You probably wondering what does web design have to do with SEO. A simple answer is – everything!
So many just get their website running first and then start thinking about Search Engine Optimisation. However, we strongly recommend to start thinking about SEO before you even have a website.
Why? Because if you do it right in the first place – it will just fly at the top of search results with the right and strategic SEO linkbuilding strategy in place.
Our Website Design Tips for SEO are as follows:
- All urls ending with index.php or index.html automatically redirected to urls: ‘/’ (this is to avoid duplicate content and have only 1 url variation for search engines)
- All folder bassed urls without ‘/’ redirected to ‘/’. For example, www.yoursite.co.uk/seo redirected to www.yoursite.co.uk/seo/ (this is to avoid duplicate content and have only 1 url variation for search engines)
- All urls without www. Automatically redirected to www. (this is to avoid duplicate content and have only 1 url variation for search engines)
- All urls to be friendly and text based (and ideally include a high search volume keyword). For example: NOT www.thewebsite.co.uk/phpr385!:/-56 BUT www.thewebsite.co.uk/promotional-bags.php
- All urls need to be around 3 or less levels deep. For example, www.yourwebsite.co.uk/gifts/bags/beach-bag.php and not www.yourwebsite.co.uk/gifts/bags/beach/small/red/bag.php
- All urls to have ‘-‘ for separation between words and not underscores ‘_’. For example, www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beach-bag.php and not www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beach_bag.php
- All urls need to be easy to read. For example, NOT www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beautifulbeachbag.php BUT www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beautiful-beach-bag.php
- All urls cannot have any gaps or spaces
- All external urls leading to other websites need to open in a new window and be nofollow. This will help with the website speed and retain visitors on the website
- SITE STRUCTURE:
- Avoid using too much flash. Just one small element on the page is ok. Google cannot read flash
- Website pages should have NO script, CSS or HTML errors. This can be checked here for html: http://validator.w3.org/ and for correct CSS here (the correct and fixed css can also be downloaded here): http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/
- All images, flash or videos need to have alt tag descriptions
- Every page of the website need to have unique meta titles, descriptions and keywords
- All images not to be too big on the page otherwise this will slow down the website load. Website speed is now an SEO factor
- Sitemap.html or sitemap.php need to be present. This helps with navigation
- ALSO sitemap.xml needs to be present and need to self-populate automaticallywhen the new pages are added or deleted. All urls in the sitemap.xml need to have only one and current version of the URL. For example: www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beds/ and NOT www.yourwebsite.co.uk/beds/index.php
So, as you can see it is really is much better to get your website right and SEO ready from the very start!
…and if you want your visitors to find all the information on your website they need with just one or two clicks and not get lost within the website navigation and a structure – add a drop-down navigation. Finally remember – keep your website design simple!