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Four Critical Web Design Rules
By Nicholas LaPolla - 2007-08-29 Page:  1 2

Easy to Read

Content is King! If you want a website to generate back-links and have quality content the search engines love, be sure to make it readable by both people and search engines. Search engines are working to give people quality results. Thus, they are looking for sites with quality content. So - by building site content for people, not only are you getting back to basics (information dissemination to people via the Internet), you are creating a site search engines will love. So, build sites for people - and the search engines will come.

When creating a new website or redesigning an existing site, there are four critical rules which should be followed to make the site effective, functional, loved by search engines - and successful.

1. Easy to Read

When building a website, the first thing you need to be sure of is that your website is easy to read. When you write content, remember that most web site visitors don't read every word of a page - in fact, they only scan pages to find what they want.

Break up Your Content

Break up your pages and use headers between major ideas so people scanning your site can find what they want quickly. Use meaningful headers between each paragraph or major idea - this helps with SEO. Headers should be created with the H1 through H4 tags for SEO. Always use good writing structure. Additionally, avoid long paragraphs that run on. You should break up any long paragraphs.

Color and Fonts

To help readability, use high contrast colors between font and background. Black text against a white background may seem stark, but it is very readable. To make a website easy on the eyes, try an off-white background and a dark gray (almost black) text color.

Things to avoid with content color:

  • Avoid vibrant background colors like purple or yellow. Such back colors make text difficult to read.

  • Avoid using an image behind your text.

  • Avoid using bright text colors on bright backgrounds.


Fonts Matter

One simple statement covers the font issue:

Simple fonts are the best; the more fancy the font, the harder it is to read.

Since many browsers only have the standard font set, use standard fonts. In reality, there is no "standard", but there are certain fonts that are installed on most browsers. These include Arial, Verdana, Tahoma and Times New Roman. Your readers will see something different than you see if you use other fonts.

Standard Compliant Browser for Development

When developing and testing your site, use a Standards compliant browser like FireFox. If you develop your site to be standards compliant, it will work in most browsers, including MS Internet Explorer (IE). It is recommended that you test your site using the latest and last browser versions of IE (IE6 and IE7). To run multiple versions of IE on the same machine, TredoSoft.com has a free installer that will install multiple versions of IE. It works great!

Keywords in Content

Of course, when writing content, not only should it be formatted to be readable, but it must also be consumable by not only people, but by search engines. One way to make the subject of the content known to search engines is to use the keywords that people use to search for your site in your content. Be sure to use keywords in your header tags, your first paragraph and throughout your text. The keyword density should be between 4% and 7% - but any more than that could 1) be hard to read and still make sense and 2) be considered spam by search engines and banned. Keywords should also be used in your TITLE tags and your Meta description.



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