How many of you are still using frames on your websites and want to rank competitively for keywords with high search volume? (slumping in seat as hand raises) I hate to break this to you, but like oil and water, frames and SEO just don’t mix.
Just to touch lightly on the subject of Seo Web Design and how many people reading this are still using web development methods were constructed prior to current design standards (namely the mid 90’s). Frames in particular is one method for constructing pages that for all better purposes, has been left behind as the evolution of form function, usability and aesthetic design have implemented new and exciting platforms in which to engage.
As a web design company in Chicago, our paths to cross with a number of small businesses still employing frames in their web designs who are seeking search engine optimization services.
Without digressing into the reasons why one should or should not use frames, let’s just say that if you want to have a number of pages in Google, Yahoo, MSN and others with content displayed with names like page1, page2, page3, etc. then no problem. However, in today’s hyper-competitive online market, you need to eliminate any element that is hindering your content from getting the full recognition it deserves. Also aside from the fact that not having a conclusive naming convention that strategically incorporates keywords into the titles of pages, it eliminates the ability to give each page it’s own unique identity in the title meta tag which is one of the most effective components to creating SEO friendly designs.
The downside of frames is, although the data in main body / content area the header and the footer appear intact (if you hit the site from the home page only), they actually are different files that when indexed by search engines are broken into pieces. For example you click on a result and instead of being able to see the masthead and navigation area, you just see content from one page with no head or tail (navigation or identity) indicating theme of feel of the site, how to move between pages etc., this is surely not the way to (a) impress your visitor (b) increase conversion or (c) make a brand statement.
From a standpoint of marketing it just leaves too many things to chance. Although the use of the noframes tag can be implemented, you are much better off switching to a more modern based model for constructing and managing you web pages such as .css, .asp .php .XHTML or others.
So, if rankings are important for you, you may wish to consider an audit of the code and eliminate any bloated elements such as inline style sheets, in line java script on the pages or flash based navigation. Internal links determine more of how the pages on your website are coordinated with the off page links that are pointing at them. So, if all of your main keywords are buried in code, chances are there are multiple opportunities being missed by your content from the Google bot, slurp or the main user agents who are unable to parse your data.
Instead, you could use text links for the main navigation and the sidebar in a 9 point font or implement non java script drop downs in order to offset the lack of linking between all of the pages in your website.
It has been stated time and time again, stick with text links is optimization is important, you can use other workarounds such as DHTML menus, but text links with .css are the hands down choice for ensuring that the anchor text in the link and the destination both gain the benefit of the link love coming in from other websites.
So remember, you have to keep it clean and keep your pages lean if you want to be taken seriously in the SERPs (search engine result pages). So, if a website audit is required, make sure before you spend any money on SEO, that your site is ready to take full advantage of the off page optimization.