I’ve have found that wordpress is wonderful for me. Many of the plug-ins available have taken the guess work out of creating a site. It’s very easy.

    0
  • Geoffrey

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 15:06

    4

    Very valid and useful points! SEO is a taunting task if your are new to the subject. There is so much to understand and leanr. I think your 6 points are a very good place to start when trying to understand SEO.

    0
  • Chad

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 20:10

    5

    Nice Job. thank you for this article for collecting all information.

    0
  • Lex Koff

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 21:45

    8

    A nice checklist =) speaking of on-page optimization Title tag is really important and well written Meta description can influence the click through rate on search engine result pages. Anyways some SEO flaws can be compensated by a stunning web design as it’s an organic link bait =) just take some time to upload your site to web design showcase sites =)

    0
  • enursa

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 06:53

    7

    Wow. nice tips. I agree with you. Keyword is the main factor to build the site.

    0
  • Chris

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 22:51

    6

    Thanks the a well written article covering some great SEO territory. I especially appreciate the discussion about Keyword research and tools. Very good advice right up front – thanks!

    0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:50

      23

      Thanks for reading!

      0
  • Hannah

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 18:29

    18

    Great overview. So many people completely neglect the online marketing aspect of their site when they are in the design/production phase. It really does need to be at the heart of the process from the off.

    0
  • Richard

    Thursday, June 9th, 2011 14:26

    19

    Actual quality of content is another point.

    Google have been cracking down on the “black hat” strategies which sites use to climb the rankings.

    If a search engine thinks your strategy is stuffed with keywords, full of hidden text or using some other unethical practice, your first page positions can soon go. Worse still, you could see your domain name banned from the search engine…

    0
  • abhi

    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 23:24

    30

    Nice to read this post till now i have read many posts regarding seo but i didn’t find such a crystal clear explanation. Excellent work. Please write post on off page optimization in brief way. Keep up

    0
  • Vijay

    Saturday, September 17th, 2011 14:09

    29

    Hello Stephanie,
    One of my friend shared this article link with me. I read it and I was feel very Lucky that I get chance to read such a Beautiful, Precise article on SEO. I love it!!! Great Work !! Keep it up!!!

    Thanks,
    Vijay P.

    0
  • Shalini

    Saturday, November 26th, 2011 12:36

    31

    Awesome and a useful tips for SEO. Thanks for Sharing

    0
  • Uma

    Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 08:29

    32

    Very helpful tips indeed. Thanks for sharing :)

    0
  • Paweł

    Saturday, May 12th, 2012 15:35

    35

    This is very useful tutorial for on-page SEO. I’ll also recommend to use tools like http://www.seoptimer.com for fast on-page SEO check.

    0
  • James

    Sunday, April 1st, 2012 20:33

    34

    Very nice work at covering all the important points.

    0
  • neeraj

    Thursday, February 9th, 2012 13:44

    33

    Thanks for this nice post.I am really impress to your this blog post.

    0
  • meenakshi

    Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 13:43

    28

    You saved my life , Thanks ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!. My boss would be very happy with my report

    0
  • Norman

    Thursday, September 8th, 2011 13:30

    27

    That was a great article and helped me a lot in developing my own site.

    0
  • amik

    Friday, June 24th, 2011 07:35

    20

    how take a place for H1, H2 and H3 tags ? thx for a nice share

    0
  • Alex

    Friday, July 15th, 2011 14:31

    22

    Great article Stephanie! Thank you! I really believe that optimizing the permalink structure is one of the most important steps for building good SEO.

    0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:51

      26

      Thanks for reading, Alex!

      -1
  • Paweł

    Saturday, May 12th, 2012 15:35

    35

    This is very useful tutorial for on-page SEO. I’ll also recommend to use tools like http://www.seoptimer.com for fast on-page SEO check.

    0
  • James

    Sunday, April 1st, 2012 20:33

    34

    Very nice work at covering all the important points.

    0
  • neeraj

    Thursday, February 9th, 2012 13:44

    33

    Thanks for this nice post.I am really impress to your this blog post.

    0
  • Uma

    Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 08:29

    32

    Very helpful tips indeed. Thanks for sharing :)

    0
  • Shalini

    Saturday, November 26th, 2011 12:36

    31

    Awesome and a useful tips for SEO. Thanks for Sharing

    0
  • abhi

    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 23:24

    30

    Nice to read this post till now i have read many posts regarding seo but i didn’t find such a crystal clear explanation. Excellent work. Please write post on off page optimization in brief way. Keep up

    0
  • Vijay

    Saturday, September 17th, 2011 14:09

    29

    Hello Stephanie,
    One of my friend shared this article link with me. I read it and I was feel very Lucky that I get chance to read such a Beautiful, Precise article on SEO. I love it!!! Great Work !! Keep it up!!!

    Thanks,
    Vijay P.

