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A Few Website Design Tips for SEO

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Designing a website is more than finding the right tone and appearance to properly communicate your message and your brand. Oh sure, you want to include the colors, images and fonts that best represent the style of your business or your brand.

You certainly want to make your site appealing to visitors and engaging in a way that keeps them coming back. When designing your site, however, it is very important to not forget about SEO.

Search engines are all about relevance. If you want to rank highly on a search engine, make sure your site is easy to read and index. Web crawlers will ignore your site unless you include the right components and features to attract them.

Descriptive URLs

You might have amazing content. Your images might be fantastic too. Your entire site might be very relevant and interesting to users and visitors. However, search engines won’t find your website without descriptive URLs. Don’t make the mistake of creating a URL like www.yoursite/homepage. While this seems like a descriptive URL, it’s really not. A search engine friendly URL is under 65 characters and includes a unique description of the page’s content.

Consider using your keywords or your brand or tag line as a part of the homepage URL, for instance. A URL like www.yoursite/Home-of-Your-Product is more appealing to search engines than other choices and sets your site apart.

Perhaps your site still uses dynamic URLs. Unfortunately, these types of URLs are difficult for people to interpret. The numbers, symbols and terms used in these URLs simply don’t make sense to the average person. Consider converting your URLs to a static format. You’ll increase the chances a user will click on your link when considering search engine results. You can use a free tool link this one from SEO Chat to make the conversion.

Keyword Density and Placement

Keyword density and placement are very important to SEO. You need to use keywords in specific places to maximize your SEO. Include keywords in the title tag of your page and in your URL when possible. When they can be included naturally, include your main keywords in the first paragraph of your content and consider using them in your main headings. Sprinkle keywords two or three other places into the content itself.

Be careful though – you may think more is better – but this isn’t true. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Search engines look at keyword density and the natural flow of the content on the page. A page packed with keywords can have a negative effect on your SEO. Using keywords in inappropriate ways that just don’t make sense is another potential negative.

Simple on-page analysis tools like this one from Internet Marketing Ninjas can help you optimize each page on your site.

Most of all, consider your visitors when you use keywords. Use them in a way that is informative and engaging without being overpowering. This is best for SEO and best for your website design in general.

Avoid Flashy Content

Creativity and visual appeal is a good thing for your site. Flash-heavy content is not. If your homepage is a splash page with a link to “enter here” you may want to rethink your approach. Search engines can’t read text embedded in Flash or other images. If they can’t read it, they can’t index whatever lies behind it.

Not only is Flash bad for SEO, Flash-heavy content slows down your page speed. Visitors who find your page may move on before the page finishes loading. Not exactly the result you were looking for, right? Another tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas is designed to analyze your page speed.

There are creative ways to add interest to your page without using Flash. Simply usinge high quality images, navigation buttons, and other graphical style points can maintain your SEO-friendly site design. If you are searching for a website design company, make sure you find one that understands the structural principles that must be included to keep your page ranking well with search engines.

Author

This article was provided by Ty Baisden and his marketing team at www.msimail.net. Ty is a SEO and marketing guru with more than 15 years of search engine optimization, web development and marketing experience. MSI offers web design services to help you create a polished and professional website that is also SEO-friendly.

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