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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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10 SEO Rules for Designers

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SEO For Designers

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a vital component of any website. As a web designer or blogger, it’s important you understand how SEO works. Here are ten easy rules that will immediately improve the SEO on all of your web sites.

You may also be interested in how to get free advertising on google.

Rule Zero: Do Not Cheat. Period.

If you walked into a room full of genius scientists with PHDs, do you think you could outsmart them all? No. Google has hundreds of rooms full of genius scientists with PHDs, and their job is to work 60 hours a week to make sure you can’t fool Google. You can’t outsmart them. Ever. Ignore any advice on trying to cheat the system and focus on making great web sites with great content, and your sites will show up fine in searches.

Rule One: Stick to Your Keywords

Pick a few keywords or phrases that describe your site. Use them, and words related to them, whenever it’s natural to do so. Repeating them uselessly is no good (rule Zero), use them in sentences, headlines, and links.

Rule Two: Content is King

Users don’t search for design, they search for content. If your site doesn’t have content people want, no one will look at it.

Every page on your site should follow the Inverted Pyramid. Each page should lead with a relevant H1 tag with one of your keywords, and the first paragraph of text should be a summary of the rest of the page.

Rule Three: Clean Code is Searchable Code

Build your sites in a text editor, and write clean, human-readable HTML. The HTML should follow the conceptual structure of the page, navigation first, followed by the H1 tag, then the first paragraph, etc. Try to use descriptive tags when possible. Use UL for lists, P for paragraphs, H tags for heads and subheads, and STRONG for bolded text. Don’t overuse Divs.

Your site can still be artistic and cool, that’s what CSS is for.

Rule Four: The Home Page is the Most Important Page

Your home page is the key to your site being found by search engines. It should summarize the rest of the site, and give a clear, compelling reason for a user to look at the other pages in the site.

Rule Five: Links Have Meaning

Links

Search engines pay a lot of attention to the links on your site, and the words used in those links. Never use “click here” or “see more” for a link. The link text should describe where the link will take the user, such as “more examples of CSS web design” or “learn how we can improve your SEO.”

The more relevant the links on a page, the more findable the page becomes. Don’t go overboard, and don’t link to anything irrelevant. If your page is focused on minimalist web design, a link to the Design MeltDown page on minimalism will boost your SEO. A link to a hilarious picture of a cat will not.

Rule Six: Title Tags for the Win

Every page in your site should have a title with the site name and a short description of the page. About 60 letters total. Include a keyword. Remember that the page title is what appears in search results, it should give users a clear reason to click on it.

Your navigation links should have title attributes that match the titles of your pages. This looks like <a title=”name of page” href=”link”>. It’s a small thing, but it will give you a significant SEO improvement.

Rule Seven: Alt Tags Matter

Every image on your site should have an alt tag. Especially images that are relevant to the page. If your page is focused on CSS tricks, labelling a screenshot “example of rounded CSS corners” will improve your page’s findability. Labelling it “screenshot” or “image” will do the opposite.

Rule Eight: Ignore Most Meta Tags

A long time ago meta tags were the secret to SEO. Those days are gone. The only meta tag that really matters now is the description tag. Search engines may use it to provide the text under the link to your page in their results. Make sure it describes the page in a way that explains why a user searching for your content would want to look at your page.

Rule Nine: Have a Site Map

Make sure you have a site map. This is an xml file that describes the structure of your page. Make one, and give it to Google.

Rule Ten: Design for Humans

Search engines are designed to find what humans want. That means the best way to make your site findable is to design it for humans. Your job as a designer is to solve a problem, not make art, prove a point, serve your ego or break a boundry. In this case, your problem is to provide your users with a site that is easy to use and full of what they’re looking for. If you can do that, the search engines will find you.

For further reading I recommend this SEO Guide for Designers.

Have you got any more tips for SEO tips for designers?

This was a guest article written by  Joshua Jeffrey‘s who describes himself as a “busybody in the local and national design/web world” – you can read more about him on his blog.


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154 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • mae Reply

    shouldn’t it be “alt attributes”? :) But, yeah I have to agree with all of the points above especially with the meta tags :)

  • Alex Holt Reply

    Nice article Jacob. There is in fact a serious lack of resources for designers who don’t know about SEO out there.

    It’s nice to hear someone actually speaking out about hte importance of content. I think there are far to many people out there who think that with “good SEO” you can get good rankings for a web site with nothing on it.

