Website design tips to help your SEO efforts

Did you know that there are a number of factors related to your website’s design that can affect both the site’s conversion rate and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts? Yes, layout, content, and content formats could be dragging your page rank below acceptable standards. Read on for useful information that could make a substantial difference in yielding a good response from online marketing efforts.

First Impressions Count

You’ve likely worked quite hard (and spent lots of time and money) to create a website; it’s a shame then to lose that visitor in the first few seconds because the first impression is less than compelling.

Your Website’s design is the first thing a visitor will see and consider on arrival. If this is the very first time they’re learning anything about your business, it’s particularly important for this first impression to be a good one. But even for people who are familiar with your company before arriving at your website, that first impression still matters a lot.

With this in mind, does the ratio of images/graphics to text seem extraordinarily weighted in either direction? Are images and photographs taking over or is there so much text that it runs on and on without seeming to end? Do the images work to guide visitors to the important information? Is there enough ‘white space’ around imagery and text so the eye naturally gravitates to the desired spot (message) on the page?

If after an assessment it’s determined that your site’s home page has too much text or content, fixing it can reduce your bounce rate! Be certain that graphics support content NOT overwhelm it and visa versa. This will go a long way in trimming your bounce rate. A bounce occurs when a visitor only views a single page on a website, that is, the visitor leaves a site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs.

Make Images Count

Let’s talk about Flash programming… here’s a description if you’re not sure what it is: Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast (Courtesy: Wikipedia).

In the last few years, we’ve seen lots of Flash programming on all varieties of websites. But, did you know that it’s literally invisible to Google, Yahoo, Bing and all other search engines?  When Google or other search engines send spiders out and they arrive at a site containing Flash… they don’t “see” the Flash element(s)!  The same holds true for all photos, images, logos, graphics, etc. because these elements are utterly invisible to search engines they have no SEO value.  So, if you have a home page design that is essentially one large Flash movie or static image – visually striking as it may be – you could be getting absolutely no SEO value from it whatsoever.

To fix this, simply be sure to use “ALT Description Tags” for each item on each page. Adding a short selection of powerful keyword phrases to describe each image will give you the SEO boost you’re looking for,

Creating a better balance of words, images, and white space while associating keywords with Flash and other graphic elements could benefit your company/organization’s online efforts a great deal without tremendous effort. Consult with a respected Web design professional…a professional will keep their eye on the SEO ball at all times, including the brand’s design and layout factors.

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