Web Design for SEO
SEO web design is an approach to website development that puts search market research ahead of the actual website build, and utilizes critical market data to determine how the site should be built and what content should be offered to visitors. Most websites are created by business owners or people familiar with the businesses’ goals and objectives, and these goals and objectives are hopefully in line with the actual search market demand. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and often websites need to be changed significantly to maintain keyword relevance within the search-engines.
Performing SEO keyword research before designing a website is the most critical step for any business that wants to be found for relevant search terms once the site is completed. Trying to force keywords into an existing information architecture can be awkward and even borderline spammy. The days of retro-fitting existing websites with new keywords is over and this tactic is less effective than ever. The search engines have been clear: if you want to rank for a target search term, you have to have relevant, unique, and engaging content that adds value to the user experience. Creating a website without having keyword research conducted ahead of time is akin to starting a business with performing zero market research, dangerous and wasteful.
Information architecture is the way in which the pages on a website are organized and presented to the user. Information architecture will determine how many pages will be built, where they will be located, what they will be about, and what content will be placed on each page to appropriately target identified search terms. Ensuring that the site structure is logical, easy to navigate, and relevant to our keywords and objectives is the top priority when designing the information architecture. Other considerations can be the scalability of the structure, as well as the accessibility of top pages.
Semantic markup is the method in which content is added to a web page, how it is viewed, and how it is consumed. Good semantic markup communicates the ideas on page in a logical way that defines priorities and organizes content for easier comprehension. On this page “SEO Web Design” is the overall theme of the page, with “keyword research,” “information architecture,” “semantic markup,” and “attractive design,” being supportive elements further defining “SEO Web Design.” Semantic markup will make use of different sized text, bolding, embedded links, bullet points, and a host of other elements that can be used to communicate the ideas on a page. When semantic markup is optimized, user experience flows through the page smoothly, resulting in easier consumption and comprehension.
While designing a site with SEO in mind is especially important, it is easy to go overboard and design your website for search engines instead of actual users… this is a mistake. You have probably come across websites ranking in the search results that didn’t “feel” like a legitimate site once you clicked though. This can be because of excess ads, links, or unnatural sounding text. Either way, when this perception takes place your chances of losing a potential customer increase dramatically. Good SEO web design will attract search engine spiders without sending your customers for the hills.