Like writing an essay or cooking a good meal, an effective SEO campaign needs good preparation; you cannot expect to jump into the process without having a good plan laid out first. This preparation has got to include a good website design and when going through the design process you should make sure that you have the overall goal in place which is to sell products or have people enquiring for services on your website.
SEO is constantly changing and we’re seeing more and more that the quality of sites and campaigns are becoming increasingly important. But just how can you ensure that your website design is giving your internet marketing campaign the best possible prospects?
• Rule number one: Don’t use java script
For SEO website designs using java script are enemy number one. Like pictures, Google can’t see them unless you tell them in alternative text what the image is of. Building your website in HTML code is the most effective and efficient way to design a website ready for the SEO process.
• Friendly navigation and making sure pages are crawlable.
As well as a key usability point, navigation is key to good SEO results. Google relies on its Googlebots to be able to crawl a website properly and if it is disjointed and difficult to navigate through this could negatively affect a website’s rankings.
If a page cannot be found by a Googlebot, it cannot be indexed by Google so there are a number of things to be aware of when designing your website including: content following a submission form, robots.txt and pages with thousands of links.
• Loading times
Matt Cutts confirmed that website loading times affect rankings – along with a multitude of other signals. Your website designers will be well aware of this and should factor it in when designing your website.
• Internal linking
This will be carried out throughout the SEO process, but ensuring that your website is well linked internally, can really help to increase the relevancy of pages you are targeting for certain keywords. Plan out with your website design team where you’re going to initially link to and from and as you expand your site – with a news feed for example, ensure that you’re continuing to internally link.
Laying down good foundations for an SEO campaign will give you quicker returns on your online marketing investment. Designing a website takes time and planning so including SEO considerations into the process will not add hugely to your workload.