When building a website from scratch, to make it both usable for visitors and optimized for the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing for good visibility, findability and traffic, some SEO components need to be incorporated into the design of the site and its architecture right from the get-go. Sure you can develop a website without SEO strategies in place and later optimize it but it’s most efficient to do it from the beginning. It’s like building a house with hardwood floors and taupe paint with the intention to later change it to carpet flooring and olive green paint. Changes can of course be made but it will eat up additional time and resources.
With each passing year, companies increasingly understand the importance of sound SEO strategies for the successful online performance of websites. After all, your website could be the sleekest and prettiest of all websites but if it is not structured properly and ergo doesn’t rank well up the SERPs, what’s the point?
8 SEO components to incorporate into the design and architecture of a website from the very beginning
1. Avoid “code bloat” by keeping the website layout as simple as possible
With HTML and CSS, there are a thousand and one ways to achieve any result you want but that does not necessarily mean that all the solutions are created equal. To avoid “code bloat”, keep the layout of your website as simple as possible and avoid using unnecessary code. You may think the extra code is harmless as long as the website looks good for users but this is not the case. For a start, simple code is recommended because it is more likely to work in different browsers. Then of course unnecessary code means bigger files and therefore slower page load times as well as increased chances of crawling issues.
2. Use simple-to-understand URLs
URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors. So if you’re trying to determine what type of URL structure to use with your new website, remember that visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs. Search engines like Google are good at crawling all types of URL structures but making your URLs as simple as possible is a good SEO practice because they clearly convey the subject matter of your content.
3. Keep your website navigation simple and descriptive
When building a new website, a key consideration is keeping the navigation structure simple and efficient to make it easy for visitors as well as the search engines to follow. In fact, many eye-tracking and usability studies have shown that the best positions for a website’s main navigation menu is either across the top of the page or vertically down the left side.