Google seems to rule the world nowadays. Why? Because everyone knows that “Google knows everything”. If you’ve got a question – ask Google, if you are looking for any info – ask Google, if you want to buy something – ask Google. Thus the success of your website depends mostly on whether the search engine will find the web page or not. Being a designer you most likely consider that search engine optimization is not your field, but it isn’t quite so. Most on-site SEO is totally your responsibility. If your design isn’t SEO friendly you might loose a considerable piece of traffic. But if you know how to make your website design visible to search engines you will be much closer to the top. Besides, as a designer or a developer you may actually profit from your search engine optimizing skills, your clients will definitely pay some extra money for a search engine friendly design.
How do search engines actually work?
Search engines like Google and Yahoo have a program called a “web spider”. The spider crawls the web pages, collects content, follows the links and deposits the collected info to the search engineâ€™s database. When you type a query in the search box the search engine finds the most relevant results in it’s database. What makes a website more or less relevant to your query? There is a number of factors which form the search engine algorithm. Thus, the higher your website ranks for these factors the higher it is in the search results and the more visitors you get.
There are two types of SEO – on-site and off-site. As you are a designer/ developer your prime concern here is on-site SEO.
So, what are the things you can do on your design to make it SEO friendly?
Only content matters
As irrelevant as it may seem to you (designer/developer) the most authoritative key to success is content. People search for content, not for the design, thus you should give them what they want, shouldn’t you?
The code is to be clean
Use text editors to build your sites. Clean andÂ human-readable HTML is the searchable code. Try to not overuse Divs, use descriptive tags where possible, follow the conceptual structure of the page. Don’t get upset here, CSS will help you create an ingenious website.
Make a site map that describes your website structure and give it to Google.
Don’t forget about the links
As you remember search engines pay attention to the links you have on your website, the words used for the links also matter. Thus you better avoid using â€œclick hereâ€ and so on for the links. Try to describe where the link is taking the user to.
Try to not overuse Ajax. Yes, Ajax features are beautiful and impressive, but they are not indexable by search engines because of their dynamic load.
Index page is the most important
Your home page should give a reason to the user to visit other pages, it should describe the goal of your website and be a summary of the rest of your pages.
Well, these were some simple and just basic SEO tips for designers. Would you add more?