    The fact is, if your content isn’t interesting.. you’re unlikely to get rankings, or traffic.. the sooner people discover this, the better :)

    Alex Holts last blog post..Pragmatics vs Validation

  • liam Reply

    Wow, some helpful tips, appreicate it.

  • David Airey Reply

    Hi J., long time no ‘say hi to’. I hope everything’s going well for you? I liked your recent article about design contests, and the simple solution you offered.

    David Aireys last blog post..33 logos in 33 minutes

  • Chad Swaney Reply

    Great tips, Jeffrey. I am right in the middle of a redesign of my homepage, and these tips are going to help a lot. Honestly, it seems like writing semantic HTML is the solution to 70% of web design problems, from accessibility to SEO to pageload speeds. Why don’t people do it? Arrgh

  • LaurenMarie - Creative Curio Reply

    I’m always suspicious of those who say they can guarantee you the first page for your keyword. Thanks for mentioning number 0, Joshua! And thank you for sharing your insights with us :) In SEO and in life it seems the best answer is to be pretty transparent and just keep pluggin away slowly but surely.

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curios last blog post..Great Art You Just Don’t Want to Miss!

  • voipai Reply

    Nice work Jacob. You listed every thing straight to the point. Here are some others things to remember:

    site usability matters big time
    a good and clean layout is essential for site visitors.
    Make the site for user not for the search engines.

  • Kelly Reply

    Joshua,

    Nice article, in plain English. SEO gets people all worried, and I appreciate how simply you laid this out.

    My favorites are number 2 and 10. If you write well, and write for humans instead of search engines, the rest will really sort itself out.

    Regards,

    Kelly

    Kellys last blog post..Why Aren’t We Making More Money? Your Pain Points Revealed

  • Alec Rios Reply

    Nice article, Joshua. Great way to start off the guest posts.

    Alec Rioss last blog post..Social Media Site: Design Bump

  • Brian Yerkes Reply

    One tip I can give that relates heavily to people that blog about design…If you want to see a fast increase in the amount of search engine organic visits to your site, blog about your spin, opinion etc on current events. For example, when American Idol got big, some blogs provided tutorials on how to design the American Idol Logo from scratch.

    Things like that, people are searching for those keywords as they are extremely relevant at that time…and they will find your site! Just make sure your posts are interesting!

    Brian Yerkess last blog post..Obama versus McCain : Web Design War

  • Tracey Grady Reply

    Keep your site fresh – keep the (top quality) content coming. A stale site which doesn’t get updated in months is likely to take a tumble. That’s one of the pluses for blogging. Also, Brian’s suggestion is spot-on.

    Hope you’re having a great time.

  • kristarella Reply

    Good article Joshua! I’ve been meaning to look into the concept of meta data recently… I agree that keywords and tags are better found in the content, but maybe a description for the homepage would be good, so I’ve rearranged my title tag a bit and added in a description.

    Semantics is where it’s at. Love those h tags!

    There’s a cheat sheet from SEOMoz that everyone should own. It’s not exhaustive, but pretty sweet.

    kristarellas last blog post..James Squire Brewhouse

  • Andris Reply

    thanx for this nice article.
    I think it’s important you noticed that links are a big matter of fact. And that not every link is a good link.
    it’s always a pleasure to read your articles.

  • Steve O Reply

    Great list Joshua – all relevant! I get frustrated with the number of people who believe their website should have minimal content and that meta tags alone is good SEO. This list is similar to what I tell them is needed – some even listen!
    I agree with LaurenMarie regarding SEO companies that promise first page listing (or worse, number one spot). I’ve seen some poor results from people using bad services, although I’m sure some of these companies do actually provide a good service.

  • CssGlance Reply

    Anything to add. We think that semantic code and web standards, as you underline, are the right way.

    CssGlances last blog post..Leigh Taylor

  • Jeremy Reply

    Great Post Jacob! These simple, easy to follow articles on SEO are helpful not only to the designer and developer but important for the consumer as well. Your tips coupled with a few of the suggestions in the comments here (like fresh content) are key to really optimizing your site.

    Thanks much!

    Jeremys last blog post..Transitioning to Full Time Freelancer

  • sayohmygod Reply

    Rule 8:

    Only meta description tag matters?

    … and what about meta robots ???

