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Top 10 Search Engine Friendly Web Design Tips

An attractive website with nice graphics and flash may look visually appearing to your web visitors. However, you will not acquire any free web visitors from search engine no matter how attractive is your website if your web design is not search engine optimization (SEO) friendly right from the start. You certainly do not want an eye-catching website with no visitors. In order to get free web visitors requires good ranking in search engine. And to achieve good ranking depending upon two major factors: on-page and off-page.

Off-page mainly determined by external variables such as links (with link anchor text) to your website and even user behavior data. Off-page factors are difficult to achieve as it takes times and effort. In contrast, on-page factors are important search engine optimization methods that you can employ and achieve immediately during your web page design. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to on-page SEO issues during early web design stage. Below are ten tips that only concentrate on on-page factor to create a SEO friendly website:

1. Avoid Flash if possible. Even though major search engines can index Flash today, but it is still advice to avoid Flash if possible, in particular Flash that is large will take longer time to load. As most of web visitors today are impatient in general will just click the 'skip intro' anyway, and so making Flash an useless design.

2. Stay away from frames. Some of search engines spider cannot index web pages with frame design in any way. Even other search engines capable of indexing frames, but only your web page frame may appear in the search result. As a result, the web visitor will only see part of your frame page with other web frame page missing.

3. Minimize file size. Move non-content information, such as cascading style sheets (CSS) and Javascript, from the web page will help the search engine spider to skip all these irrelevant information and reach your key content information directly.

4. Minimum usage of graphics. Search engine can't read graphics but only understand the text inside the alt tag. Make sure you put the relevant keywords into the alt tag that not only help search engine to index it but also will be displayed to the web visitors while waiting for the graphic to be loaded.

5. Avoid Javascript navigation menus. Search engines do not spider javascript. Therefore, any links to other part of the websites in the javascript menus will not be indexed. Consider using search engine spider friendly navigation structure such as text or graphics navigation. Even if you implement graphic navigation method, it is always a good idea to add the text-based navigation at the bottom of every web page on your web site.

6. Create sitemap. A sitemap is designed with links to all the other web pages. In this way, sitemap functions as an alternate access point to ensure search engines find all the web pages in your website.

7. Avoid complex tables. Tables are frequently used to layout the web page. Avoid web design that uses deep and complex table structure. Too complex table structure will add more HTML codes into the web page hence prevent search engine spiders from reaching your important web content. Consider using Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) design that will reduce the usage of tables drastically. Here is a very good example.

8. Use keywords in Domain Name. Use your primary keywords in your domain name and use dashes in the domain name if your primary keywords consist of more than one word. For example: Search engines perceive the website with keywords appear in the domain name to be more relevant. Moreover, the keywords in the domain name are highlighted in the search result. Here is an example where Google highlights the keyword in the domain name. As a result, people are more likely to click on search results with domain names that contain the keywords they are searching for.

9. Apply specific keywords in page title. The space between <title> </title> is the most important 'real estate' on a web page as far as search engine is concerned. Make sure you have your specific keywords in the page title. As generic keywords are almost impossible to rank high on the search engine today, use specific keywords with call for action words in the page title. For example, do not use page title such as "Nokia Cell Phone"; instead use "Buy Best Price Nokia 3230 Cell Phone here!" This way, precise keywords not only easier to rank high in the search engine, but it has higher sales conversion rate too!

10. Ensure standard and error free HTML coding. Make sure your web page design used all the HTML code that conforms to the W3C standard and no missing HTML ending quote, typo error HTML code in the web page. Search engine spiders are known to stop crawling and indexing HTML error laden web pages. Moreover, non-standard HTML web pages will have negative impact on your search engine ranking. You can make use of online validation tools to verify the validity of your web pages.

Today, good search engine ranking requires not only on-page factors but it is believed that off-page factors are playing a more important role. Above are basic yet essential guidelines to create a search engine friendly website based on on-page factors that will ensure search engines indexing, thereby stand a better chance to improve your website rankings in the search engines.


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