So you have a beautiful website that you paid a pretty penny for and you are completely happy with it … except no one can find it. Many web designers do not understand search engine positioning, so when they design your website little or no thought is given to the elements of design that may affect your rankings on search engines. On the other hand some search engine positioning companies offer services that will boost your rankings but at the expense of your design. A good search engine positioning company can get your website ranking for key phrases without affecting the overall design and navigation of your site. You can make small changes to your website on your own as well, utilizing the tips noted in this article. There is a happy medium, you can “have your cake and eat it too.”
The first step in designing a website that will rank well on search engines is to build the proper table structure. This framework for your website will easily guide the search engine spiders through your site taking the route you want them to. A good table structure is essentially a map to the spiders, it guides the way as they travel through your website.
A standard website should use the table structure below:
This table structure is very beneficial to your website ranking as it guides the spiders to the text rich, most important content of your site as quickly as possible. The spiders will enter your site at the first table, the header, and then travel through to the empty cell in row 1 of the second table, the next stop is your content area, the “meat” of your website. After going through your content the spiders will then continue onto row 2 where you have inserted a table holding your navigation, if your navigation is image based, as most is, it holds very little content that matters from the spider’s perspective. The spiders will then follow through to row 3 where you have your footer, a place to add in valuable text links rich in targeted keywords.
If this table structure does not fit your design at all there can be work arounds. A good example of this is shown on http://www.far-sited.ca (site no longer available). Notice that the index page upon load has a very simple look, no text, clean, crisp image. This is a good way to present your business with a simple entry page. If you scroll down the page you will see that there is in fact a lot of text below this main image. With a simple 100% x 100% table you can achieve this affect on your website. This table will open the same way in all resolutions giving your index page the look of a text free page when in fact it is not.
100% x 100% table used as mentioned above:
If you choose to use the 100% x 100% table noted above you should still try to stick to the general table structure shown first for your internal pages. There can always be room for adjustments based on the size of your site however most websites use left hand navigation and this table structure is based on left hand navigation. If your navigation is across the top of your page, maybe reconsider it. It can remain at the top, I have designed a few websites that are ranking well with this top navigation, but for the best result, the left hand navigation using the table structure first mentioned in this article is best.
All in all I cannot stress enough that a well designed site will rank higher. Even if you do not have a complete SEO overhaul of your site this table structure will increase your rankings over those that do not have a clean, properly structured website. Though the table structure is not noticed so much by the visitors to your website aside from the look of it, it is very noticed by the spiders and they will go through your website based on it. For an added edge, have your site designed with this table structure, or do it yourself. Make a point of not only giving the visitors to your website the information you want them to have but also the spiders and as quickly and easily as possible.
If you have any questions about table structure or your website please feel free to contact us for additional information.