How to design SEO websites is a perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality with the latter being more important for driving business by generating leads and creating opportunities for conversion. Since the purpose of website owners is to monetize the opportunities that arise from it, web designers have to concentrate on the functional aspects of websites more than the aesthetics. When you select a WordPress theme for your site, look into the functionalities that come as default and understand how much you can enhance it by using suitable plugins.  Consider the aspects of page load speed, user-friendliness, ease of navigation and the responsiveness of design in addition to other features that make the website search engine friendly.  According to the experts at Omega SEO, unless the website is attractive to search engines and capable of offering the best user experience, it can never do well in SEO.

Design affects SEO

The layout of the website design plays a vital role in SEO performance because it can affect search rankings. Search engine spiders crawl the websites to comprehend its quality and content and then index it so that it becomes easy to locate it. The layout of the design influences how well the spiders can crawl the website and facilitate indexing, which if done poorly will affect search rankings adversely. How web designers can make the design more functional and business oriented and what aspects they have to focus on would become clear by reading this article.

SEO friendly navigation

For doing well in SEO, websites must have designs that search engines find easy to crawl. The navigation must be easy and methodical so that all areas of the website receive the same level exposure during crawling. If some parts of the site are not crawled, it could affect the indexing, which in turn affects search rankings.  The aspect of easy navigation is important from the user’s perspective too, as it leads to the better user experience.  The easier it is to navigate the website; more interest it would generate among viewers to spend more time on the site that increases the chances of conversion. Although JavaScript and Flash navigation might lure users and seem attractive, it does not work well for search spiders that have difficulty in recognizing it. Off-screen navigation and fixed screen navigation are also not favorable and best avoided.

Keep away from graphics only design

Do not use too much graphics in the design when designing SEO websites because although it might appear to be aesthetically pleasing, it creates impediments to optimization. When you immerse text in the graphic design, the spiders are unable to read the text within the graphics or animation except for the text used in the ALT tag. This means that the website would miss on the opportunities for earning high ranks.  Making an HTML site for users along with a Flash website or graphics heavy website would be a better option in case you insist on continuing with your fascination for heavy graphic designs. This website would earn good ranks, and it would be easier to promote online. It offers more options to users who can use either Flash or HTML depending on the resource at their disposal.

Proper HTML coding

Make sure that you use clean and efficiently written codes because it would increase the chances of better ranking in search results. Moreover, you have to optimize the HTML codes of your website to improve rankings. Ensure that the lines of codes relating to the content or else the rankings would come down. By using CSS for page styling, you can considerably reduce the extent of text formatting related to HTML code. Avoid too much use of italicized and bold texts, too many hyperlinks, and improper use of Meta tags, heading, and alt, because these would adversely affect search rankings.

Size of website

The size of the website as determined by the number of pages is an essential factor in ranking. Since the quality of content is a factor that search engines consider for ranking, the number of pages should be sufficient to accommodate and display good quality content. Having a single page website or a website with fewer pages would reduce your chances of earning good ranks.

Responsive web design

To follow the best practice of the industry, you have to create websites by keeping in mind that it should be suitable for viewing with ease on small screens of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Adopting responsive web design ensures that the website is viewed in the same way on all kinds of devices – desktops, laptops and mobile devices. With access to mobile users, your site earns more extensive exposure that drives more traffic.

The above measures should help you to optimize the website for search engines, but you must also ensure that users’ get their share of enjoyment from the site.

About the author: Jeremy Walsh is a tech enthusiast and animation specialist who takes an interest in web design.  He began his career with Omega SEO in Boston and is now working as a consultant in his capacity. Jeremy is a sportsman at heart and loves to wield the baseball bat whenever he gets an opportunity.