Web designers, what do search engine bots require from you?

0 december 19 by baseklas

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As a web designer it is important to know how to make your website search engine friendly. Also, what criteria you should cover and what aids you should use.

First, let's agree that all professional web designers create good, semantic graphs and not those old-fashioned table designs. This is exactly the point ... Why? Because search engines are like people, they do not want to read tons of unnecessary information, because they get bored so quickly and would leave your site before they even examined it fully. Also, they can not decide which part is important and which is not ... Like lists, menus and titles.

So you should make sure to insert the correct mark on the right information. I'm not saying that writing and marking semantic information will increase your traffic and you'll get high rankings in the search engines, but it make search engines review and understand the content of your website more easily. This will help the process of search engine optimization of your website.

Now, how to get the search engine bots understand which parts of the site are good while crawling it? This is very simple and will get to it step by step.


Let's begin our "journey"! For start, you must add the standard Meta information in your HTML header. Title tag, keywords tag and finally description tag - in this order. Then you can add JavaScript and CSS files. Why? Because search engines look for this piece of information, and if it is at the very top this will facilitate their task.

Please note that each page should have its own unique Meta data, so avoid its repetition on every page.

Footer (the power)

Let's look at something else, namely, the Footer - where you'd normally insert some copyright and other useful links, This is the perfect place for one more navigation element that consists of keywords arranged in a certain order (<UL>). This is not spam, and we do not fill the page with tons of unnecessary links. For some sites with many pages this is very useful, because when users reach the bottom of a page, they have another handy navigation bar.

Your Body (the gold mine)

Let's move on to the next part of this SEO exercise, namely, the body element or just the "body" of your page.  That's the focus of all the information that search engines will try to find.

In the body of your HTML file place a menu or a navigation DIV very early at the top. Thus, the first thing that a search engine would detect will be navigation, which typically is keyword rich.

Put these items in a <UL> tag because they have to be in one place! Make sure navigation is available in each of your pages, on the same spot.

NOTE: If you use Flash, JavaScript or image navigation, you'd better stop doing this because these are not recognized by some of the search engines and at the same time these are less accessible and user friendly.

Now you've ordered your navigation links using the most important keywords and marked them as important elements. Wasn't this nice and easy?

NOTE: Placing the navigation at the beginning of a body element does not mean that it will appear at the top of your page. With CSS you can control its positioning and you can show it on the left or on the right side of your page!


Since this part varies from site to site and from page to page on the same site, this will give you just general guidelines and recommendations.

First, start by placing the breadcrumb. This is something very important for any site, as it indicates the exact place where visitors are located at the moment and is a good place to put your keywords with descriptive title attributes. Breadcrumbs must be in the early parts of the content, as this is the first thing search engine examines as an element of your site.

Second, add your most important keywords in the content by using <H1> <H2> <H3> tags for this purpose. So, the search engine will find you're showing the most important parts of your site. The idea here is to use appropriate markup to showcase your content.

NOTE: It is not advisable to stuff your page with keywords and links - use them wisely and carefully, or it will turn against you. Search engines are just tools that people use to achieve their goals!

Web designers can control the location of each element and thus its importance by moving it to the beginning or the end in the markup. At this stage, your choice of layout is very important, and it is important for you to be aware of the nature of every page and section of your site.

Link levels

Make sure that all your pages are accessible with just two or three clicks, and are linked in such a way, that for example the third page can be accessible from the first page and vice versa. It is also important to reduce the number of external links, so avoid elements linking to other sites (which, of course, depends on the idea and the purpose of the site). Speaking of links, try to reduce them to 100 on a single page.

Always use a title and alt attributes as appropriate definitions to your photos and links (do not take advantage of this and spam).

File size matters

While coding the site, always remember that good sites are "light", so try not to create big and heavy pages. Try to limit every page to 50-100 Kb of content.

Internet applications

Avoid using content with important keywords coded in JavaScript, or displayed in pictures. Do not hide your valuable keyword rich content from major search engines. Always remember that building a website is a job for  professionals and you are a professional! Your recommendations should be directed to the common benefit of both your client and their users.

To summarize ...

I think this is the end of my post, in which I explained ... How, as a professional designer, you should make your sites, what are the key elements and how to build the general outlook of a site. You should know that there are many things that search engine optimization depends on and what I described here is just a tiny part that typically concerns web designers. Always rely on proven methods, and do not attempt to circumvent the system.

The purpose of this article is to draw the attention of web designers on how to create usable and search engine optimized web sites.


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