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SEO Focused Web Development

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is rarely the first thing that business owners focus on when contemplating bringing their business online. This is why developers and website designers have a duty to code with SEO in mind from the outset as well as the duty of educating clients about the processes involved in getting search engine traffic.

First of all, semantic code is a must. Semantic code can be described simply as meaningful code. The use of proper HTML tags to markup pages in a way that makes sense to search engines is vital. Using HTML Heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc...) is a good example. CSS can then be used to style these tags giving absolute flexibility.

Secondly, all images can be optimised for search engines. Adding alternative text to images using the "alt" attribute within the <img> tag helps a great deal.

A third SEO tip is to minimize the use of HTML tables to create the layout of a page. Using HTML tables for tabular data is fine, in fact it is highly recommended. Some of the arguments against the use of tables for page layout are outlined at CSS Layouts Without Tables. This article also provides examples of how to code page layouts using HTML and CSS without tables.

A fourth SEO tip is to put CSS and JavaScript in external files. This reduces the size of your pages and increases the percentage of content within the page which is actually relevant to search engines.