What’s the use of having a website, if no one can find it? SEO web design is more than just a buzzword; it means that your website is optimized by design (architecture, tags, titles, links, sitemaps, etc.) and not trying to make up for sub-optimal inconsistencies after the fact.
Did you know that 60% of the ranking factor for competitive keywords and acquiring multiple keywords is based upon on page SEO and on page continuity (not just strong off page links), which means the less structured your on page SEO is, the harder you have to work to achieve a competitive ranking.
The days of building static websites page by page are coming to a close. Dated platforms like (FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc.) that do not allow the content to speak to other segments (such as an inherent dynamically updating navigation menus or sitemaps) are essentially defunct in competitive industries.
Websites need to be dynamic, lean and pliable in order to incorporate changes at the side wide level (much like widgets or modules) as well as have the ability to customize each of the elements that require fine-tuning independent from those widgets (which means solution by design is more than just a motto).
Although search engines can parse an entire website (to look from the outside in) and earmark which pages are ideal destinations for specific keywords, it still has to extract the relationships between three critical areas from each page (1) the title, purpose and topic of the page (2) the content and (3) the internal and external percentages of anchor text / links that support both navigation as well as term weighted that create prominence for specific terms.
What are some of the components of Superior SEO Web Design?
- optimal and sub-optimal naming conventions
- relevant meta descriptions
- site architecture (flat, themed, tiered)
- sitemaps (how many, which type xml, ror, html?)
- enhanced tagging features and tag pages
- landing pages (establishing a hierarchy)
- syndication (RSS aggregators)
- elimination of duplicate content through custom
sidebars, iframes or footers as secondary navigation
- an SEO friendly CMS (content management system)
These are just a few components that search engines assess to extract relevance. The notion is, if you have the ability to scale content over time, then the real missing ingredient is a pliable template that you can use as a platform to support the various branches of the website.
Over time as additional pages get indexed and the website becomes more robust, the pages, posts or landing pages you created 6 months ago, are now pillars of relevance to use as a foundation for anchoring new content or landing pages with an inherent trusted sponsor.
You have to realize that with so many new pages appearing online each day (as a result of parasite SEO, scraping and competition), search engines have had to introduce a stricter array of filters to combat spam and keep their indexes diversified and useful to the end user.
This means purging websites that lack the necessary ingredients to compete. On a theoretical scale of 1-10, you need a 7 or more to make it to the top 10 search results; that means consistency and structure are mandatory components.
Things to avoid:
- The use of inline style sheets
(keeping your style data on the page)
- Tables for layout (use divs or css instead)
- clunky java script navigation
- a template that does not allow you to
make each (header, footer or page unique).
- Relying too heavily on primary navigation
use internal links to spread ranking factor.
- Flash as the main wrapper of the site
- .cfm or iframes without making the individual pages
accessible to crawlers with unique naming conventions
Newer websites are confronted with the most challenges; so the idea is to streamline as many components as possible so that they all work in tandem to reinforce relevance.
If you are starting fresh, often you can migrate older content into a new content management system, use 301 redirects to usher in the new changes at the expense of a temporary dip in traffic levels until search engines re-crawls the entire website.
If your site is newer, you simply integrate an entire migration with ease, since the pages do not have a great deal of sway. First impressions mean allot to search engines (just like humans), so, it is better to make a strong first impression with an optimized page than asking it to come back after you optimize older segments.
This is why we insist that our clients also focus equally as much on creating content for topical relevance to create a relationship with the search engine spiders. The more fresh content you feed them, the more frequently they will return to ingest new changes and crawl deeper into your website.
What happens next is an increase in rankings for a broader array of keywords as they start to identify what the gist of your entire website is truly about. The purpose of SEO is not just keywords, it is the ability to develop website authority (so you can spend those credits as you deem necessary) on the keywords of choice.
You should not sacrifice design for optimization, but rather integrate them from the start or consider starting fresh with a new subfolder or segment of a website to consolidate your SEO efforts. Then you can gradually augment and upgrade dilapidated sections over time (instead of changing everything at once).
For a more technical overview of the topics we touched upon, feel free to peruse our collection of posts on SEO web design as well as download one of our three optimized wordpress themes (SEO Basics, Small Business SEO or Happy Landings) or download our powerful All-in-One WordPress Plugin SEO Ultimate.