SEO and web design are both important. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of beautiful web sites that had absolutely no traffic. I’ve also seen some very ugly web sites that had tremendous traffic. In either case, it is obvious that when building a web site that the design and search engine optimization must be coordinated together.
The reason behind this is because there are several factors related to the design of the web site both seen and unseen that involve on page SEO. The whole process starts with finding out the goals of the owner of the new web site. This includes a full analysis of all the potential key words as well as the necessary setup of the web site itself. So, it is very useful that the SEO and web design team work together with the owner at the beginning stages of development.
The first and most important area that needs to be coordinated is the decision on what words to use for the title of the home page. This is critical and should never be overlooked at the start of the on page SEO process. It is very important to do your research before deciding on how to structure the title. You never want to choose a string of keywords that has too much competition or you’ll never make it to the top of the rankings.
What this comes down to is making sure that the design team uses keywords that don’t need to be changed later. This is always a bad thing when looking at search engine ranking algorithms. Search engines such as Google like to see the same title tag all the time, so changing after the initial launch will cause a setback. This is because the initial crawl will get indexed by Google and stay there for awhile until it gets adjusted to the new title. This is the case with all the other on page SEO items as well.
The next part of the SEO and web design process needs to be the inclusion of appropriate headers. The heading tags such as <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> should be used appropriately on each page including the home page. Never stuff the key words into these headings – use them logically and in an organized manner. The look and feel a site from the design phase will complement the on page SEO effort.
It is very helpful to put some sort of content on each page as well. This should be understood during the design phase and properly taken account of. By giving the site content, the search engines will have a better idea of its value and relevance to specific keywords. A good amount of content would be at least 400 words that is rich in the key word from about 2 to 5% of the time.
Another area to be designed well is what can’t be seen by the typical user. These are called Meta tags. A very important Meta tag is called a “description”. This is what shows up on the global search engine results underneath the title. So, the description needs to be added prior to the launch of the site so that when Google does an initial crawl it will have both a title and a description that works with the key word phrase chosen.
Finally, search engine friendly URLs are very important to search engines, especially Google. This is because the Google algorithm takes the URL string literally when looking at the site. So, the URL should be set up in advance to complement the keyword structure for the particular page.
In summary, it is very important when you are starting a new web site to make sure both SEO and web design are done together. Otherwise, you could be in for a long process of adjusting your site due to a lack of planning. The best web site design companies also integrate on page SEO into the process every time. Make sure you choose a company that has this combination.