How to Use Search Engine Optimization for your Website
Your web design is the central point of your online marketing plan. It is the target of every back link you post online via tweet, blog post or article link. It will do your business no justice if your readers bounce away within seconds of clicking through from your online content. Be sure your web design is working for the benefit of your SEO as well as your conversions.
There are a lot of factors regarding your website that can have an effect on your website’s SEO, but did it ever occur to you that the layout, white space and content format of your website could be dragging down your page rank?
See your Website for the First Time
Your website layout works as the first impression for anyone visiting your website. With this in mind, take a good luck at your website home page and answer the next few questions:
- Does the ratio of graphic to text seem effective? When you look at your page, does it seem that your graphics are taking over the page? Or is there so much text that your web page looks like a page from a novel?
- Do the graphics work to draw attention to your text or contact forms?
- Is there sufficient white space around the text, and does it draw attention to your content? Does your text butt right up against your text? Then you need more white space.
Once you consider these points, you need to understand that each time someone visits your website for the first time, these criteria could easily cause them to bounce away (click off your website page) without reading a single word you have written for their benefit. Each time you have someone bounce away from your website, it negatively affects your overall web rank, so what can you do to avoid that bad first-impression?
Be sure that your graphics support your content, that they don’t overwhelm the page and that your text is delineated by plenty of white space (Think about that previous point regarding how congested your graphics and text look, white space will even out the most cluttered of pages.), so the pages don’t look jumbled.
Web Design and SEO Beauty is Not Just Skin Deep
Beyond the pictures and text, your website design can include another saboteur ready to “tank your rank.” Flash images, while visually pleasing, are invisible to search engines so if your home page includes movies or scrolling pictures built in Flash, your home page will be almost impossible to optimize effectively. (Flash Images are defined as an extremely popular multimedia authoring and playback system from Adobe. Flash is used for most of the animated ads and video clips on Web sites. Courtesy of PC Magazine)
While on the subject of the how the web pages are built, no matter how well your graphics are laid out, if they don’t have ALT DESCRIPTION TAGS noting to the search engines what they are images of, they can detract from your SEO effectiveness.
A Few More Points to Remember
Web Design and SEO need to be considered congruently and when designing your website to garner the best SEO results, you should include or consider the following points:
- INCLUDE: Google Analytics, In-Text Hyperlinks, Contact Forms.
- CONSIDER: Target market for keyword research (Who are you planning on talking to via your website and what words are they Googling, for example), what is the most current trend in web layout so your page doesn’t look dated.
Often times, web design and SEO are treated as separate aspects of a web marketing plan. Doing this will not only make your SEO results harder to obtain, but could be a drain on your conversions as well. Build your web design and SEO plans together to turn your site visitors into prospects. Talk to a web design company that takes SEO into consideration when redesigning or building a site and you’ll be on the right track from the get go.