The majority of traffic on the Internet comes from search engines, but most people only follow links on the first page of search results. This means that websites that do not have high search engine rankings are going to have very few visitors. Therefore, it is important for webmasters to use search engine optimization (SEO) design practices when they are creating web pages. While SEO is based on keyword content, there are also a number of other factors that determine a website’s search engine rankings, and many of them are related to the HTML and coding of a website. SEO website design includes things like file naming structures, image identification, appropriate use
of coding and ensuring that a website loads quickly.
Keyword Based File Names
Search engines take their cues from a number of sources to determine what a website’s content contains, and one of them is file and directory names. Since search engine indexing algorithms are now demoting websites that use black hat keyword stuffing techniques, naming files based on keywords can give a website a keyword boost without being hit for overusing keywords. Webmasters can even benefit from sorting images and files into multi-tier directories. For example, an address of “domain.com/keyword_one/keyword_two/keyword_three.html” will make search engine robots associate three different keywords with a web page before it even begins indexing the content.
Making the Most of Images
Another important part of SEO that many people neglect is optimizing images. While search engine robots cannot actually see what is in an image, they can take cues from text and coding around images. Webmasters can use the HTML IMG “ALT” tag to let search engines know what the content of an image is, but webmasters should also use keyword related file names as well. Furthermore, search engines will often index images based on text that is closest to an image. Therefore, using a caption or putting an image in a table with a short description underneath it can further associate particular keywords with images. Using these methods to identify pictures can boost a website’s keyword associations and put a website at the top of image search results.
Highlighting Keywords with Coding
In addition to highlighting important keywords with file names and the use of images, webmasters can also emphasize particular keywords or phrases through using headers and titles. While search engine robots will index an entire site, putting special code around particular sections of text will serve to underscore them. Titles can be as long as needed, but using overly long titles can count as keyword stuffing. Headers are another important part of SEO design methods because they tell search engines what the most important points of a website’s content is.
Most people will not wait forever for a website to load, and search engines take this into account when indexing and ranking websites. This is why it is important for webmasters to optimize coding so that pages load as quickly as possible and to ensure that images are compressed to shrink file size and, therefore, load time. No matter how well SEO website design practices are implemented, slow websites will have problems achieving high search engine rankings.
Ronald Brown is an Expert Author and Director of WebsiteDirect, a full service Las Vegas SEO and Lead Generation Marketing Company. To discover how a website and SEO can help your business get found online, generate new leads, and convert them into paying customers, go to: http://www.websitedirect.org