A Web Designer's Blog

Considering Search Engines For A Successful Website

You may be surprised to hear that when designing a new website to be successful we have to think about more than just the one kind of visitor your site is going to receive. Alongside considering the needs of your human visitors, those visitors who will potentially become your customers in the future, we also need to think about search engines. Considering how your website is viewed by search engines is just as important as how it is viewed by your potential customers. Search engines have the power to deliver large volumes of potential business to your website or to cast it into the obscurity of the internet.

Considering and understanding the ways in which search engines operate is again one of the big failings of many website designers in our experience. This is understandable as most web designers primarily come from a design background so the way your site looks and feels is their natural area of interest, they are less interested in the under the hood nuts and bolts of the website as it doesn’t appeal to their creative nature. It is also the portion of the site that you as the client rarely see so in reality your web designer is never going to be held accountable for it. When was the last time your website designer showed you the actual code for the website? If they did, I’d guess it probably just looked like the Matrix to you anyway right?!

When your website is designed with search engines in mind you will find a greater emphasis is placed on the consideration and implementation of semantically well written code. Search engines view your website entirely by the base code, they do not have the ability to consider how it looks visually, they are fundamentally only interested digesting the coding structures and content of the page in order to understand what is being presented to their search customer. Implementing semantically well written code enhances the search engine’s ability to squeeze as much value out of your on page content as possible and therefore rank your website higher up its results.

The actual workings of a search engine are much more complicated than this in reality; we have a lengthy but in-depth post specifically on the subject of How Search Engines Work if you would like to find out more about it.

Besides the quality of your website’s underlying code and the developer’s choice of how it’s implemented there are also a number of other factors to your wider website’s design that can influence how search engines perceive it.

Your website’s overall structure and individual breakdown of pages, often referred to as your Site Architecture, influence the way search engines index your website, unwieldly deep and convoluted navigational structures make it difficult for search engines to find all your content and if they can’t find it, it can’t be indexed to be searched for later on. On the other hand a lack of pages and thinly populated content doesn’t provide search engines with very much to distinguish what your site is about. The ideal situation is to have shallow navigational structures with plenty of cross linking where appropriate creating as many conduits as possible for search engines to reach the extremities of your website… or perhaps the specific pages you wish to place most emphasis upon.

We then move on to items such as your website’s meta titles and descriptions, these have often been more in the realm of specialist Search Engine Optimisation practitioners and are therefore over looked or implemented wrongly by many web designer. Again these items aren’t the sexy visual and creative tasks web designers love to get stuck into so it is understandable why they ‘re overlooked or quickly glossed over to bring the project to a close but fundamentally they are critical elements of a website that play a much greater role than their lack of grandeur suggests. So much so that a visually poor website with well implemented meta data is able to outperform a beautifully crafted website with poor meta data in the eyes of a search engine. At Worth Developing we understand and appreciate these factors and believe it is our responsibility to pay as much attention to getting these items implemented correctly as it is to producing aesthetically pleasing designs, after all a beautiful website is of no use if no one see’s it!

Moving on to our next post we will be considering the topic of customer engagement as part of developing a successful website. In the meantime if you are considering having a new website built and would be like to speaking to us at Worth Developing about your project please contact us through our Start Your Project page – we’ll ask you a series of questions about your project to give us an initial insight to what you’re looking for before arranging a suitable time to speak to you in greater depth.

This Blog Post is part of larger series, view the accompanying posts using the links below.

Considering Your Website’s Visitors

It goes without saying that considering your website visitors are going to be a crucial factor in designing a successful website but does your website design provide Substance Over Style and does its Form follow Function or is the wrong way around?!

Customer Engagement For A Successful Website

Engaging with your customers through the modern digital channels, and most importantly through your website, is the key to making your website successful. If you think about traditional offline marketing methods one of the main elements is networking, speaking to people… your website is no different.

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