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A website should firstly be searched out by visitors before talking about attracting or retaining those visitors. Nowadays, a "well designed website" does not only relate to a web site's visual attractiveness but more importantly, how friendly it is with search engines.
Below are 10 SEO friendly website designing tips where web designers should pay attention to during the early stage of their web designing process.
1. Avoid creating menu on the left-hand side of a website. If unavoidable, an alternative way is to put some text with rich keywords at the top or above the left-hand menu so that this text will be the first thing to be read by search engines.
2. Headlines are rated more important than the rest of the web page by search engines. To take advantage of this, you should have your keywords in the page headline. Since the header tag (h1) is quite large, you should format it to make it smaller.
3. Every page should contain the "title" and "description" tags with good keywords to describe the page content.The number of words for the title should not exceed 9 and that for the description should not be more than 20 words in order to keep within the limits of most search engines.
4. Try not to use Flash when possible. Flash cannot be read by the search engines to date and will cause slow page loading time and make people run away. If you really have a reason to use flash, try to make it smaller (e.g. as a flash header) and leave other area of your website for keyword-rich content.
5. Think twice on how to use graphics. Make them relevant to your content and use an alt tag with relevant keywords for search engines to read as they cannot read graphics and also for your visitors so that they can have something to read when waiting for the graphics to load.
6. Do not only use images to link out. You should always use text links to link out to important content on your web site. Spiders can follow image links, but like text links more though.
7. Avoid using frames. Some search engines cannot spider web pages with frames at all. For the other search engines that can, they can have problems spidering it and sometimes they too cannot index the web page.
8. Avoid using too complex tables when laying out your page but to keep them simple for the spiders. There are some engines which find it difficult to navigate through to the other pages on your website if the navigation bar is too complicated.
9. Use external Cascading Style Sheets and Java Script files to reduce page size and make the download time much faster. It will allow the spider to index your web page faster and can help your ranking.
10. Use standard HTML. Software such as FrontPage, Dreamweaver or a WYSIWYG editor will often add unnecessary scripting codes that will make the page larger than is needed and make it harder to crawl. It will sometimes add codes that cannot be read by search engines, causing the spider not to index the page or even the whole website. If to use, you should use those web page creator software wisely with a good understanding of html so that you may manually avoid or even delete those unnecessary scripting codes.
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