  • Olga Reply

    Hi! Tnx for article! I made translation on my russian blog for webmasters :)

    Olgas last blog post..10 SEO

  • Cleo Morgause Reply

    Great article!!
    The rules are perfectly applicable, not one to designers, but to any one that has a web page.
    Can i to traduct for my blog? Portuguese Brazil.
    Congratulations.

  • Fred Riley Reply

    A sound article, and I pat myself on the back that I implement all the points you mention, though it’s taken many, many years to internalise and apply these rules consistently. Essentially, good website design, by which I mean content structure not ‘cool’ visuals, and clean, standards-compliant code will improve your site in search rankings. As has already been mentioned in other comments, thanks for emphasising content above all – no content, no visitors. Nice tip about the Google site map too. One thing you might add, although it’s not directly in the power of the web admin, is to get as many other sites linking to yours as possible. AFAIK Google’s search algorithm still weights a site on the amount of links that point to it.

  • Eric Reply

    Nice and simple list, I like it alot. SEO isn’t all that difficult! :)
    - Eric

    Erics last blog post..Top 10 reasons to leave your job (and become self-employed)

  • Subash Reply

    I’m craving for stuffs regarding SEO’s. Your article also definitely will help me too. Thanks Jacob.

    Subashs last blog post..Freedom of expose to Nepali models and the need of 18+ rated website

  • Chris G. Reply

    Great article! I have just a few points.

    Rule Three – the html does not have to follow the conceptual flow of the page. Again CSS comes into play here. If you have two columns in your site – one for content and one for auxiliary stuff like navigation and other stuff, you can put your content html before the other stuff and then float the columns for design aesthetics. Position of content in code matters to the engines! Higher = better.

    Rule Four – Why do you have multiple pages on your site then? If you are going to focus on your home page then put all of your content on one page. Otherwise, spread the love to all content pages.

    Rule Eight – Even though the search engines do not use the keywords meta tag anymore. I utilize this tag for myself. I populate it with the keywords and ideas I am thinking about when I write the content. Then later on when I need to edit the content, I have an on page record of my “focus” words. You won’t get penalized for using the keywords tag so you might as well get something out of using it! :D

    Chris G.s last blog post..Top 10 Rankings in under 2 weeks with 1 link

  • Jason Reply

    Nice article, I think you provide some pretty good information to design-focused designers.

    I would move page title to rule #1 – because it is the most important thing to any page other than inbound keyword linkage. You’ve got 65 characters or so in your title, so choose your keywords wisely and stick them there.

    Also, unless MSN and Yahoo has changed – they still use the keyword meta tag in their equation.

    One big Big BIG one is keyword text links within your site. If Google can’t crawl it – it can’t follow it. So fancy flash and javascript navigations aren’t crawled – therefore they aren’t followed.

  • Tedel Reply

    Good article, but too basic, don’t you think? Every person who has been in SEO for a while knows this.

  • Matt Reply

    @Tedel: That’s why the post’s title says “for designers”.

    Re: Rule #6 and title attributes in anchor tags… link text is a far more important ranking factor. Title attributes are more for usability/accessibility.

  • Kevin Reply

    There were actually 11 rules. Why wouldn’t you just accurately title the blog “11 SEO Rules for Designers”?

  • Immy Reply

    Hey guys, I have my website: http://www.redesignyourbiz.com, that is made in flash. So what are the SEO guidelines for websites made in flash? Or should I make it simple HTML? Any suggestions?

  • Ben Whitehouse Reply

    Very good overview of SEO. Unfortunately you really didn’t explain or link to any information of what SEO is. For a broad article about SEO it lacks a pretty critical bit of information (which would probably help your SEO)

    Also you mention cheating, but assume we know what cheating entails. I am a designer, how would I know if I’m cheating?

    Great points otherwise.

    Ben Whitehouses last blog post..St. Paul’s, St. Paul’s

  • Christina Reply

    Great tips! Very useful.

    Christinas last blog post..Pricing Guideline Resources for Designers

  • petnos Reply

    Nowadays i try to solve what is the most important thing for a web site or a blog. And i make a list after getting advices and reading from some experts. And here is a list. We can add more maybe and we can change the order.

    1-Functionality
    2-Usability
    3-Content
    4-Design
    5-SEO

    Here in your post we can easily understand what to do while doing SEO and sure, what not to do.
    Day by day i am collecting much things to finish the chain to know what can i do or what should i do while doing a web site. Hope i am clear:) And thanks for this post. Its really useful.

    petnoss last blog post..Türkiye – Portekiz

  • SEO Pune Reply

    Jacob, great article, you’ve managed to explain most of the important stuff concisely..

