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Designing for SEO

Many are the times we find a site that has been designed beautifully but does nothing for SEO. What this does is create a site that catches the eye but not SERP’s which leaves a beautiful masterpiece of a site with less traffic than it ought to have. The same happens to sites that are fully optimised but in terms of design and user experience a lot is left wanting. So where does this leave most of us? Realizing that the two, design and optimisation, go hand in hand and need each other to bring out the best in a website. Getting to that middle ground where sites look cool and offer great user experience, and still are fully optimised is achievable.

In an article on seomoz.org by Justin Taylor, he talks about ways designing for optimisation can work. He talks about stylish fonts that you could use from fonts.com, google, Typekit, Font Deck that won’t compromise on crawlability. The use of cool fonts, throw in type effects such as gradient that enhance a page with banners, call to action, making it less likely for users to bounce.

Justin’s take on what how a designers aims and a SEO goals can work together calling it designing for optimisation. Take picture on a site for example, from a designers point of view images works wonders to keep users glued to the site. However, from a SEO perspective, this doesn’t do much. A solution he (Justin) provides is a mouse-over, when viewed the image is seen and when a user scrolls over the image it shows text describing what the image is all about, giving the SEO what is needed for optimising.

Normally, banners, call to actions and billboards are just images designers use on sites. The message on these elements cannot be crawled by google, however, creating them with CSS, HTML and web fonts can work well for both designers and SEO.

This should all sound great for designers and SEO, and what puts the icing on the cake is that it can actually work.