Previously, we looked at how to make your content more readable for search engines. Now, let’s see what you need to know as your site enters visual design, coding and beyond.
OK. The hard part of SEO is over for you content strategists. Or is it? Working with your team to optimize their designs + code is also an important part of the process.
Don’t let your team embed important text inside images. Make sure that search engines can read all the navigation, headers, buttons, content, and links. Also, check that the design includes captions for images, wherever possible. When the coding is done, ensure your carefully written ALT tags have been included so search engines can “see” the content in images.
An image caption that search engines can read.
Also, don’t forget that descriptive image filenames can help. No cryptic img4.jpg titles! Use smiling-baby-in-bath.jpg instead.
If there’s more text embedded in images than you would like, talk with your team about web fonts. Sources like Google Web Fonts and Font Squirrel provide many font options to keep the integrity of a design while making it search engine friendly.
A web-safe font from Font Squirrel.
Interactivity and animation can be very helpful. But, it can also be hard for search engines to see. Here are some pointers:
Search engines can penalize sites that take too long to load, so monitor your page load time. Review these pointers with your team:
A URL that describes the content on a page.
With descriptive URLs, search engines have a better idea of the content on your page. You would rather have “websiteexample.com/clothing/womens/dresses” as your URL than “websiteexample.com/products/item1?=12345”.
SEO should never hinder your team’s process. Your content becomes optimized for search when every person on your team applies best practices. Now that you have the essentials of SEO, it’s time to get to work.
Originally published on the now-archived Content Science blog in August 2012.
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