|August 15, 2005||By: Louise Rijk - Bio - Blog
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Did you know that many Web site owners and operators are missing out on a major marketing opportunity because their Web site is not visible in the natural search engine listings? The design, site structure, internal linking, and HTML code of your Web site definitely impacts search engine optimization and rankings. If your web site does not appear on the search results page, you may want to evaluate those elements of your Web site. Web sites improperly programmed or built hamper a search engine spider's ability to crawl your site, which can adversely affect your web site's search engine visibility.
| Making Your Web Site Design Search Engine Friendly: Five Things You Need to Address|
Often you'll find Web sites designed primarily for branding and visual appearance without much consideration for search engine crawling and indexing. Unfortunately, these sites have paid little attention to how search engines are reading and indexing the code and content of the web site.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you see Web sites that are fully indexed and rank well on the search results page of the search engines but sorely lacking in visual design, usability, and the ability to convert visitors into buyers.
Striking a balance between SEO and design
Building a Web site that can easily be read and indexed by the search engines does not mean that you have to sacrifice good design. The key to effective Web site design is striking a balance between HTML-formatted text, graphic images and multimedia.
When developing a new Web site, site owners must make sure that search marketers and site designers are working together from the start. It's important to bridge the gap between the search engine optimization expert, who want to limit the use of graphics and write keyword-rich copy targeted towards high rankings, and the web designer, who wants to convey a compelling branded message through the use of graphics, without understanding their impact on the visibility in the search engines.
One common mistake by web site owners is to treat "search engine friendly" design as an afterthought. Optimizing a web site for search engine indexing and ranking after the fact is costly and can add up to 50 percent of the initial total web development cost.
High search engine rankings will get visitors to a web site, but a web site with low visual appeal and too few graphic images may not communicate professionalism, build trust and credibility, at least, not enough to convert a good number of visitors into a customers.
Five things to address when designing your Web site
From a programming and design perspective, there are some basic things you can do to ensure that your site is easily indexed by the search engines. These five things can hurt the indexibility of your web site and as a result, your online business will suffer.
You can have it both ways by designing Web sites that are visual appealing and at the same time are readable and indexible by the search engines. By bringing together web designers and search marketing specialists early in the design process, everybody wins - the site owner, the search engines, and the customer.
- Navigation and linking structure
- Site structure
Implement workarounds for pages with excessively long dynamically generated URLs and session IDs. E.g. URLs that use "&id=" as a parameter. Avoid Web site architectures that are more than 4 levels deep.
Search engines don't read Flash files and Flash-based navigation. If you are using a Flash splash page your site won't get crawled by the search engines.
Search engines cannot read text embedded in graphics. Convert keyword-rich graphic text with to text when impact on visual presentation is minimal.
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