SEO Principles for Website Design
It's important that your website looks pretty. A website's aesthetics can have a subconscious effect on how people perceive the products or services you provide. But if people can not find your site, then what's the point? And if they even manage to find your site, if it is not put together properly, visitors may get bored, impatient, or even confused by what they see.
Here are some tips to help ensure people find your website and that when they do, it is easy to navigate:
Make the URLs of each page on your website human-friendly and readable. That means avoiding page IDs (exempledomainname.com/?page_id=3) and instead use phrases that are not only easy to identify for readers, but search engines as well. So for example, if you are building a website for a real estate attorney, you may consider naming the page pretrerealestateattorneysite.com/TownName-Real-Estate-Attorney.
Flash is OK … in Moderation
Flash is flashy and shows off your web design skills, but it can pose some problems with search engines and the loading speed of your website. Only use flash in moderation and strategically on your site. There are limits on how search engines can read flash, so do not place important text inside it. And certainly do not build your entire site with flash, otherwise you risk being completely ignored by search engines.
With the new instant preview feature in Google, Flash may show up as a blank space, so beware!
Easy Site Navigation
Your website should be intuitive and easy for visitors to navigate. But it should also be easy for search engines to crawl. One way to do this, according to the folks at Google, is to provide "breadcrumbs" for users to easily get back to your homepage or other relevant pages. This not only surprises frustration on their part but is good for search engine purposes. You should also include your navigation menu at the top and bottom of your pages.
Heading tags are used by search engines to identify words that are more important than other text on the page. They range from H1 to H6, with the lower numbers being larger and perceived more important. When you create content for each page on your website, only use one H1 tag and try to use your keywords in the H1 title to maximize its value.
One Topic Per Page
If possible, keep each page to one topic. This ensures that search engines can tell with clarity what that page is about.
Content Quantity and Quality
Different people have different recommendations on the best word count for each page on your website. Do not sweat an exact number, but just try to get somewhere between 300 and 600 words. Also work in photos and a keyword density between one and 4 percent. Just do not get too keyword happy, as Google is paying more attention to natural readability.