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Web Design Issues In Search Engine Optimisation

Good graphic design is vital to any web site wishing to attract and maintain the curiosity of consumers. But web site owners should be aware of some of the implications of over zealous graphic design for search engine optimisation.

Many folks would agree that graphic design is an important element in web design and development. Part of what good graphic design adds to a web page is esthetic, a somewhat subjective area where a web page either looks good, OK, or plain bad. Aesthetics could be significant, as the basic look and feel of a site can change its credibility and the likelihood a visit why not try this out will convert into a deal. Another part of graphic design is practical, meaning that great graphic design can simplify navigation, communication and the overall usability of a web site.

Flash is a great tool, and used appropriately it can surely add visual and sound interest to your website. For some sites, possibly those specialising in art, music, video and so on, it might even be argued that Flash is vital in some cases. The worst examples are those where a whole page, and often the most crucial page (the home page), consists entirely of a Flash demo. Such pages generally hold minimum indexable text whatsoever, together with the content all tied up within the Flash demo... which the search engine simply cannot see, read or index! Humans get a recommended reading great show while search engines get nothing.

Excessive graphical content works much like a Flash demo. Some sites consist of pages made up entirely of interlocking graphic pictures, with the pictures themselves including the wording of the webpage along with other significant components for example titles and headers. Again, the search engines see none of this as they cannot "read" images, so all they find is an effectively empty page.

So, graphic design is significant, but there are good reasons not to allow graphic a free hand to designers in your web development procedure, especially when they come from a powerful print or multimedia background rather than a net background. The trouble is that, too often, graphic designers do not adequately understand the disposition of the net medium and of internet search engines in particular. This could result in a situation where the potential performance of a web site in search engine optimisation terms is seriously compromised by "attributes" such as Flash presentations, excessive graphic content, and excessive javascript. Used inappropriately, each of those can have serious consequences for where your web site will eventually rank in search engines.

Javascript is another great tool, and is almost indispensable on most sophisticated modern sites for a great variety of jobs. The issue with Javascript from a search engine optimisation perpective is when it's used to create things for example link menus. But as is true with Flash and images, search engines do not do Javascript, so that any links that are locked up in Javascript code cannot be followed and those pages will not be indexed. In this regard search engines are quite different from web browsers.

The point here isn't that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water... Flash, images and Javascript are all part of the modern web development toolkit. However it is important to not lose sight of the ultimate goal of most business sites: sales. But if sales matter, then search engine ranking matters, in which case your graphic designers will have to be a little more restrained, resourceful and creative. Actually, this is an area where real graphic design skills come to the fore... following the old minimalist adage less is more, a really great web designer can achieve highly effective and pleasing designs without resorting to technological overkill.
Tags: seo

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