Search engines (SE) play a vital role in helping users find information over the Internet. With the use of certain keywords, users are able to find web pages filtered by search engines in terms of relevance, making it easier for them to find the information they need. With Google alone, billions of search queries are done every month (US). Add that up with queries from other major search engines such as Yahoo and AOL, this massive amount of usage makes search engines the biggest source of traffic for any website.
Seeing how beneficial they can be for websites, the question now is how to appear on the first few pages of the search results for their targeted keywords? Since people tend to stop browsing search results after a few pages, it is thus important for websites to come up on the first page of search results. Aside from Search Engine Optimization (off-site SEO in particular), having a search engine friendly (SEF) web design helps boost the search rank of a website.
Search engine friendly web design is aimed at building websites on a framework that is easily read by engines therefore giving them a higher chance on gaining good position in search rankings. Website owners and web designers have become well aware of the importance of building search engine friendly web design, but for those who are relatively new to this concept, here are some thing to take note of in order to build an SEF web design:
1. Meta tags. Meta tags can be found in the head section of an HTML document. Though meta tags are no longer as influential as they were before in terms of search rankings, they can still boost a websites popularity in search engines. The title tag very much affects on how these engines categorize your website, therefore its important to have a relevant title tag on the pages of your website. The meta keywords and description provide additional information about your web page. Some engines use the meta description as the information below the link to your web page in search results.
2. Search engine friendly URLs. An example of a search engine friendly URL would be econowebexpress.com/full-feature-list. With keywords listed on the URL, it’s rather SE friendly compared to URLs with random alphanumeric characters and symbols. Not only does it help you boost your search ranking, it’s also easier for your readers to remember.
3. Content. Needless to say, the content of your web page should contain relevant keywords since search engines would rank websites based on the relevance of their content with search keywords.
4. Flash design. Since search engines rely heavily on text content in their indexing, websites made purely or mostly made in flash or may not be considered as search engine friendly web design. Before, content placed in flash are not readable by web spiders, but now there are tweaks on how to optimize flash for search engines.
5. Site map. Having a site map increases your website’s SE friendliness. A better way of making a site map is by using keywords or phrases that is targeted by the said page that you are linking to.
6. Alt tags on images. Since images are not being crawled by web spiders, placing an alt tag on images helps boost ranking since it’s readable by major search engines.
Having a search engine friendly web design helps boost search engine ranking, therefore a concept that should not be taken for granted by website owners and designers. It is a big help in terms of search engine optimization. But since SEO is a very dynamic concept, what may be effective techniques today may no longer be effective tomorrow. The same holds true web the concept of search engine friendly web design. It is best website owners and designers should be updated with the latest concepts in web design and search engine optimization.