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Marketing & Sales
Jan 5, 2015

SEO And Design: How They Relate And Why It Matters

Sponsored Content provided by Mike Duncan - CEO and Creative Director, Sage Island

As website design and functionality options have expanded over the years, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends while neglecting best search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Oftentimes sites look great, but aren’t search engine-friendly, or vice versa. Finding that happy medium is the key.

One of those latest trends that may affect your site’s SEO is a parallax design. This type of layout allows visitors to scroll through an entire site without ever navigating to another page and is extremely user-friendly. When building this type of site, however, it’s critical to plan your SEO approach at the start. In traditional, non-parallax websites, each page functions as its own separate piece of the pie. Search engines crawl individual pages, with each page containing its own set of unique keywords. Imagine how having a one-page site may impact your SEO – one title and one description to sum up your entire site’s content, all adhering to the character limitations set forth in search engine results.

Luckily, there are a few options to give you the best of both worlds. You may create individual pages for your site to be indexed by search engines without including them in the overall navigation. These pages would function ideally as landing pages for marketing campaigns, and give you the benefit of having search engines index multiple pages of your site. Alternatively, you could design each page of your overall site in a parallax format. In doing so, you’ll enjoy the advantage of maintaining separate, indexed pages included in the overall navigation. And you’ll use the user-friendly parallax design simultaneously. 

Live text versus imagery is also an obstacle in search engine marketing. Designers want visually appealing sites that provide a worthwhile user experience, while SEO specialists desire sites that search engines can crawl and, ultimately, rank near the top of search engine results pages. It’s necessary to incorporate H1s, H2s and paragraph text into your pages in order for search engines to understand what those pages are about. When you substitute images in place of text, you forgo this benefit. That said, there are a multitude of programming tactics available today that can help signal search engines that you’re using live text in addition to fantastic imagery.

Aside from more recent website trends and options, there are basic best practices to keep in mind when considering SEO and design. Remembering to include appropriate titles and alt text for your images goes a long way. Both titles and alt text should be accurate and descriptive; they are used to describe your images to people who may not be able to see them, while also enabling search engines to understand what images are about. You should incorporate relevant keywords, without keyword stuffing, into your titles and alt text as well, just as you would while writing website copy.

Fortunately when you sign off on a project with Sage Island, you have the advantage of a team of designers, programmers and SEO specialists working together to ensure your site looks great, functions well and is read by search engines. Contact us today to give your website the whole package.

Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.

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