  • J. Jeffryes Reply

    J. Jeffryes here. Glad to see all the positive responses. Even from people that think I’m Jacob. :)

    @David: Hey man! Long time no talk. Thanks for the kind words on my articles.

    @Chad: You’re right, writing clean code is the main thing. People don’t do it because doing things “right” is never easy, at least not until you force yourself to make it a habit.

    @Brian: Writing about non-design current events can give you a traffic boost, but it will drag down your pagerank over the long term. If you have a design site and you link to current events, Google will decide your site is about current events, not design, and you will stop showing up in results for design.

    You also have to consider the quality of incoming traffic. What is the purpose of your site? Do you really want people searching for “American Idol” on your site? If you are selling shoes, you only want visitors that want to buy shoes. If you’re “selling” a desire to subscribe to your site, then you want people that are interested in the whole site, not just some passing fad.

    @Tracey: right on. Keep it fresh. If you write in bursts, stockpile posts and set them up to be published later. That’s what Jacob did with this one, I actually wrote it a few weeks ago, so he’d be able to release it while he was on vacation.

    @Steve: people always want the easy way out, but there are no magic solutions. Do things right, even when that’s more work, and you’ll come out ahead. Clients may not like that, but they pay us to tell them the truth, not what they wish was the truth.

    @Sayohmygod: the meta robots tag can matter, but it’s usually not a huge issue for small sites. Good material for a future article that goes deeper into SEO techniques.

    @Fred: all true, inward bound links are key. But that’s still ultimately about content. If your content is great, people will link to it.

    @Chris: I think you actually agree with me on Rule 3. The key is to structure your HTML in an inverted pyramid, with the most important content first. That will yeild the best results from the search engines. Of course the CSS can be used to change the visual layout, that’s the whole point. The way the content is structured and ordered in the HTML can be completely different than how it appears when humans look at the page.

    Regarding rule four, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. The home page is the most important page. Summarize the site and explain why someone would want to go deeper into your other pages. Your subpages should contain ever more detailed information. The deeper a user goes into the site hierarchy, the more specific the information should be. That’s good design and good SEO.

    @Jason: I believe only Yahoo pays attention to keyword meta tags, and how much attention it pays is under debate. You can use them if you want, but it’s not where you should focus your energy.

    @Immy: There are no SEO guidelines for Flash. Google can spider the content of a swf, so try and have relevant static content in your swf. Or use some fancy advanced coding to have a separate hidden HTML site that loads the same content as the Flash site from XML, and redirect search hits on that site to the Flash site. It’s doable, but complex and beyond the scope of a blog comment.

    @Ben: if you don’t know what Search Engine Optimization is, then this article isn’t going to be of much help. Maybe I should have also included definitions for “HTML” and “design”?

  • alojaweb Reply

    a article excellent, thanks.

  • Zhu Reply

    I’m not into SEO… well, I started a website for fun and pleasure, not to outsmart Google :lol:

    I love these meaningful “back to basics” advices.

    Zhus last blog post..A Nation Under Debt

  • Egbsystems Reply

    hai

    Seo informations is very useful for me.

    Egbsystems.com

  • web design company Reply

    Clearly written, easy to follow guidelines that will improve your websites visibility.

    web design companys last blog post..Creative Advertisements

  • modemlooper Reply

    yeah did they even read it? JACOBS ON VACATION!

    Great post heres my thoughts :)

    The H tags :
    You can use H1 H2 H3 H4. H1 is reserved for the titles of postings but you can use the others to give a boost to keywords. You can style them via css. When you write posts or text just put the code around it and google will read it as you saying “hey these words mean something”.

    Images:
    When naming images do not put spaces between the words. Name them like this: just-creative-design.jpg Its better to describe an image more than just name it. People search for images through google and if you can be more specific about the image it will get more hits.

    modemloopers last blog post..What Happens When Bloggers Unite?

  • Jack Shipley Reply

    Never forget the fundamentals: In sports those who forget the fundamentals lose.

    More clients need to understand that shortcuts really don’t exist, except through the minds of talented designers and writers.

    While you emphasize content and the programming backdrop to content, as a writer, I’m keenly aware that good design is just as critical, if not for the bots, for the readers.

