A website design that is search engine friendly is one of the essential components to generating traffic to your website through search engines. Your web site must be appealing to the eye of the consumer, but it must also be appealing to the ‘eye’ of the search engine. Search engines ‘read’ websites in order to find and rank the ones most appropriate for each keyword phrase entered by a potential customer.
Designing a search engine friendly website is not difficult. Some of the elements you should implement in your design may even seem like plain common sense. You may be surprised, however, to learn how many people don’t follow these simple rules and create websites that search engines find difficult to read.
First of all, the text should be in a simple font. The fancy cursive like scripts may look pretty, but they aren’t very easy for the eye to scan. Neither are they easy for the search engine to read. This means keeping the font basic, the color plain, and the size normal. Black, 12 point, Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial are preferred. The actual text is not where you want to draw the attention. Instead, the subject that the text conveys should be in the spotlight.
Furthermore, arrange your text naturally just as you would on the page. Use proper paragraphs and bullet points as well as other devices to break up the text into bite size pieces. Take it easy when using capital letters, bold faced print, and exclamation points. Using as much text as possible (at least 250 words but no more than 750 words) will help search engines not only find you but rank you as an expert in the field and place you closer to the top of the list.
Avoid flashing text and cutesy graphics at all costs to make your web design search engine friendly. Not only are they distracting and amateurish, but search engines read graphics and pictures like blank space. Blank space doesn’t boost page rankings. Make sure that every page utilizes text and specific key words associated with the product or information that you are utilizing to pull in targeted traffic. Text is the focus as far as search engines are concerned. Graphics are for the customer, and each one should sell an aspect of your product and carry meaning. But if search engine friendly design is your goal, take careful consideration of your text.
Another thing to avoid in creating a web design that is search engine friendly is spam. This can show up in your site in the form of hidden text in the HTML code. Instead, make sure that your HTML code includes Meta Tags. These aren’t the big hook to catch the attention of search engines that they once were, but they do help. And every little bit adds up to a higher page ranking!
Another element of search engine friendly web design and, possibly the most important, is the layout of your site. Unwieldy navigation with dead end links on your site does not just annoy the potential customer, but it confuses search engines, as well. Confusing search engines is no way to boost your rankings, your traffic, or your sales. Use a sitemap if you need to and make sure that the hierarchy of pages makes sense. Use a Google sitemap if you have a large site, and make sure that your navigation tools are concise and specific – no creative misnomers or questionable graphics.
Though the elements of search engine friendly web design emphasize simplicity and therefore come across as simplistic, ignoring them will not only turn off customers but search engines as well. Make your web site search engine friendly and watch your traffic increase exponentially in no time.