When you think of designing a website for yourself, chances are that you dream of a website with all the bells and whistles – flash movies, stunning images, streaming audio – the works! But, unknown to you, these elements may actually be damaging your business prospects because what appears attractive on the surface is detractive when it comes to search engines rankings. If your website includes these elements, it is automatically relegated to a much lower rank even though the content is relevant and you are making use of cutting edge technology.
In short, it is important to stay away from design elements that can damage search engine rankings.
Unfortunately, a recent poll showed some appalling results. 1 in every 10 website designers believes that SEO is not their business. Worse, more than 24% of website designers do not have the foggiest idea about what SEO is!
Before exploring the reasons to opt for an SEO friendly website design, it is essential to understand what this is all about.
You see, search engines employ automated ‘web spiders’ to crawl through websites. These ‘web spiders’ collect important information about the website. The information they glean helps them assess the relevance of a website for particular keywords. Now,you must remember that these are automated programs that have been coded to crawl through web pages in a certain way. The spiders deposit the information they collect in a database. So,when a user queries a keyword, the search engine dips into this database and lists pages according to relevance. Pages that ‘seem’ more relevant come out on top, while those that are not, end up at the bottom.
While design elements alone are not responsible for dismal search engine rankings, they too play an important role.
Whether you are a professional web designer or a business owner, it is important to know why you must always, always aim for an SEO friendly website design.
- An SEO friendly website design is the best way to befriend search engines. If search engines are not happy with your design, you can expect only a trickle of traffic from back-link referrals and direct visitors.
- Surveys show that approximately 45-65% of web traffic to any website comes from search engines. Therefore, a website design that is not search engine friendly is washing its hands off this amazing volume of traffic.
- Generally, an SEO friendly website design is also very user friendly. Therefore, ensuring that you use proper HTML coding, target proper keywords through content and meta tags, make use of ALT tags, use proper links and so on, make the site quick to download and easy for the user.
- An SEO friendly website speaks of quality web page design. If you are a company with some standing, the kind of web page you have impacts your brand value.