Every website has an objective. The website is conceptualized based on the objective and this is a very crucial stage. Designers prepare a few concepts and then zero down to the final concept.
An informative web site will have a different kind of look and feel Vis-a-Vis a site that sells products. The informative site will certainly have more content and the product site will have more images.
Every webmaster today wants to have a website that looks good, is in synchrony with the latest technology, downloads fast, and draws the attention of visitors. This is where the website designer and the SEO expert need to be on the same page. The tussle between a web site designer and an SEO expert is as old as SEO. SEO experts will try to optimize various SEO on page elements, sometimes compromising on the beauty of the web site, which sometimes does not go down well with the designer.
So what is the SEO design solution? Is there a solution to this problem?
There certainly is a middle path.
Effective search engine optimization does not mean doing away with pretty design elements but working around them to providing effective solutions. It is a good practice to include SEO experts right from the conceptualizing stage of a website. This will at least minimize some of the issues if SEO experts are called in much later.
I have found that most web designers love to use images and there is a good reason behind it; it does look nice and classy. For instance, images in the navigation panel looks very attractive and stand out.Ask any SEO expert, and they will tell you that textual navigation is the best. I would recommend both. We get to keep the beauty and add value to it too! No one said that you just need to have one navigation panel. Use the same navigation panel; one with images and the other more practical and simple navigation panel, can be at the bottom of the page.
Custom websites usually have a lot of design elements in order to beautify it and make it attractive. It is important that you make your web site attractive, but you will need to ensure that the beautification does not increase the download speed, and does not put off search engines because they will only see images in your website. There needs to be a trade-off.
SEO can work well only if it is supported by a web design that is user friendly. Simple things like ensuring that images have alt tags, that each image is optimized in terms of size, so that the web site does not become heavy, or any element that might be taking away value from the website rather than adding to it, needs consideration.
On-page SEO works on various web design elements to optimize content. Designers and SEO experts need to work together to produce optimum SEO results.For instance, an opening flash web site can be extremely attractive and can retain the visitor’s attention but web designers need to ensure that it is not lengthy or does not take too much time to download. For visitors who do not have the patience or time to view the flash, there should be a html option. After all, it is not just search engines that we are concerned about, it is our visitors who matter the most. Imagine, if someone is trying to access your website from their mobile or a slow network, it will not really be a grand experience for them!
Web designers should keep the end users in mind and use persuasive web design while designing the web site. And this is where SEO professionals can add value. An attractive web site that is user friendly, and search engine friendly is quite possible to create.
The success of your website is a combined effort of coming up with a concept, design, navigation, presentation, ideas, content, and marketing your website online. Everyone and everything should come together to produce optimum results.
You might want to check out my earlier article on SEO and Web site designing best practices.