It’s not uncommon these days for most good web designers and developers to build websites with not only usability in mind, but search engine optimization.

A great web developer will build the website piece by piece while utilizing the latest development techniques, as well as keeping a close eye on SEO.

When a potential client of ours is considering us for their re-designed website, it is often that their old site (developed by them personally, or another designer) hasn’t been properly optimized when it comes to on-page SEO, known as the SEO elements found on the actual website pages.

Below is a brief summary of the most commonly over-looked SEO elements that designers forget to include:

  1. Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
    Located within the <head></head> section of the page’s code, houses something called meta tags. These are page descriptors that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo need to help determine what the page is about, the keywords associated with the page, etc.Often times, these are completely missing, or when present, are missing the proper targeted keyword phrases or are in the wrong order. Google looks at the first 2-3 words of page titles and meta descriptions as the most important, so make sure to place your keywords properly.
  2. Links  Don’t Include Keywords
    When linking from one page to another, it is smart to use keyword phrases that are relevant to the page that you’re linking to. This is a much safer SEO practice than the old-school “click here for more information” link.
  3. Alt Attributes Are Too Long, or Non-Existent
    Since Google can’t optimize an actual image, they rely on something call the “alt attribute” which is a fancy name for the title of the picture.  The Alt attribute should be short and to the point. For instance, if you’re a dog groomer, and the picture on your site is of a dog, the appropriate Alt attribute would be something like “boise dog grooming.” An example of an improper Alt attribute would read something like “Best dog grooming service in Boise, Idaho.” In other words, keep it short and keyword relevant.
  4. Missing tags, including the H1.In HTML, there are things called “tags” which are HTML text elements. Although Google doesn’t heavily weigh having h1 tags, it is still important to play it safe and include them.
  5.  Internal Linking and  Clunky Navigation
    Not only from an SEO standpoint, but from a user experience standpoint, it is really important to include the links to all pages of the site, and give your customer multiple ways to find an individual page. You could have 100 pages of great content, but if your link structure is lacking, or missing completely, your users and Google will have a difficult time knowing they even exist.

Check back for weekly updates regarding your website’s SEO, marketing tips and more!

Until Next Time,
Josh Olswanger
Thrive Web Designs – Your Boise Web Design Team