If so, it’s time for a redesign! Don’t whine about the cost of a redesign, the lost opportunities without effective SEO will cost you far more in the long run. In today’s highly competitive Internet realm, it’s absolutely critical that your site is based on a search engine friendly structure; but what does this mean?
Your site should be HTML based, with limited use of Flash. Your code should be simple, W3C compliant, and should be kept as light and error free as possible. For instance, I’ve seen a site improve its design and include added functionality, yet cut its actual code length by over 70%. This was accomplished mostly by employing CSS in the design, ridding the site of Viewstate code, and moving all possible elements to external include files.
In addition to having concise HTML, the following should be adhered to:
- Absolutely avoid any type of frame, unless you’re trying to hide its content from the engines
- Your navigation should be text based, with meaningful words that are simple yet targeted to the subject of each page
- Images should be optimized (condensed) for the web and include ALT tags
- URL, Title tags, H1 headers, breadcrumbs, and hyperlinks should all be optimized around the particular subject of each page
- The content of each page should be targeted to the precise topic of that page alone
- Address, phone number, and other contact information should be in text – not image form
- Your SEO Friendly Content Management System should allow full control of all of the above elements
The typical lifespan of a website is 3-5 years before your customers will expect a fresh look and feel, with newly added technology and interactivity. As you’re looking at the investment itself, think about the amortization of a new site. Even a fairly expensive site, amortized over 5 years, is an incredibly inexpensive business tool likely to drive substantial ROI.
Keep in mind, the best design in a search friendly architecture still requires ongoing marketing. Just like your offline business needs branding, marketing, and exposure to gain customers, so does your website. Internet Marketing Services are offered in a myriad of formats, timeframes, and cost structures. Shop carefully to find the right marketing partner for your business.