The Facts Behind SEO-Friendly Web DesignPosted by oicadmin on 05/16/12
Tags: cms , seo-friendly , web design , seo
In today's digital marketplace, search engine optimization (SEO) and website design must go respect one another. Many web design companies these days are infusing SEO in the web design process.
However, many website designers fail to understand the significance of SEO while putting together a website, and neglect the SEO-friendly (as well as SEO-Unfriendly) aspects of a website during the design process.
The potential to obtain a top search engine ranking and capture more traffic is much greater with a SEO friendly web design. There are many techniques and technologies that can make a website look attractive, however many of these methods are not friendly with search engines. In essence, visually and aesthetically pleasing design elements my block or slow a search engine spiders, which can kill SEO. If search engine spider cannot access the content of a website easily and efficiently, is unlikely that the website will rank highly in the search engines.
Elements of SEO-Friendly Websites
Respecting the best practices of SEO while designing a website takes into consideration more than just essential content elements and linking. Building a SEO-friendly website needs to factor in the site's architecture, navigation, and back-end coding structure (or HTML). The content of each webpage (both on-page and off-page) is a critical component for search engine optimization.
The off-page SEO elements that are not fully viewable to users on the page (but often portrayed in the search engine results) are the page's title and meta description. These aspects of the site's content should be mentioned in the first few lines of code for each page. The on-page components of a SEO-friendly website need to be content focused. That is, content that can be crawled and indexed, and offers SEO value to a search engine spider. These elements include any parceable text, images (including the image "Alt" tag,) and videos.
Content that does not offer SEO value is flash media, which causes search engine spiders to choke on a page. Although attractive on a webpage, flash animated media is very code-cumbersome and causes the load speed of pages to slow.
CMS Considerations for SEO
For websites built around a content management system (CMS), the product or technology behind the CMS will be ultimate variable for search engine friendliness. The CMS is the general framework for which a website's design is centered upon.
A code-heavy CMS that makes use of nestled tables and other non-SEO friendly design elements will hinder SEO. For this reason, SEO-friendly content management systems have been a primary focus for some CMS product developers. A distinction of a good CMS platform for SEO is how the software generates the code for each page. Strong platforms for SEO will use stylesheets, or CSS, which is typically very spider friendly for crawling and indexing a site. In addition, the content attributes are also major considerations.
Most content management systems will allow users to customize the page title and meta description on each page. But what separates the truly SEO friendly CMS solutions from the pack is the URL. It is not uncommon for most CMS platforms to auto-generate a URL that looks something like www.yoursite.com/page?id=54321. Such URLs offer no SEO value. With the right CMS, users can write optimized URLs to include some of the primary keyword targets for that page, such as www.yoursite.com/keyword-optimized-url.html.
The landscape for Internet marketing firms is filled with SEO & Web design companies that claim they handle both disciplines effectively. If you are moving forward with a website that you want fully optimized for search, be sure to learn as much as you can about the company. Often times a thorough interview with the firm's staff that brings up questions about the variables discussed above will shed light on just how effective the firm actually is. Here at OIC Group, our practices revolve around the marriage of SEO and web design, so much so that we have developed a highly SEO-friendly CMS called Exponent. With this product and our professional expertise in custom website design and SEO Peoria IL, we are able to help clients realize their Internet marketing objectives.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.