    Jack Shipleys last blog post..Parts are parts

  • Calvin Reply

    Great Post. True, True and True. extremely valuable information. Thanks.

    Calvins last blog post..Scars from a Bad Proposal 8 Do’s and Don’ts when Choosing a Web Design Company.

  • ethan Reply

    Great tips.

    Somebody said this article is too basic. I thank you for keeping it basic.

  • WordPress Guru Reply

    Is there a particular reason you are using Just Creative design” for your H1, while the title of this post itself is an H2 ?

    WordPress Gurus last blog post..Blogging Mistakes

  • kristarella Reply

    WordPress Guru,

    Jacob is on holidays so maybe he’ll change it when he gets back ;)

    Apart from that, I don’t necessarily agree with having H1 for the post titles. The headings should have a semantic hierarchy. I you’ve spent a whole lot of time building up the name of your site, then it makes sense to have the site title up the top, after all, that is the name you’re publishing under and it lends credibility (or not) to the text to come. Then the article title, comes next, as the most important thing on the page under the title.

    I’ve been thinking about that for a while, but I’m yet to come up with a good way to articulate it.

    kristarellas last blog post..Multiple WordPress Blogs

  • Greg-B Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more Jacob. An excellent summary of the key SEO rules.

    I think duplicate content is a big no-no too?

  • Johan Reply

    Hey there!

    Nice article. :)
    I’m using PHP-Fusion, as my CMS, and want to make it totally different than anything made by that CMS. (So it’s more like WordPress = so I can show the world that it is really powerful :p)

    This was a nice “tutorial”…
    Thanks for that,
    - Johan (or just call me John when we write in English :P) aka Josso

    Lets see if I’ll follow this blog. :)

  • Sumesh Reply

    I would agree with all but the sitemaps suggestion.

    Seriously, blogs with proper HTML navigation and archive/category pages do not require an additional sitemap to aid bots (even if category/archives are nofollowed).

    Sitemaps might even backfire – occasionally, they can open up new avenues for bots, which you may not want to expose to them.

    Sumeshs last blog post..Download Firefox 3 to help Mozilla Firefox set a world record

  • kristarella Reply

    Sumesh, I think sitemaps are good for preventing duplicated content. Due to the nature of blogs, posts are available on their own page, tag pages, category pages, home page. When they move off the homepage or to the next tag page they’re no longer where Google indexed them to be and potential readers don’t find what they’re looking for. It’s not dependent on how semantic your code is, it’s a nature of the beast.
    Of course, that’s more an SEO tip for blogs, not just designers in general.

    kristarellas last blog post..Do you want people to correct your mistakes?

  • my balls Reply

    Bogus Snogus,

    I declare shenanigans!
    SEO is shit compared to content.
    If your content is good, then search engines, the world, other sites will find and love you.
    All the SEO in the world won’t help, design for humans as the last rule? Nice choosing, sitemaps don’t do much of anything either.

    Why does everyone love google? What the hell is wrong with everyone? Let’s face it google stole everything from yahoo, they just took the 1996 version and made no improvements.
    Do you really have to be a PHD scientist to create a page with 3 elements?
    Let’s be clear Google employees = Self righteous thieves who pat themselves on the back non stop and declare, we’re not microsoft.
    Anyways, I hate self assured people who really think their methods are best, why I hate google and why I hate your post.

  • kristarella Reply

    If your content is good, then search engines, the world, other sites will find and love you.

    Oh yes, it’s easy to wade through the whole internet and find all the good stuff.

    Why does everyone love google? What the hell is wrong with everyone? Let’s face it google stole everything from yahoo, they just took the 1996 version and made no improvements.
    Do you really have to be a PHD scientist to create a page with 3 elements?
    Let’s be clear Google employees = Self righteous thieves who pat themselves on the back non stop and declare, we’re not microsoft.

    SEO isn’t only for Google, I’m sure Yahoo and whatever other search tools you use appreciate sensible site structure.
    Since Google doesn’t make operating systems and related software, I’m sure they think very little about how similar they are to Microsoft. Evidently you know very little about the inner workings and their employees. Congratulations on being an ill-informed ignoramus.

  • SEO Professional Reply

    Great post! You have a great tips. I actually used those tips. Good!

