Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not an alien term anymore. People who have been involved in online business they don’t just know but practice it in order to raise their profits. SEO is not a rocket science but it is actually a process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines naturally. The growing trend has made clients approach to web designers to optimize their website to increase visibility with search engines and to attract more visitors. They usually ask for a website which can easily be optimized, however, they understand very little about what is involved in SEO. Search Engine optimization is not a static process but involves much more than the design and coding of the site which makes it an ongoing process. SEO cannot be done without considering things like keyword research, content development, and link building because these are critical aspects of optimizing a website for search engines, and typically these are all ongoing processes.
Although the above mention aspects do not include design, however, it has always been the integral part of SEO but there are still a lot of things that the designer can do to set the foundation for an optimized website. The foundational task is to lay the search engine friendly site which then helps in future SEO efforts with greater impact. The following article helps our web designer friends to have an insight in the subject of SEO and the issues related to the said field.
A Designer’s Role in SEO
Let’s get bit deeper in designer’s role in effective SEO, however, before we determine the role we first need to dig in further and analyze the functioning of a search engine friendly website in SEO. It is quite logical that a good search-engine friendly design of the site will make it easy for search engines to find the content, determine what the site and pages are really about, and allow the site to rank as high as possible based on the content of the site.
It is not the design only plays the key role in increasing rank but there are other tactics which are significantly important along with the design itself. Designers should always talk to their clients and make them understand the rationale and logic behind designing a search-engine friendly website and also educate them about the importance of keywords selection which plays imperative role in ranking the website on better position.
Importance of SEO for Designers
One should not forget that designing a website and its optimization are two different things. However, it does not mean designer cannot do both tasks as matter of fact designer can do it better than many other SEO experts. Notably, those designers that do not offer specific SEO services are favored by clients because clients like to hire a designer to give an impact of their web site which certainly comes with efficient design and immaculate aesthetics. In this case it is much desired from client’s perspective that they can find a designer who can do both jobs perfectly. So designers should have some awareness of SEO because, it will help designers to give clients diversity in their task and pick up more referral business.
Things to Avoid in SEO
Up to this point it has been clearly established that coding and designing are unavoidable for better ranked website. However, the precaution here is not to do anything which can harm the chances of improved page ranking. One important don’t in this case is Black Hat SEO. It is anything that attempts to deceive the search engines and violates Google’s guidelines. It may help to achieve better rankings in the short-term, but a short cut cannot earn long term benefits. So, a capable designer must know such things which enable him to inform their clients in order to avoid these situations.
Do not make any promise beforehand and let your actions speak louder than words. This don’t is important because assurance of ranking the page at first page and failing to do so may harm your credibility, particularly if the designer is providing just design and coding services and not additional SEO services, there is not much that the designer can control and promises.
Tips to Go About An Effective SEO
At this point of our article when the role of a designer in SEO is well understood, we are now able to give some useful tips to our designers which are helpful while designing and coding the website with the aim of achieving good page ranking.
Keyword Search – the SEO Optimizer
It is probable that client has not considered or is not sure what keywords and phrases they want to use in order to address their target audience and market. At this stage designer can play an important role in assisting them by doing some basic keyword research to determine which phrases searchers should be used and what are possible related phrases. Research is always helpful for designer and client to determine how much competition exists for chosen phrases. There are numerous softwares that can help you to conduct your efficient research on choosing keywords.
Clever Use of Page Title
It is highly advisable not to undermine the importance of page title in SEO. The most practiced option is to include selected, researched key words in page titles so as to provide the best match when someone searches for the targeted word or phrase. Don’t hesitate to reuse the titles in the body text.
The Header and Sub-header Trick
In is important to that heading tags should be used to indicate headers and sub-headers within pages. It is possible to achieve the desired design by setting font weight, style, or size without using header tags as the header tags indicate importance and structure for search engines. This kind of design will make it easier for search engines crawlers to know what is being emphasized on the page, and they can help the designer to be able to target specific phrases.
Lead the Search Engines and Visitors to Your Blog
The most important tip in SEO for designers is to do link building and link exchanging with other high ranked websites on your site. It is one of the most important phenomena in effective SEO. However, it does not mean you can ignore the importance of internal links. Occasionally, search engines assume that the pages that have the most internal links pointing towards them are most important. For better understanding consider the following example. If every page on a site includes a link to a particular page that includes detailed information about a product or article it would be reasonable to believe that the detail page is significantly important. Effective usage of internal links can make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl through the site and find all of the content/pages, plus effective internal linking will make a site easy to use and navigate for visitors, which is ultimately more important than search engine rankings.
Don’t Forget to Use the Sitmap
It is always a good idea to use site map. There are two different kinds of sitemaps with their own significance. The first sitemap is Google sitemap which is definitely not intended to be used by human visitors, rather it exists to help search engines find all of the important content of a site. The other type is XML sitemap which makes it easier for the search engine spiders to crawl the site and it minimizes the chance of a spider missing a certain page and not including it in the index.
There is another kind of sitemap called HTML sitemap. It is intended to be used by human visitors as a way to find specific content on the site however; they also have an SEO-related purpose.
Easy and Friendly URL
It is good to use easy and friendly URL. Large numbers of wed addresses are already taken and clients want to have specific URL without taking its impact on SEO in consideration. However, the URL of a page can have some impact on its search engine rankings, so it is best to use keywords or phrases within the URL in order to have positive impact on SEO. It is highly advisable to add important words or phrases in URL that will tell both human visitors and search engines what the page is about without being absurdly long. Hyphens or underscores can be used for separating the words in order to make it easy to remember for its visitors as well as for search engine.
Name the Image According to the Title
Do not let the images go on your website without appropriate captions. It is very useful to add images because it gives a chance to add a caption which should include the related key words and phrases for search engine to pick them in search results quickly and that definitely enhances SEO results.
We can now conclude this article by assuming that the above instructions will serve best for web designers in designing an immaculate website. Designers and their SEO skills are important for visitor’s aesthetics and traffic stats. It would be justified to say that design is only a part of the SEO process. On the other hand there are number of on-page factors that a designer can, and should, control in order to build a search-friendly website for optimal results.