Designing a Search Engine Optimized Business Website

Web design is in demand as the Internet expands, and more businesses look for inexpensive online promotional tools. A well designed website is a must for a small business. It is a representation of a small business, its owner and employees. The very first impression of a consumer matters, and in many cases a consumer will judge a particular business based on their website.

In truth, web design can be done by an educated professional or someone looking for a fun web based hobby. Web design can be self taught, and website designing jobs can be found online or in a local newspaper. Whatever your educational and experience qualifications may be in web design, it is important to know how to build a good business website that not only represents a small business well but is also easily found online. After all, why build any kind of a website if no one online will be able to find it through a search engine?

How do you build a search engine optimized business website? Start with the basics of SEO, while keeping intact the integrity of a clean website design.

Less graphics more text is also known as "Lay off Adobe Photoshop". Not every business website needs to be made entire out of graphics, or with heavy loading images. Always keep in mind that some web users have outdated computers, internet browsers or spy ware infected computers that are not as fast as newer models. No website should take more than a couple of seconds to load, so heavy images should be replaced by well written search engine optimized text. Search engine content should be relevant to the business name, type of industry, services or specific product this business specializes in.

Tag every photo or graphic, also known as filling in "alt" tags. Alt tags are helpful with search engines as it adds more keywords that can be found on Google. By using alt tags, a web designer also makes the finished product look more complete and validated. SEO scoring can sometimes penalizes websites or take away points for not using alt tags with every graphic or image.

Replace outdated HTML tags such as center or tables with CSS. Div layers, style classes and CSS style sheets are a must in web 2.0 website design. A clean CSS style sheet removes all the extra "gunk" from website coding, and allows search engines to easily read through content.

Always use META tags and keywords in headers, it is the little things that matter and small META changes in headers can give a website that extra Google juice. Keywords in header can include business name, products and services offered, even local references for anyone looking for a local company for a particular industry.

Validate XHTML and CSS for several reasons. First, a valid XHTML and CSS coded website will give you a peace of mind. It says "job well done" and "thanks for putting in the extra effort to correctly code". Valid websites also look better for search engines, and the website customer will appreciate having a properly coded website.

Make every page matter, including subpages and even contact form pages. Each page can be filled with search engine optimized content, but it should also be properly coded. Every website page can also carry META header tags and keywords for a better Google ranking.

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