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Tips for Web designers from and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Specialist

Web design and SEO component

Search engine optimisation has been a hot topic for a while. Many web site owners understand that without professional SEO service their investments in web sites are likely to fail. It is typical though to see professionally designed pages that miss or ignore the SEO component.

Web designers have plenty of things to take care of or worry about. Static or dynamic, ASP or PHP, HTML or XHTML, browser compatibility, Flash and scripting - this is just a very short list of problems they face. Being busy with their primary tasks web designers often miss search engine issues.

That can be a primary reason for many web sites and web pages not appearing in search results at all. Although SEO should be performed by specialists, some initial steps can be done during the web design stage.

10 Tips for Web Designers

  1. Do not miss the Title tag.
    Although it is optional, it has a maximum weight for search engines. SEO specialists spend hours researching and creating good titles. Do your client a favor - if SEO is not budgeted for - make sure that every page you work on has a meaningful title.
  2. Do not miss DESCRIPTION meta tag.
    All meta tags are optional. Be aware that description is second important SEO issue. Try to match it to title.
  3. Make sure that title and description are located within the HEAD.
  4. Do not use dynamic pages with "?" if you can.
    The project architecture may dictate usage of PHP, ASP etc. However search engines are reluctant to index them.
  5. JScript is fun to use but it makes it harder for search engines to understand the content of the page. Move your script out in separate file.
  6. Pages with Flash are difficult (practically impossible) to optimise for search engines. How about web sites that are built on Flash? They impress visitors. However how would visitors find such web sites in first place?
  7. Utilise style sheets.
    Most of modern pages use style sheets. Very few utilise them effectively. That is why web pages are overloaded with HTML attributes. That makes them heavier and slower in load, more expensive in maintenance.
  8. Search engines look for text - not images. If possible use text rather than image.
  9. Text of the page should be at least 250 words long. Search engines do not score pages with just a few sentences.
  10. Text of the page shouldn't be very lengthy. To make search engines happy stick with the page size of 15KB - including images.

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