Designing a website with search engine success in mind

These days, search engines play a pivotal role in the life of the internet. With billions of web pages available, as well photos and rich media assets, users habitually start many of their internet journeys at one of the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. For business website owners, search engines present both a major opportunity and a significant challenge.

The opportunity lies in, effectively, the free advertising that comes from being placed on the first page of a user’s search results. If you are running a website that trades in second-hand books for instance, then you can be sure that, should your site appear high up in search results, one way or another that site will be clocked by users.

The challenge lies in developing the site in such a way that high search engine rankings are achieved, and not just as a one-off but on a continuing basis. This search engine optimisation (SEO) process has become the preferred marketing instrument of website owners the world over.

Whilst some SEO success can be achieved by means external to the website, the methods which guarantee more lasting search-engine friendliness are the “on-page” techniques.

Here at SEO Consult, a leading UK website development and search marketing company, we take the view that “on-page” SEO needs to be integrated into overall design. This organic, consultative approach should be embedded into the website development process from the outset. For instance, designers can advise on the site’s domain name, bearing in mind that a suitably catchy website name (Facebook is an example of such a name) could well have visual implications that the designer could thread in to the final web design. A strong, catchy site name will help the site stand out from other websites more easily, and will make it more likely to gain high search engine rankings when users search for the name of the site. After all, Facebook and Twitter are quite unique-sounding names.

Moreover, a website design professional can have valuable input into the architecture of the site during the early planning stages. A lean, clear site navigation that ensures all content can be crawled, and can be done so speedily and efficiently, will have long-term SEO benefits. This is because the major search engines will be able to index your site smoothly whenever required.

Furthermore, a web design expert should have some influence over the overall tone of the web copy. The writing should be in agreement with the overall design. For example, if the designer has gone for a “smart-casual” boutique style web design, then a personable, friendly, informal writing tone should be a part of the process.

If the creative team as a whole takes this organic approach, then this will increase the chances of your site becoming popular. Other internet users will then be more likely to link to it, and link popularity is a further factor in propelling the website higher up the search engine rankings.

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