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Website Design & SEO

Most designers nowadays do way more than just create the visuals and the overall site experience. They are major players in writing front-end code. What I’m trying to say is that the SEO activities for your site should be handled by your designer. However, there are a growing number of designers that don’t know enough to fully optimize a site for search engines.

This post will provide some very important information to help the amateur and the professional designer better their SEO skills.

Always Stick With One URL
When you first build your site, make a decision from the start to use or forget the “www” in your URL. After you pick one or the other, stay with it. Google, for example, reads www.websitename and websitename.com as completely separate sites with duplicate content, which they do not like with a passion.

The Code Must Have More Flow Than Your Design
As you’re creating your site, try to stick with semantic code. If you use descriptive tags to organize your pages, Google will read it better and have a deeper understanding of your page. This will make it easier on you when it comes to switching styles for your site.

Bring in More Links
The more incoming links you have is a major factor in the overall placement of your site’s ranking. By having high-quality and exclusive content is a guarantee to get people to link back to you. Another way is to go crazy with your own links.

Go Easy on the Keywords
I know it’s pretty important to have them show up throughout your content, such as articles, titles, and tags. It’s also ideal if you have them appear at the beginning and end of your posts, but go easy, or it will cause problems for you if you get flagged for keyword stuffing.

Don’t Use Flash
I know it’s pretty cool to have some effects for your site, but don’t do it. Google has a hard time reading flash, which means the content and links can’t be indexed.

AJAX in Moderation
Sure, AJAX is pretty sweet when you want to heighten the user’s experience, but don’t go overboard with it. The content you create with AJAX has a hard time being linked to. Try to follow this rule: If it’s a single page, then don’t load it with AJAX.

Page Titles Are Your Best Friends
Each page on your site has a title, and each one must be unique. If you stick with one title for all your pages, Google will read it as every page having the same content.

Use Text Over Images
I know designers love to make things as visually pleasing as possible. This probably means that they’ll ask you to replace your heading text with a smoother, cleaner look. You should stay away from this habit. Once more, Google can’t read the contents of a picture, and this is where you should put your highly critical keywords or phrases.

But Keep on Using Images
You should always use the alt attribute of an image to label it. As smart as Bing/Google/Yahoo are, they can’t comprehend what an image is saying. If you forget about this process, it will cost you a tremendous amount of lost traffic from Google image searches.

Feel free to add your own SEO hints and tips…