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A frequently asked questions and one that I’m sure we’ve all pondered from time to time – what factors or elements are combined to produce a search engine friendly web design? Here, I’ll list what I consider to be the main qualities of a search engine friendly website. We work with lots of web design companies who outsource their SEO to us and these are the elements that we always check are being implemented. We also use these design considerations in auditing existing websites before we begin SEO work on them:
So these are the three main elements that we design to but there are more. These elements are more specific and you may even be able to find these kind of faults on your website right now:
Yes we always consider search engines but when we’re designing search engine friendly websites it’s all too easy to fall into traps as we’re deep in detail and creative thought. I’ll give you a clear and tangible example of this…look at your home page and read the content as a user then decide if you understand the content and if you’d understand it as a novice to the topic. With our website we’ll never use an abbreviated term such as SEO without explaining that it stands for search engine optimisation first. Then through out the rest of the website we’ll continue to use the abbreviated term, SEO. This is pretty basic content writing practice but you’ll notice that we’ll continue to introduce the phrase as search engine optimisation then add the abbreviation throughout every page that it exist on in our website. We don’t simply mention the full phrase the once. This is because each web page will be considered within it’s own right or each web page is considered to be discrete. This is an important realisation when copy writing for websites and considering overall information architecture. It’s also important to realise that you’ll add new web pages on your website to explain different terms and then inner link them as you see fit rather than repeating things again and again. For instance, if I was tasked with writing copy for a web page about ‘Search engine optimisation for small businesses’, I might at first produce a web page (or link to a pre-existing web page about ‘Search engine optimisation’ and then inner link to it. This is a good way to grow a website and offer links to other web pages within your website which explain terms more effectively. Doing this provides further reading, links topics and aims to create a great usable experience for your website’s visitors.
So as you can see from the above paragraph, a true website audit cannot be performed automatically because we must get to know a business and check that the content provided is for all aspects of the target market. Remember, that prospects will be in the research stage of the buying process and may need to receive education on SEO or what other type of topic/product/service that your website is advertising. With this in mind it’s important to provide content that everyone will understand, thus linking to supportive pages to fill in information for novices who don’t yet understand what SEO is yet. This prevents duplicate content and means that you will have to constantly audit your content as you add new content. Make your website a resource of information and link to some authority websites too because there’s no point in reinventing the wheel.
Any automatic SEO audit tool can identify if you have H1 tags on your pages, whether your meta description is too long and so on but finding out if a website is truly search engine friendly is about much more than this. We find that many SEO companies are good at doing the basics but Internet Marketing Platinum are amongst the best in the UK who provide that level of SEO and search engine friendly web design that cannot be surpassed by the majority of our competitors.