Gravytrain article features in Fourth Source

17 Rebecca D'Cunha

 

Here at Gravytrain we constantly strive to create websites that are not only well designed but also include best practice search engine optimisation as a core feature. It can sometimes be difficult to create a website that is both aesthetically pleasing and optimised to the best of its ability, which is why our new Director of Search Helene Hall has recently written an article for the online marketing publication Fourth Source entitled “Don’t Sacrifice Design for SEO or SEO for Design.”

In the article Helene imparts her vast knowledge of the digital marketing industry, and advises readers how to get the most from their websites. She begins by highlighting the importance of research when it comes to search optimisation and says: “The foundation for any search optimisation is research. Once we have this we can then define the site structure, internal linking and get creative with how we incorporate text to image. As expected, this process starts with keyword research specific to the client, audience and products.”

The article goes on to explain that once the core keywords for a client have been defined it is important to focus on the website’s information architecture. The way a website is structured is crucial to its search engine optimisation, and one of the best ways to find out what works is to look at successful competitor websites. Many optimise their navigation menus by including their keywords at the top, and push down other more typical items such as ‘home’ and ‘about us’.

Successful websites also tend to have a flat structure in their information architecture, which means that the deepest level of the website can be reached in no more than 3 clicks. Internal linking is also a great way to boost the optimisation of your website, as not only does help spread value across the site but also promotes greater engagement from the site from users.

For those that are concerned that their website cannot include optimised content due to the fact that they are image heavy, Helene suggests some innovative solutions for combining Design with SEO, such as utilising Javascript to create images that are overlayed by absolutely positioned text hidden onload. When the mouse hovers over the image the text can be revealed, and can include a degradation fallback that will hide the text using the native CSS: hover pseudo class.

When re-designing a website it is always important to think about how search optimisation can be built into its development from the ground up, and there are some great ways that this can be done without compromising the website’s design.

If you would like to read the full article it is available on the Fourth Source website here.