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There are several criteria to consider when a user and search engine friendly web design consultancy is building your new web site. It's critical that your pages be easily read not only by your visitors, but also by the search engines' robots, that see the pages in a different fashion.

Correct placement of menus, headings and text make it easy for both visitors and search engines to read your pages semantically. Text which is structured in a manner compatible with screen readers used by the visually impaired is also important.

Why do you need a professionally designed web site?

It isn't enough to have a stunningly beautiful website. You must also ensure that your site can be easily found, by a user searching for goods or services.

Correct placement of menus, headings and text make it easy for both visitors and search engines to read your pages properly. Special considerations for users with limitations also need to be implemented, such as:

  • Visually impaired users, who use screen readers;
  • Users that are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • Users with motor/physical limitations;
  • Users with cognitive/learning/dyslexic disabilities;
  • Other users that may be unable to use standard navigational or informational tools.

In order to accomplish all that, a professionally designed web site, utilizing the appropriate technology, is the most important first step. Simply "advertising" your site on the internet will not achieve the necessary results.

Recent developments in the hand-held device market have dramatically increased the number of users shopping and buying on the internet. However, web sites do not display properly on these devices, without special design considerations.

With nearly half the world's population now using hand-held devices, and 30% of them shopping and buying on the internet, it's important that your web site be designed so as to be compatible, and to be indexed by those specialized search engines.

RDFa Technology: The Wave of the Future

RDFa technology assists by providing in-depth information, which helps the search engines focus more deeply on your relevancy to the search query, and allows it to display more detailed information to the user, in the search results.

Some businesses, and even many SEOs (Search Engine Optimizers), believe that semantic technology is still just a luxury. It has become, however, a necessity, for any website competing for the attention of users.

Validated RDFa implementation on your site will render immediate benefits to you, to the search engine and most importantly, to the user.

  • It provides a wealth of additional references to the search engines, aiding in the semantic analysis of your site, so as to return more relevant search results;
  • It provides a great deal more information to the user, in the search results, to assist them in selecting the most relevant suggested site.

The results will be easily seen on your bottom line. How? Higher CTR (Click-Through-Rate)!

Recommended Web Design Criteria

There are several aspects you should ensure are incorporated into your new web design, in order to maximize your site's functionality and versatility.

The following criteria are recommended:

A search engine friendly web site will rank higher in the search results than those that are not. The code should be checked and validated to ensure it conforms to the W3C (World Wide Consortium) guidelines, protecting against any possible future changes in how web browsers render your pages. It will also allow the search engines to fully access and index all your web content.

  • The site should be designed in accordance with the current Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines, issued and updated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
  • The design should be accessible to the visually impaired and include extra navigational elements to make browsing less restrictive, and should be optimized for Google's Accessible Search;
  • It should be optimized for printing, so that pages can be printed in a logical way, without using exorbitant quantities of ink, or printing partial pages;
  • The content should be easily viewable on handheld devices, ensuring its inclusion in the mobile search engines;
  • The loading time of the pages should be accelerated as much as possible, to prevent annoyance of your visitors, that might cause them to leave your web site, and reducing your web hosting overhead costs;
  • If your web site is designed to satisfy all the above criteria, with well-formed, valid markup, and compliance with all accessibility, usability and search engine guidelines, your web site should perform its intended purpose well.

Only after your web site has met all of the stringent web site design standards above, should you and your web design consultants consider their work to be done.

About this SEO tutorial

This tutorial was written by John S. Britsios (aka Webnauts), Search Experience Consultant at SEO Workers and was published October 13, 2010.

Copyright reserved. Not to be reproduced.