Tips for striking a balance between a Web site's aesthetics and search engine appeal.
It's not often you get to overhaul a Web site to improve search rankings. Typically, we must work with what we've got, that is, perform SEO (define) within an existing Web site's constraints. Most likely, that Web site wasn't initially designed with search engines in mind.
That's why when an opportunity comes around every few years to redesign and redevelop a Web site, it's your chance to flex your SEO muscle and help fully integrate SEO best practices on the ground floor of a Web site.
Problem is, how far do you go? Do you sacrifice aesthetic for an optimally search-engine-friendly site? How do you strike a balance between what the users and the search engines see?
When developing a Web site from scratch, you can apply multiple SEO best practices related to design and development. You don't necessarily have to follow every measure to a T to obtain a search-engine-friendly Web site. Plus, you'll inevitably be forced to compromise on some factors. Integrating as many best practices as possible will serve you well in future SEO endeavors.
There are some important SEO factors that are influenced by the way a site is built, such as information architecture (IA), wireframes, design, and development practices. This isn't an exhaustive list; rather, it focuses some key tried-and-true practices. Consider the following:
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Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.
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