Web Design and SEO Collide: How to Optimize BOTH for a New Website

The biggest web “property” you’ll ever own is your website. It’s both a showroom and service center, relationship hub and info center.

But none of that matters if would-be customers can’t find your website in a Google search. Therefore, your website’s design must be search engine-friendly.

How can you know whether your website designer is able to make a search engine-friendly website? Read on…

SEO Trumps Web Design

Ask your designer which is more important in their view: the design or whether search engine bots can crawl the website easily?

Ideally, your designer will answer “both.” As SEOs ourselves, we are naturally biased on behalf of SEO, but the truth is that the designer you want will not tolerate either a poorly optimized site or clunky design.

What Makes A Website Search Engine Friendly?

Designers love images. They love images because the human brain loves images. Images are an extremely subtle but rich way to communicate.

However, search engine spiders can’t see images. They can only read text.

There’s no way for a bot to translate the rich multimedia experience of your website into information to be indexed (and hence, reported to search engine users.)

This means your web designer has to the think ahead about how to parse the user experience into a format that the Google spiders can digest and transmit as well.

In general that means:

  • No Flash, especially Flash buttons
  • Don’t use low-value welcome pages. It’s a waste of “link-juice.”
  • Use text where possible. If you need to use an image, make sure it is properly tagged so that search engine bots can see what it’s for.

SEO-Optimized Design Best Practices

Here’s what SEOs like to see in a website. It makes our hearts sing when we see these things because it means the designer was paying attention to SEO needs when he or she was building it.

  • Externalized CSS and Javascript: What this means is that the code to make things pretty is on an master stylesheet, not coded into each individual page. This makes each page faster and easier to index.
  • Attention paid to Keywords: It’s not your designer’s job to figure out what your keywords are. But if you don’t give your designer your keywords (possibly because you have not hired an SEO yet) he or she should at least put something plausible into the title tags, meta descriptions and alt text.
  • Search Engine Friendly URLs: This is not that hard to do, but it’s surprising how often it’s overlooked. The URL should say what’s on the page, and if possible, include a keyword. Visitors like it too.

Hopefully we have convinced you of the importance of designing your website for SEO. If you don’t already have a suitable designer lined up, did you know that we offer website design services at Conversion Pipeline? You can have the confidence that your website is SEO-optimized from the ground up!

Download our SEO Guide on Website Redesigns

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