I didn’t make that up, it’s actually a book so I can’t take credit the title. But it was a good book and it re-enforced much of what I feel and what I propose to my clients. The idea behind the book is accessibility and how to build it in to your overall web design. By accessibility I mean two things, proper code and really good content.
First, let’s look at the code. You many know that good ‘search engine positive code’ is important, but I think few really understand how important. Think about it. What do most new site owners think about when they picture their site? What it is going to look like and what functions they want. “I want it to look like this” and “I want it to do that”. Rarely do they think of what goes on behind the pretty picture. Most know nothing about it or how it has an overall effect on the success they achieve with the search engines. And that is important to the success of the project itself. When they shop for a designer all they want to see is the portfolio.
Proper code is an essential part of your on-page optimization and includes things like the order of your content, header tag hierarchy, and special needs accessibility, yep, special needs accessibility.
When you design web site code to follow the basic accessibility rules you will automatically build a very search engine friendly site. This includes all the small things, header tags, link titles, link text, alt tags, text navigation, placing your main content first. These are the things that quite often get missed. Or, if you use a WYSIWYG editor, not at all. These things not only look good to the search engines but are for TTYs and auto readers and other devices used by those with special needs.
Why does this work? The search engines send out “bots” to crawl the web and gather information. Because there are a zillion web pages, when they reach a page, they need to get the info and get out quickly and move on. Anything that will speed the reading and indexing of a site will gain points with the search engines. So, the bottom line is accessibility. The same rules that increase accessibility for people also work for the “bots” and they love it.
Next is content. Your site content is the next most vital part of the project. Properly laced with key words it has to be quality writing, relevant information, and user friendly. General rule for the search engines, a web page should contain more content than code.
Web content that is well written has value and is meaningful works like gravity. It brings traffic to your web site design and holds them there.
When a user finds something they think is cool and exciting on the web they tend to spread the word. This is a human nature that good advertising is built around; everyone wants to be the first to bring exciting new things to their friends. If the site offers nothing to hold their attention that user is gone.
The search engines use the content to decide what your site is about and where it will show in searches. They also judge (and that is the word to use) the quality of the writing, keyword / phrases, titles, tags and headers. They look at who you link to and more importantly, who is linking back to you. And, the quality of their site can have an effect on your ranking. So don’t build links for links sake, content counts!
So to sum up, a good web design is a blend of code and content where they reinforce each other with the goal of accessibility. And accessibility helps everything from sales to the search engines.Share on Facebook