How to Design for Search Engines
by: Ralph Ramah
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of managing your web site and it�s resources in order for it to rank as high as possible with the search engines. The tools and techniques are sought after and much is said and written about what works best and what is , very often, total rubbish. No matter what is said, the web design, the way the web pages are put together certainly affects the SEO process. Unfortunately, one can go too far with ones SEO fanaticism and forget the core of why a web site is being put together, the objectives of the product. Good web design is the best attempt at balancing the benefits of SEO and the fundamental objectives of the web site. If it is a sales tool, the web site needs to sell products or services. If it is an information web site, the web design needs to meet this objective. It makes sense to consider the web design carefully. After all, what good is it to rank on top of the search engine, get a lot of traffic and fail to impress your web site visitor?
What then shall we say? If web design more important than SEO, or is it the reverse? One thing is for sure, do not forgo the fundamental principles of good web design. Search engine friendly web design is not just about getting excellent ranking on search engines. Remember that the latter do not read and use your web design content, your audience and clients do. So the search behaviour of your target audience is important for your web design. Remember the five principles of good web design: pages should be easy to read, easy and consistent navigation to take your audience smoothly through your web site, use good web design features and images and be easy to download.
It is possible to achieve all five web design principles and still produce a search engine friendly web site which works for your audience and attracts leads and which is ranked well on the search engines. While the whole search engine friendly web design process sounds tedious, you do get used to it and with time it becomes almost second nature. After working through more than 200 designs we think it is best to consider both aspects while planning your web design. As flash and images are invisible to search engines, consider having the right balance of text, including your tags, and images, flash elements from the outset.
Clearly the principles of web design with the target audience in mind should not be overlooked while building SEO techniques and technology into a web site. Always keep your goals in mind and remember that getting to the top without a clear selling plan does not pay.
About the Author
Ralph Ramah is the webmaster of Discount Web Design, one of the leading web design company in the UK offering quality web site design and SEO services.