Any successful web designer knows that the biggest part about creating a successful website is the planning that is done prior to any design or development. A lot of the front end coding is usually completed by the designer, so having the knowledge about how to keep the website up to date with SEO is extremely important.
We are going to cover some very important SEO tips that all web designers should be implementing in their designs and developments to ensure that the website is search engine friendly.
Take Your Time When Coding
A common mistake by designers is that they rush their coding and use all types of shortened words to speed up the process. The more the spider can read, the better it will register what the page is about and how to rank it. If you keep using acronyms, this will make it harder on the search engine to read what everything is.
Also, making sure the code works will obviously be another aspect you need to take into consideration. If the code is all broken then the spider will notice and punish your website. If you keep up to coding standards, you should be fine, but the more time you take to make your coding perfect, the better.
Stop Using Flash Elements in Your Navigation Bars
Using flash to make a beautiful navigation bar might be your favorite method, but search engines have a very hard time reading flash and the links that are implemented. Flash files in general are hard for search engines, so if you have an opportunity to use something else, do it.
Implement a Well Structured Home Page
The home page of your website will be the highest ranked, which means that the easier a spider can find everything on it, the better for the rest of your website. Making sure that all of the links are properly inserted and having a site map can really improve the overall effectiveness of Google’s spiders.
Use Readable Content
An important part of SEO is making sure that the content can be read by the spiders. This includes valid links that go directly to the content, content that is relevant to your site, and also unique content that isn’t duplicated anywhere else on the internet. A common mistake by a lot of designers is to try and use effects on the text or links within the content to make it more visually appealing, but in reality, this might be hurting how the content is read by the search engine.
Use Creative and Strategic URLs
Having keywords as a part of the URL can play a major role in your ranking. This part requires a lot of planning, but in the end, your URL should have something to do with what your website is about. Also all of your content titles should be included in the URL and the titles should all have your targeted keyword phrase. It is understandable if you don’t know what content is going to be released on the website at a later date, but keeping this rule in mind will help your efforts later on.
Keep using Alt and Title Tags
For an experienced designer, this is probably old news. Make sure not to forget to use alt tags on your images so that search engines can take the images into consideration. Without the proper tags, search engines won’t know what the images are and it could ultimately hurt your rankings.
Make a Good Error 404 Page
When a visitor or spider reaches a page that is no longer available or accidentally typed in the wrong URL, they will get an error 404 page. It is important to make this page well designed with all the information that they would need on it. Include links back to the home page and contact information. This will help visitors stay on your site instead of leaving and will also help spiders get redirected back to your home page through the link.
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There are plenty of SEO tips for designers, but overall, these are what you should be making a priority. Make sure to plan to implement as many SEO tips in your website while you are in the planning stage so you don’t run into bumps while in the design or development stages.