Search engine optimization of a website begins along with its creation. Unfortunately, just a few web designers completely realize the importance of the website structure for its ranking. Surely, smart keyword research, unique content, and a well-thought-out linking campaign can improve your website position even without seo-friendly web design. However, in order to make up a truly effective, smoothly working optimization strategy, I recommend using the following web design tips:

#1 SEO-friendly Navigation

When speaking about navigation, it is not recommended to use Flash, especially for displaying important information that must be seen by the search engines. Many web designers prefer Flash because it can make an unforgettable visual impression on visitors. However, it was proven to be less attractive to the crawlers. The backbone of SEO-friendly navigation is made of the logical structure, use of text-based buttons, and internal linking.

#2 Social Media

The content of your website must be easy-to-share. This means integrating social media icons (don’t overlook less popular social networks). Social media cues are an essential part of the SEO strategy: they gain credibility, help promoting your brand name, and help in link building (when people share your posts).

#3 SEO-friendly URLS

Keyword rich urls are an important part of the SEO-friendly design. They are not just pleasant-looking, but also very functional. Make sure your inner pages’ urls contain relevant, meaningful keywords. It’s one of the simplest ways to reinforce your main keys.

#4 Indexable Content

Although the crawling technology is constantly improving, search engines still devalue (or even ignore) non-HTML content. Thus, the most important information displayed on your website must be presented in HTML text format. However, there are some advanced methods to make your non-HTML content indexable: provide a text description of the images, and accompany your audio and video content with transcript (in case they are part of your SEO strategy). By the way, you can check which content of your website is seen, and which is ignored with the help of the special tools, like Google cache, for instance.

#5 Avoid Content Duplication

Duplicate content is one of the most common problems for many websites. Websites that display the same content using different urls get lower rankings and penalties. Search engines are very picky, since their aim is to provide the best search experience. Thus, when they face duplicate content on multiple pages they can’t decide which page should display this information, and in the long run they rank them lower.

Summary

It’s important to learn to see your website with the eyes of the search engines. In this article I have gathered some of the most important aspects of web design that can help you plan and develop a SEO-friendly website. Your website ranking is completely in your hands, and it completely depends on your flexibility, diligence, and desire to promote your website. Even such ‘turnkey’ solutions like website builders can’t avoid the possibility of a human mistake. So, stay smart, and keep your eye on the recent SEO-friendly web design trends.

It’s important to note that all these suggestions are beneficial both for engines and humans. So, by making your web page more attractive to the search engines, you simultaneously improve its usability. By, the way, you may want to check out a list of Top 5 Free SEO Tools to monitor your progress.