  • clon Reply

    With my 300+ websites background (wsi web-developer) I totally disagree with the “ignore most meta tags” statement.
    Title: My 1st look at the site content.
    Keywords: A must for any SEO.
    Description: Yes, important for any SEO and even more important for human-based search engines.
    Author: Do you really want NOT-TO-TELL the world you are the owner, the author of the site/content?
    And many more that you should use.

  • Amanda Evans Reply

    Great article, thanks for sharing. I wasn’t aware that most of the meta tags were not being used. Looks like I need to update my website a little.

  • Jon Davis Reply

    “Google has hundreds of rooms full of genius scientists with PHDs, and their job is to work 60 hours a week to make sure you can’t fool Google.”

    Highly doubtful. Hard to take the rest of the article seriously after reading this ridiculous comment.

    Jon

  • gMoney Reply

    Great article and good tips! A couple to add – if you’re working on a wordpress platforms, always make sure that you’re filling in the excerpt section of the post, as this is going to get indexed. Also highly recommended is the all-in-one SEO plugin. A bit misleading, as it’s truly not an all-in-one, but manages to get the neophytes pretty close to good.

    Good call on the alt and title tags as well. This is something I very often see overlooked, and while it only takes a moment to fill in, can dramatically improve your serp score.

  • The Logo Factory design Reply

    Decent article on SEO for designers, though I might not agree with this phrase

    “Rule Zero: Do Not Cheat. Period [snip] You can’t outsmart them. Ever. Ignore any advice on trying to cheat the system and focus on making great web sites with great content, and your sites will show up fine in searches.”

    Almost every company that shows up in top ten design searches (I’m very familiar with the ‘logo design’ niche) is cheating their pretty little heads off. Some more than others, but most are in flagrant violation of Google’s ‘webmaster guidelines’. Whether one wants to follow their examples is up to the individual, but it’s a little naive to think that SEO cheating doesn’t work. Unfortunately, it does.

  • Linda Lee Reply

    I love what you said! Sometimes I get bored and want to build flashy unusual sites, but the reality is my clients just want a search engine friendly, SEO’ed, highly usable and affordable website or blog.
    I was trained to use every alt tag, and all the time consuming stuff straight out of the gate.
    I am keeping your 10 rules on my desktop to help keep my head in the right place when I am bored..
    :)

  • tukang nggame Reply

    thanks for the great tips and 1 will try the tips above now to get no 1 on google

  • lake chapala Reply

    Does anybody knows another page to see rules for metatags?

  • Michel Reply

    I printed the rules, and i put it on the wall, above my bed…

  • SEO Singapore Reply

    yes agree, these are all the basic for all web designers should know. And proper naming for images/logo and link also should take into consideration. Avoid using Flash navi and too much JS driven content.

  • Hartanzah Reply

    wow, great tips. i waiting for your next articles

    Thanks

  • Raffi Darrow Reply

    Don’t save your text in JPG or GIFs. If your whole web page is sliced images, the search engines can’t read the text to know what your site is about to properly index it. Sounds like a NO BRAINER but still being done!

  • Umang Reply

    Thanks. Pretty standard stuff, but always good to see in one place.

  • Mike @ Toronto Web Design and SEO Reply

    haha….funny but quite serious note “design for humans”! My respect! There are tons of websites that hard to read because of too-well-optimized text. There must be a golden axxis…kinda middle that would fit both machine’s brains and those of humans. Thanks for the nice article!

    Best regards from Toronto,
    Mike / Toronto Web Design & SEO

  • Willem_Alexander Reply

    Hi,
    Thanks for sharing this, it could help me some..
    Greetz,

  • Sarah Reply

    Rule zero is very important and yet many of us fail to see the importance.

  • Douglas Bonneville Reply

    “Repeating them uselessly is no good (rule Zero), use them in sentences, headlines, and links.”

    Is there a magic fine line between using your keywords in sentences, headlines, and links compared to “repeating them uselessly”?

    I find that if I don’t intentionally mention the key word, I will talk about something and assume the reader (and Google) are right along with me. But then I’ll read it and realize I will say things “this” and “it” instead things like “this logo design”, etc etc.

    • Jacob Cass Reply

      There is no magic fine line, but you don’t want the same keywords constantly repeated in the sentence, as this is called keyword stuffing and will get you penalised. It’s a good idea to use the keyword rather than ‘it’ as long as it makes sense for the reader.

      Be sure to check out my other SEO resources on my delicious page too.

