Web Design Tips For a More SEO-Friendly Website
Everyone knows that search engine optimization is the key factor in bringing traffic to your website. Traffic equals clicks which equals money in your pocket. Web designers are quickly realizing the importance of not only having a great site design but adding SEO value to it as well.
The following post offers some tips on using the best tools and tricks around to create an efficient, compact SEO advertising campaign on your website that will not only help improve your rankings but your site’s design as well.
Optimize Your Headers
While headers are intended to help the reader understand your content more quickly, they are also a great SEO tool. Make your headers specifically about the following content, leaning towards the direct rather than the metaphorical. Headings play an important role in a search engine’s understanding of your page, so keep your main keywords near the beginning of your headers and optimize them heavily.
Avoid Flash Websites
While Adobe Flash is the perfect tool for making super flashy websites, it’s not the best set up for an SEO website. Flash websites are made up of images controlled and commanded by code. Because of this, the majority of your content on a Flash page will be images and not readable by search engines. In short, no matter how well optimized a Flash website is, search engines can’t read images and will skip over all your carefully place keywords.
If you already have a Flash site set up, there’s a way around the problematic image problem. Just put a link on your Flash site for a separate, HTML, text-based page where you include all your optimized content. That way, your optimized text will be picked up by search engines even if the main page of your site is created with Flash.
Create Fast Pages
Graphic artists and web designers don’t think too much about how long their artsy page might take to load, but to be SEO and user-friendly, you want to make sure your page loads fast. Not only will a long loading time frustrate or even deter possible visitors, it will also prevent browsers from caching your page into their memories. What this means for your website is that even if your main page loads quickly enough to be filed away by a search engine, your subpages won’t and you’ll ultimately have a lower ranking on search engines everywhere.
Luckily for you and other SEO entrepreneurs, there are online tools that can help you read the load times on your site. To decrease your loading time and get a better search engine ranking, there are several things you can do to help browsers understand what your page is telling them.
For instance, using height and width specifications for the images on your website will help browsers load your background more quickly. Also remember that widgets add significantly to loading time so stick with the absolute essentials.
Instead of using a widget to link to your Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts, use a small, linked image. Website forwarding also slows down page loading significantly. The fewer servers and individual computers it takes to load your page, the faster it will be. If you’re struggling with long load times, set up a more direct hosting solution.
Describe Your Images
As mentioned before, search engines don’t read images and therefore adding them to your page won’t directly increase your ranking. There is a way to make your images do more than make your page look nice, though. By optimizing the description of the image you can present even more SEO content to search engines, increasing your ranking in image searches.
You can also describe your image in two ways. Firstly, the HTML “title” attribute, often ignored by web designers, gives you the chance to describe your image in optimized language, making it an essential part of your SEO campaign instead of just a pretty picture.
Secondly, next to “title” attribute in your HTML “img” tag, the “alt” attribute allows you to describe the image in detail. Intended to replace images that won’t load or when your site is used by a text-based browser, it’s the perfect spot to add some more optimized content to your site. Use the “alt” attribute to specifically describe the image in detail; you want it to sound like a direct, written interpretation of the image. Just make sure your description is optimized to the keywords you are after.
These tips and tricks are free to implement and are used by the most successful SEO websites out there. By understanding what a search engine does and doesn’t look for, you can spend your time optimizing the most influential parts of your website instead of wasting time on sections that won’t end up affecting your search engine ranking.