How To Design A Website (4 of 5):


Author: Mark Birkett

Designing a website - Planning the structure:

Now that you have understood the basics of design and understood some SEO principles, the next step is to sit down with a pen and paper and draw out a basic structure for your website.

Don't forget, your website's primary goal is to please the end user. That means your content genuinely has to be 'good'. It has to be well written and well presented. It also needs to be as up-to-date as possible. With two otherwise-equal websites to choose from, Google will always present the most up-to-date website first in its search results. That's why publishing regular articles on your site is so vital.

Its secondary - but nonetheless vital - goal is to make sense to search engines. So an easy way to 'score well' with Google is to organise your web page structure in a logical manner. In short, a well thought-out website structure will:

  1. Help the end user to navigate your web pages
  2. Help search engines to index them

Your pen-and-paper web structure should break the pages down into logical representations of the products and services you have to offer your customer. It should look something like this:

Example: Plan your website structure with your products and services laid out - and linked to the Home page - in a logical manner

As you can see in this very simple example, the HOME page has links to four directories (or folders) within your new website. This means that the various pages of the site have now been split into a logical structure. We have kept all the product pages in the PRODUCTS directory; all services pages in the SERVICES directory and so on.

This means that Google can read the link from the HOME page 'down' into each category of pages and into the pages themselves.

Designing a website - Naming your pages:

Another key point to remember is that Google's primary task is to deliver a relevant search result for a given search query. So if people are typing the word 'services' into Google, it makes sense for you to give the web page an address or 'URL' (Uniform Resource Locator) that contains the phrase 'services' - or its singular form 'service' - within it, for example:

Example: You should name all pages within your website based on two criteria; one, providing 'user-readable' URLs and, two, using easily-indexed, 'keyphrase rich' and therefore 'search-engine-friendly' words - each word separated by hyphens (not underscores, CAPITAL LETTERS or blank spaces).

You will also notice that we've named the page service-3.html. It's worth remembering a few golden rules for naming your website files;

In short, when naming your pages, follow this format:

service-3.html, not service3.html, service_3.html or (worst of all), service 3.html.

Recap of how to design a website:

OK, we've now discussed researching keyphrases, and applying that research to the phrases in our source code and to the naming of individual web pages. So let's now look at the actual website design process...

Share this article with your friends and followers...
| Tweet this article to your followers

Follow all articles, news and tweets by Dalemedia
| Follow Dalemedia's tweets

Site design by Dalemedia, Web Designers, Manchester

Dalemedia Ltd is a member of the UK Web Design Association