When it comes to getting the right audience to discover and share your content, the chances are that you’re depending upon the major search engines for a significant percentage of your traffic. Unless you have the proper SEO strategy incorporated into your actual website’s design, however, search engines will have a difficult time establish the relevance and credibility of your site.
The factors in web design that help determine search rankings vary from load time and content placement to keyword architecture and social media presence. It’s equally critical to have the right types of meta information incorporated into your on-page SEO, including elements like page titles, alt tags and header tags.
First Important Steps: Making Your Website SEO Friendly
Thankfully, implementing a solid SEO web design strategy is pretty straight forward in follow the same step-by-step strategy as the pros. Assuming that you have already conducted the proper keyword research, the most important step to making your web design SEO is addressing your site’s architecture. In a nutshell, this requires you to determine what type of keywords and content you want to focus on for different pages for your site and what types of URL structures are going to be most effective from an SEO point of view.
Your primary focus throughout this process should be on creating great content and determining how to incorporate that content into the body of your site. Although you should always consider your users first when you’re creating content, it’s important to keep your primary keywords in mind while you’re writing, as well as when you are creating titles, heading tags and anchor text.
Next, it’s time to layout how you expect users to navigate your site from one page to the next using a stripped down version of your site such as a wireframe. It’s easy to develop tunnel vision at this stage of production, so be sure to ask other team members for input in order to stay focused on what matters most.
SEO Site Architecture
As you are laying out your site architecture, it is helpful to begin by organizing your proposed content into a set of related themes. These themes can then be used as the primary navigation for your site. Just be sure to keep your keywords in mind so that users will find what they’re looking for in the language that they use from the moment that they arrive.
When it comes to your individual web pages, bear in mind that traditional on page SEO elements are just as important to search engine spiders as your site architecture as a whole. Page titles are considered to be the most crucial element at this step of the process, and every page should have a unique title tag featuring your primary keywords associated with its main theme. Header tags (H1, H2, H3) should be used in order from most to least important, and remember to incorporate a healthy mix of secondary keywords into the anchor text for your internal linking.
SEO Web Design Trends in 2012
As you move forward with your web development strategy for 2012, it’s worth pointing out that there are handful of SEO web design trends underfoot that you will want to keep an eye on. With users using more platforms than ever to access the web, one new trend known as responsive design is concerned with ensuring that sites and applications load properly on all devices.
Cloud computing and free apps will continue to become more popular, which means that more free web development tools than ever will be at your disposal. Finally, the popularity of mobile devices will continue to grow, meaning both users and search engines will likely be on the lookout for mobile friendly web design.