    0
  • meenakshi

    Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 13:43

    28

    You saved my life , Thanks ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!. My boss would be very happy with my report

    0
  • Norman

    Thursday, September 8th, 2011 13:30

    27

    That was a great article and helped me a lot in developing my own site.

    0
  • Alex

    Friday, July 15th, 2011 14:31

    22

    Great article Stephanie! Thank you! I really believe that optimizing the permalink structure is one of the most important steps for building good SEO.

    0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:51

      26

      Thanks for reading, Alex!

      -1
  • amik

    Friday, June 24th, 2011 07:35

    20

    how take a place for H1, H2 and H3 tags ? thx for a nice share

    0
  • Richard

    Thursday, June 9th, 2011 14:26

    19

    Actual quality of content is another point.

    Google have been cracking down on the “black hat” strategies which sites use to climb the rankings.

    If a search engine thinks your strategy is stuffed with keywords, full of hidden text or using some other unethical practice, your first page positions can soon go. Worse still, you could see your domain name banned from the search engine…

    0
  • Hannah

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 18:29

    18

    Great overview. So many people completely neglect the online marketing aspect of their site when they are in the design/production phase. It really does need to be at the heart of the process from the off.

    0
  • Elaine Jones

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 15:34

    17

    Stephanie great article, thank you for sharing. One of my favourite SEO books that has some great tips and tricks is the “The Art of SEO”.

    0
  • Norbert

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 08:39

    16

    Very detail and easy discussion! Essential help for any newbie like me :)

    0
  • Tobias

    Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 23:12

    15

    Hi there,

    I love this article very much. Thanks for sharing those advices. Few months ago I added on a wordpress blog 1 picture to each article as there weren’t any pictures before. Now I have lots of traffic from the image search via google. It’s just amazing what can happen if you adjust a little “screw” in the whole SEO thing.

    I really enjoyed reading this, a lot!

    Thank you and have a great one. Cheers from Germany,
    Tobias

    +1
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:48

      24

      Thanks Tobias! Keep reading!

      0
  • alex

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 21:21

    14

    Great post! Bookmarked those tips! Using meta tags is relly effective!

    0
  • LeeB

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 18:24

    13

    Nice easy to understand article.

    One comment on keywords in titles and headings – it’s beneficial to have the most important keywords/phrase at the beginning.

    +1
  • Tom Ross

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 14:11

    12

    Great article Stephanie, I always need a little reminder about some of these points (especially alt tags on images!)

    0
  • Michael Francis

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 04:20

    11

    Great article. This helps to explain SEO to people who are NOT designers as well, and why it is as important a service as web design.

    0
  • Mario Francis

    Monday, June 6th, 2011 01:58

    10

    This is a great article. Easy to understand for those who are NOT designers as well. Now they will know exactly what we mean by SEO, and why it is a valuable service we provide in addition to web design.

    0
  • Stanley

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 17:20

    9

    If you see an image you like, try to make your own…if you see an interesting layout, try to use it as a reference. This way you’ll have a fresh, original site instead of a page full of backgrounds, animations and javascript functions from an overused library…and your site will stand out from the rest.

    0
  • Lex Koff

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 21:45

    8

    A nice checklist =) speaking of on-page optimization Title tag is really important and well written Meta description can influence the click through rate on search engine result pages. Anyways some SEO flaws can be compensated by a stunning web design as it’s an organic link bait =) just take some time to upload your site to web design showcase sites =)

    0
  • enursa

    Sunday, June 5th, 2011 06:53

    7

    Wow. nice tips. I agree with you. Keyword is the main factor to build the site.

    0
  • Chris

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 22:51

    6

    Thanks the a well written article covering some great SEO territory. I especially appreciate the discussion about Keyword research and tools. Very good advice right up front – thanks!

    0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:50

      23

      Thanks for reading!

      0
  • Chad

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 20:10

    5

    Nice Job. thank you for this article for collecting all information.

    0
  • Geoffrey

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 15:06

    4

    Very valid and useful points! SEO is a taunting task if your are new to the subject. There is so much to understand and leanr. I think your 6 points are a very good place to start when trying to understand SEO.

    0
  • Pratt

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 13:08

    3

    I am impressed with this article. I’m just starting to get into SEO and Internet Marketing. There is soooooo much trial and error involved. I’ve been trying out a lot of methods. I’ve have found that wordpress is wonderful for me. Many of the plug-ins available have taken the guess work out of creating a site. It’s very easy.

    0
  • Alessandro

    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 12:34

    1

    Thanks for good article, and to use my website screenshot.
    Good job.

    Alessandro

    0
    • Ivan Tsankov

      Saturday, June 4th, 2011 13:17

      2

      Brilliant read! Helped me a lot with the alt tagand Urls (till now I had the y?=131313 things in the end) . You can benefit from Social Media if you know how to make friends. Also you can’t miss the Alexa and Google ranking, they are crucial for your site visibility.

      0
    • Stephanie

      Saturday, August 27th, 2011 03:51

      25

      You’re welcome, Alessandro!

      0

Comments are closed.

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