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By: Alfred Hernandez

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Tuesday, 9-Jul-2013 10:36 Email | Share | Bookmark
Web Design Issues In Search Engine Optimisation

Great graphic design is important to any website wishing to pull and maintain the curiosity of customers. But website owners should be aware of some of the meanings of over zealous graphic design for search engine optimisation.

Most folks would agree that graphic design is an important component in web site design and development. Aesthetics might be significant, as the basic look and feel of a website can impact its credibility and the chance that a visit will convert to a sale. Another facet of graphic design is practical, meaning that great graphic design can simplify navigation, communication and the total usability of a web site.

So, graphic design is significant, but you can find good reasons not to allow graphic designers a free hand in your web development process, particularly when they come from a powerful print or multimedia background as opposed to a web background. The trouble is that, too frequently, graphic designers do not adequately understand the essence of the web medium and of internet search engines in particular. This could lead to a situation where the potential performance of a web site in search engine optimisation terms is critically compromised by "features" such as Flash demonstrations, excessive graphic content, and excessive javascript. Used inappropriately, each of these can have serious consequences click this for where your website will eventually rank in search engines.

Javascript is another great tool, and is practically essential on most sophisticated contemporary websites for a great number of jobs. The problem with Javascript from a *research engine optimisation perpective is when it is employed to make things like link menus. But as is true with images and Flash, search engines do not do Javascript, so that any links which are locked up in Javascript code cannot be followed and those pages will not be indexed. In this respect search engines are rather different from browsers.

Flash is a fantastic tool, and used appropriately it can surely add visual and audio interest to your website. For some websites, maybe those specialising in art, music, video and such, it may even be argued that Flash is vital in some cases. But on much 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 frequently the most crucial page (the home page), consists entirely of a Flash demo. Such pages typically hold minimum indexable text in any way, with the content all tied up in the Flash demo... that the search engine merely cannot see, read or index! While search engines get nothing individuals get a great show.

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

The point here is not that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water... Javascript, images and flash are all part of the current web development toolkit. However it's important not to lose sight of the ultimate target of all company websites: sales.

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