Any business that strives to improve its online presence needs to invest in website design. However, even a great website means little if its search rankings are bad – very few people will have the chance to check it out. To rectify this, you need to employ content improvement and SEO principles. Let’s expand on these eight tested SEO tips that can make your website more search-engine-savvy, without compromising its originality.

Insist on search-engine friendly site navigation

If you’re using Flash for navigation on your website, you better know how to make Flash items accessible and web-crawler friendly. search engines are having a hard time crawling a website that uses Flash. Alternatively, you should consider CSS and JavaScript, which are unobtrusive and yet provide almost everything Flash can do, without compromising your search engine rankings.

Keep scripts outside of the HTML

When coding your website, you need to ensure that your JavaScript and CSS are kept outside of the HTML document. Search engines access a website through its HTML content. Unless externalized, JavaScript and CSS add several lines of code, which are, as a rule, ahead of the actual content, slowing down the crawling process. One of the ways search engines rank websites is by the time needed to crawl them.

Design search-friendly URLs

By search-friendly URL we consider those that are easy to crawl and those that don’t contain query strings. The best-ranked URLs are those that contain keywords that describe the page content. For example, for a roofing website, great URLs would end in service/repairs/, services/roof-repairs/, services/commercial-repairs/. Certain content management systems will use automatically generated numbers and special code for page URLs, but you should use those that allow you to customize and ‘clip’ your website URL.

Post content that SE crawlers can read

In website design, you should insist on the organic structure for content, including headings, paragraphs, and links. Sites with insufficient content don’t fare well in search results, although most of the issues can be avoided by better planning in the design stage. Experts at Elevate Digital, for example, employ both the knowledge of SEO and website design to deliver websites that are not only attractive and user-friendly but also have a seamless structure of internal links and optimized metadata, so they appeal to both search engine spiders and users.

Leave some pages unindexed

There are probably pages on your site that you don’t want search engines to index. Those are typically pages that add little value to your content, like server-side scripts. These might even be pages you’re using to test your designs for a new website. These pages shouldn’t be exposed to web crawlers, as search engines might detect duplicate content issues and dilute your relevant content density, both of which negatively affect your website’s search ranking.

Consider image alt attributes

Search engines read image alt attributes and use them to determine the relevancy of the page to the searched keyword, so make sure that your image alt attributes are descriptive. These alt attributes need to be one hundred percent W3C-compliant, but you can just add any text. The SEO aside, image alt attributes help users who for some reason can’t see images, while they’re also sued in ranking image-based search tools like Google Images.

Publish fresh content regularly

If your website includes a blog, think about updating all your web pages with digested excerpts from your latest posts. Search engines rank highly pages in which content is changing from time to time, which indicates the site is alive and kicking. As you change content, you’re improving the rate at which your website is being crawled by search engines. Just keep on mind not to show full posts, as this could bring up duplicate content issues.   

Learn to use heading tags

Heading tags are important in your web page content, as they give search engine information on the structure of the HTML document. What is more, search engines place more value on these tags than other text on the page, with the exception of hyperlinks. So, you should use the <h1> tag for the main topic, and the set of <h2> through <h6> tags to show content hierarchy and branch out chunks of similar content. Using multiple <h1> tags on the same page is generally not recommended, as it can dilute the key topic.

As this short SEO crash course/guide shows, there are many SEO-related techniques to improve your website performance, but the most effective ones are those that improve both the user-experience and search-engine experience.