SEO, or search engine optimization, is more than just submitting your website to search engines and picking a domain name. For your website to be successful, you need to adopt several different SEO techniques. One of the most important SEO techniques that you need to consider is your website design.
You may think that the actual appearance of your site has nothing to do with how well it ranks in the search engines – think again. Certain aspects of web design can certainly affect your search engine rankings significantly. And some of these aspects can affect your readership as well. There are many things to consider in designing a website before publishing or submitting it to search engines.
First of all, you need to know how search engines crawl websites. Search engines are unable to crawl through frames and flashing graphics. Search engines only see text; therefore, if the main page of your website is made up mostly of photos, with very little text, search engine crawlers can rank the website very low.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure that every page of your website contains text that is relevant to the site. It is generally a good idea to aim for at least 300 words of site-related text per page. Of course, you can have more than 300 words of text on a given page. And that text can be split into smaller pieces of text, including lists, photo captions, and headlines. But make sure that the correct content is present. Otherwise, the search engine bots may rank your site poorly.
Now back to the flashing graphics mentioned above. These can cause a problem in another way besides affecting the search engine bots. Some site visitors may have slow connections. Visitors with slower connections will likely click their “back” button before your website finishes loading. This doesn’t mean that you can’t include visuals, but you should be careful with your choices and not add too many on one page and compress images.
The choice of colours is also very important. Poor colour choices can drive readers away from your website. In the design of your web design, choosing colours that are too light or too dark can make it difficult to read the text, and no one will bother to read a text on a visually unpleasant website if they can click on their “back” button.
The same goes for the web design font styles. If you prefer to choose a unique or different font style for your website, think carefully about your choice. Some font styles can be difficult to read in blocks of text, and it is best to use them only for headings or signatures. It’s also important to remember that some browsers (like Opera or Safari, perhaps) may not display all font styles. So, if you choose an obscure font type, you risk scaring readers off because the text is difficult to read or because it just doesn’t appear at all. For more information, we recommend that you take a look at the English site Smashing Magazine.
When planning the design of a site, it is always best to ask for other opinions. Style the site the way you want it, then ask other unbiased people for their feedback before uploading it. This is the best way to spot design problems in advance.