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Web Design Issues In Search Engine Optimisation

Good graphic design is important to any website wishing to bring and keep the interest of users. But website owners should know about some of the meanings of overzealous graphic design for search engine optimisation.

Many people would agree that graphic design is an important component in web design and development. Aesthetics may be important, as the common look and feel of a website can change its credibility and the likelihood a visit will convert into a sale. Another part of graphic design is practical, meaning that good graphic design can simplify navigation, communication and the complete usability of a site.

So, graphic design is important, but there are good reasons not to allow graphic designers a free hand in your web development procedure, especially if they come from a powerful print or multimedia background rather than a web background. The difficulty is that, too often, graphic designers do not adequately understand the character of the internet medium and of internet search engines in particular. This can lead to a situation where the possible performance of a site in search engine optimisation terms is severely compromised by "attributes" such as Flash presentations, excessive graphic content, and excessive javascript. Used inappropriately, every one of these can have severe consequences for where your website will eventually rank in search engines.

Flash is a terrific tool, and used appropriately it can surely add visual and audio interest to your site. For some sites, perhaps those specialising in artwork, music, video and such, it may even be argued that Flash is indispensable in some cases. But on way too many sites, excessive gratuitous use of Flash effectively renders those sites unindexable by search engines. The worst examples are those where a whole page, and often the main page (the homepage), consists entirely for beginners of a Flash demonstration. Such pages normally hold minimum indexable text in any respect, together with the content all tied up within the Flash demonstration... which the search engine merely cannot see, read or index! While search engines get nothing individuals get a great show.

Excessive graphic content works much like a Flash demonstration. Some sites consist of pages made up entirely of interlocking graphic images, with the images themselves including the wording of the page along with other important elements like headers and titles.

Javascript is just another great tool, and is virtually essential on most sophisticated contemporary sites for a great variety of tasks. Again, from a graphic designer's point of view interesting visual effects such as roll-overs and pop up menus can be done using Javascript. Those pages will never be indexed and but as is the case with Flash and images, search engines do not do Javascript, so that any links which are locked up in Javascript code cannot be followed. In this regard search engines are quite different from web browsers.

The purpose here isn't that the infant should be thrown out with the bath water... Javascript, images and flash are all part of the modern web development toolkit. However it's important to not lose sight of the supreme goal of most business sites: sales.
Tags: seo

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