SEO: time-intensive, ever changing, and highly misunderstood. Creating a website design that is appealing, while also search engine friendly, is one of the hardest parts about SEO web design.
If you’re a designer, are your designs really search friendly?
A lot of misconceptions about SEO still exist in the web design community and many designers, who have at least some knowledge, are often acting with outdated information. Once a designer understands the value of SEO, there is still the concern of how to keep a design attractive, while also being search friendly.
Designers love beautiful websites and SEOs love optimized content and code, but neither should fool themselves, because these days, both matter. In that spirit, I’ve put together a list of 9 SEO tips that help keep your stunning website optimized for search engines.
1. It’s not the same old SEO
SEO can be hard to keep up with, because it is always changing. Today, SEO doesn’t mean a site has to be ugly.
2. Links talk
Links tell search engines what pages are about.
3. Design is linkbait
Great design improves credibility and the user experience.
4. Look at search bots as browsers
Considering a search bot as a disabled user or another type of browser, is exactly the type of approach needed for search friendly web design.
5. Smoke some hash
# The hash mark creates an element in the URL that is not considered unique by the search engines, so it is dropped.
7. Flash is OK, sometimes.
Ask someone who casually follows SEO news, and they’ll tell you flash can now be crawled.
BUT . . .
* Do not include an entire site on one page.
* Do not use flash as the navigation.
* Do not include important content in flash.
8. CSS image replacement
CSS image replacement is one way to make a site look great, while also being search friendly.
9. Have great linking with footers
If you have a design that will be compromised by the inclusion of a robust navigation above the fold, a solid footer is a great solution.