Today, everyone is a web designer. The skills and tools it takes to build a website nowadays are so cheap that just about anyone with an internet connection can become a web designer over night. With a little training in Photoshop and Illustrator and wee bit of HTML and CSS knowledge, you can start designing your own site and sites for all your friends. But just because you can design a cool site doesn’t mean anyone will actually see it. In fact, a website is useless unless you can attract traffic to it. And that is what search engine optimization is all about.
An SEO services firm can really do a lot of good for your website with a broad-based SEO strategy that encompasses site content, blogging, twitter marketing, adwords management, and more. But not everyone has the money to jump to the top of a Google search overnight. For those who are just starting out in web design, there are a few basic tips that will help you optimize your site, or at least prevent your site from being penalized by Google.
1) Keep Flash to a minimum
Once you take a beginner’s course in Flash, there is a huge temptation to fill your site with tons of cool animations and graphics that will wow your site visitors’ retinas and leave all who see your site breathless. The problem is that Flash won’t give you SEO love. Search engines love website content that is easy to understand and match to a search. If you fill your home page with Flash (which appears to search engines as a lot of useless code), you’ll be missing out on boosting your page rank and coming up higher in search results.
2) Use text as much as you can
Text is boring, right? Not to search engines. As mentioned before, search engine crawlers love websites that are easy to understand and match to search results. When you have a lot of text on your site, it’s like giving search engines a lot of meat to work with. So use as much HTML text as possible on your site. For example, you may be tempted to make navigation buttons out of images or graphics. Don’t do it. Keep your navigation links as text and you’ll be generating some nice organic SEO.
3) Structure your site with SEO in mind
The principles discussed before also apply to your website structure—keep it simple. Search engines don’t like Flash because it’s too complicated, and they love text because it’s easy to understand. So, build your site in a way that is easy to navigate and you’ll boost your SEO. Make sure your site structure is clean and easy to follow. Avoid hidden pages and unnecessarily complicated page design. Also, make sure your URLs are easy to understand as well. For example, “mycoolsite.com/technology.htm” is much better than “mycoolsite.com/765ty65rt.htm”. A search engine knows what “technology” is, but has no idea what “765ty65rt” is.
To get the best SEO for your site, make sure everything is clean and easy to follow for search engines, and you’ll be getting all the SEO love you need.
Brad Anderson is the Executive Director and Founder of Fruition. Brad’s focus is supporting Fruition’s team to enable sustainable growth and excellent client satisfaction (EBITDA growth). With a strong statistical background, Brad built Fruition’s in-house software that is used to manage client success.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association