Best SEO Practices for Web Design

Best Principals to Boost Search Engine Optimization

Our clients are always concerned about making their sites as search-friendly as possible. We use several design principles to meet the demand for website designs that are not only great to use and attractive to look at, but which also offer search engine optimization (SEO) benefits.

Create a Crawlable Link Structure
Search engines follow links through a site to find each page, which they then list in an index. With this in mind, it’s important to structure your site so that the search engine crawler can find every page. Orphan pages (pages with no links pointing to them) are unlikely to be found by crawlers.

One good way to create a crawlable link structure is to use a design that places a menu on every page. From this menu, users and search engine crawlers can access all the most important pages, which can then link to minor pages. This kind of design is both search-friendly and user-friendly, as it makes all site pages easily accessible.

Make Content Indexable
Search engines can’t tell what an image depicts just by looking at it. Therefore, we need to provide a text description of each image in its HTML alt text field. Similarly, it’s important to provide transcripts for video and audio content. Search engines can’t index these types of content, but they can use the transcript to work out what the page is about based on the keywords included.

Use Keywords Wisely
Wherever possible, we try to use keywords in image alt attributes as well as in descriptions of videos and other types of non-indexable content. Including keywords in URLs is also a good idea, as it gives search engines a very clear signal of what the page is about. For example, Google can see immediately from the URL that this page is relevant for people looking for a Chicago web design company.

However, just as we have to be careful not to stuff keywords into our articles and blog posts, attempts to fill up every meta tag and alt attribute with as many keywords as possible are unlikely to end well. As always, the trick is to use keywords naturally and only where they are relevant.

Search engine optimization should never be the overriding concern when designing a website. User experience is always the most important feature. By following the above principles, however, a web design company can ensure that a beautiful and easy to use website is also optimized for search.

About Peter Ruchti


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