  • egypt designer Reply

    nice, I like it especially Rule Ten: Design for Humans

  • Increased Website traffic Reply

    Nice share. Like your way to describe all of this rule. I understand now. like Rule number ten: Design for human. not for a robot :)

  • Brian Reply

    Yes these are all good tips for web designers who need to consider the SEO aspects. You got most of them nailed. I would just add file names for your images, probably just as important as the ‘alt tag’.

  • Josh Reply

    Great read, these simple steps can lead to a website becoming powerful…will share.

  • Jerry Reply

    Very true stuff, something that everyone should take into consideration when developing content for a site.

  • Kodisoft Reply

    The best SEO Tool – is a unique CONTENT..Good CONTANT – is a main key for site promotion!

  • bulduktrans Reply

    Thanks for seo tips. Realy great share. I am translate to german.

  • Strafe Creative - Graphic Design Reply

    Cheers for this, although I knew most of this its still great to see my thoughts confirmed. Ill definitely be looking through your other posts.

  • Online marketing Calgary Reply

    Jacob, what a great way to look at it! Covering all major things in a very simple way. Thanks a bunch, i’ll definitely pass on to some of my designer-friends!

  • montreal graphic design company Reply

    really a excellent article but you didn’t mention about relevancy and keyword density

  • Vijay Mishra Reply

    Thank you So much for knowledge

  • Prince Zermic Reply

    The worth of keywords or key phrases cannot be underrated by SEO company experts. In many cases, long tail keywords will help you to make more rapid success in the organic rankings. Keywords that are single word can often be indistinct. These types of keywords will likely end up costing you more than what they actually are worth.

  • FranKee Reply

    Guys,

    great article.

    But one point: Ironically you guys do need some CSS print styles so (tested unter FF3) so the first print page isn’t all but wasted on navigation crud.

    Best,
    Frank

  • Mr. Tees Reply

    Didn’t realize that alt tags on images helped with search engine rankings besides getting your images ranked.

  • Indieluv Studio Reply

    Outstanding tips! Very helpful. Thanks. :)

  • SEO Junkies Reply

    Great article and very sound advises. Yes pretty much sums up the entire list of what one needs to remember on SEO while designing a website. I also think sometimes it not just about knowing the steps but also being astute and skilled enough to apply the steps effectively. As seen from some of these comments, not every designer understands SEO from ground up & any superficial information they may have on the subject, will do their website little good. The ideal thing to do is get in touch with SEO experts who can partner with you and offer SEO guidance through the designing phase right up to the actual on site experience.

  • Morgan and Me Creative Reply

    Build a site that’s for the people, the masses, not something only you will understand. Make it simple, focused and to the point. Have text or imagery to direct your users to where you like them to be at. Be subtle though. Don’t go overboard.

  • Saurabh Sharma Reply

    Hi Jacob,

    I like the point “Content is King”. It’s true that we should put some meaningful content so that user can stay on our site and they can get some information as well. Rest of the points are also useful. Thanks Jacob for making us aware about SEO.

  • Acrofmoocky Reply

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  • mellisa @ifsc micr bank details Reply

    that was a complete SEO tutorials in short Joshua Jeffrey.. Thank u :)

  • Robert Brown Reply

    Hi guy, thanks for taking the time to make this page.
    It is helpfull and given me verification also on a couple of things i was not sure about.

    Saludos
    RB

  • Trung Nguyen Reply

    That’s not only rule for designers, most of us have to follow these rules. Great post.

  • sudbury web design Reply

    I must say these are great rules to follow, and wish I would of came across them years ago! Thank you very much!

  • Laptop servis Reply

    how to find out which backlinks are useful and which ones may harm my ranking ?

  • Affordable Serch Engine Optimization Reply

    Good article. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work!

  • adseoweb Reply

    I really like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  • Kiki Bajwa Reply

    Hello Sir,
    I have been constantly reading your articles and I must say that you have inspired me. Your articles are very interesting and informational. Thank you.

  • Robb Gorringe Reply

    Thanks for the useful tips. I was getting a few of these wrong.

    Much appreciated!

    Robb

  • Niki Singh Reply

    Great tips Jacob.

    I have seen many websites with content having repeated keywords, this is just because the websites owners want to include their keywords so that they can get some SEO benefits. But I don’t believe in this. According to me your content should have only a few primary keywords without any repetition. The content should look natural. After-all your website is designed for humans not machines.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


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