Website design and SEO is as much technical as it is an art form

Search engines and search engine robots follow a set of programmed rules that a website structure and design needs to follow for optimum results and visibility. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral component of web design — one should not be done without the other. The artfulness of webdesign and SEO is in striking a balance between trying to appeal to search engines and human readers at the same time.

Perhaps the best place to start is a list of what not to do when designing a website.

List of SEO and website design mistakes to avoid:

1. Full flash sites

Flash website may be impactful and pretty, however the search engines have a hard time indexing these sites and flash websites may become completely invisible. In addition, the hottest tech toys on the market right now, iPad and iPhone can’t resolve flash, so you might miss out on an entire group of readers and potential customers. An option could be to either have only part of your site in flash or have an alternate HTML version of your site.

2. Splash or Enter Now page

When the internet was young things like ‘flaming logos’ and ‘enter now’ pages were neat.  However, splash pages serve no purpose and the use of them should be avoided at all cost.  The fewer barriers you place between you and your customers, the better.  Your website should convey your message quickly and efficiently and not require users to click around to get to the good stuff.

3. Non specific page titles across the site

Are your all your pages identical? Then why would you have the same title on all your pages. A page URL title is designed to describe the topic of the page. This is useful for both the reader and the search engines, so both can know what the page is about.

4. No headings

A simple and great trick for improving your SEO is the proper use of heading tags (such as <H1>, <H2>, etc).  Not only does it  organize your page for an easy read by a human viewer, but the structure also helps the search engine robots understand the content and identify whats important about the content.

5. No content or stale pages

You want more traffic? Start writing. Yes, content is  (still) KING. Get a blog –  it’s simple to put together and it instantly adds fresh content to your website. It’s interesting to me that with wide popularity of blogs, people are still very resistant to the idea of blog for their own site.  If you’re still not sure about the idea, just think about your own search habits. Which pages and websites do you find more appealing,  static info or pages or blogs that specifically answer your search questions?

There of course many do’s and don’ts when it comes to website design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These are just a few of what I would consider big ones and a great place to start.

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