Your website design can impact your SEO results!
Google rewards user friendly websites, so web design is an important factor to SEO.
When designing your SEO-friendly website, it requires careful planning and a clearstrategy.
SEO is about matching the searchers intent with relevant information they can digest easily.
Follow these web design SEO considerations outlined in this article and your should be on your way to a high ranking website.
Can you easily navigate your responsive/mobile website?
As discussed, a great user experience is essential for SEO and will encourage users to spend more time on your site.
Do you know how much traffic you get from mobile devices? Chances are it’s a huge percentage.
So, you should ensure the mobile responsive elements are limited. For example, you might not want to include several icons on mobile devices, otherwise they will be continuous scrolling.
Google has confirmed that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor so working hard on optimising the user experience will help you reap the rewards
Fast Page Speed
Users are impatient and may not always have a greatdata connection. Ensuring your pages are responsive and quick to load is a critical component of SEO-friendly web design.
Developers might neglect areas affecting page speed to deliver that sparkling visual product that you wanted. Some tech tips that we’ll cover later which may help ensure a fast page speed include;
- Choose a host in your country
- Keep your code simple
- Minimise HTML, CSS, and JS files
- Avoid large images where possible
A slow loading website is a reason for higher bounce rate and lower rankingsaccording toGoogle,and a great starting point is using Google’s page speed tool which will give you feedback on design and highlight ways to speed things up.
Your hosting is also important as it will significantly impact your website speed and a slow websitedesign makes for unhappy users.Your hosting should;
- Follow reasonable rules
- Be located where your audience is
- Be fast
Wpengine has a great website hosting service with reviewing.
Putting content at the fingertips of the user is one of the best ways to ensure extended interaction with the website. It leads the consumer through a process that will eventually end in valuable action from the consumer like form submissions, downloads, and purchases.
Tools like Hotjar allow you to use heatmaps and other tools to see how your visitors are using your website; where they’re clicking and how long they stay on each page.
Internet users will move on if they feel like they are not in control; if your websiteis hard to navigate or presents too many choices, consider your visitors lost. The design should be driven by data and user experience to engage internet users for longer.
The keywords people have entered in a search should reflect the content on the page to meet the user’s expectations. To check you’re doing this try sorting the entry pages by bounce rate in Google Analytics: you should review pages with a high bounce rate to ensure that users are findingwhat they expect when they land on your website.
Don’t Overdo URLs
Don’t fall into the SEO trap of thinking thatsqueezing-keywords-into-your-url.com is a great idea. Use a proper naming convention to provide context for humans and search engines and ensure your domain relates to what you do.
Optimise Images for Users
Images that are too large and take too long to loadcan sink user engagement; the average person waits approximately three seconds for images to load.
However,high-quality, relevant images increase user engagement, withmany reports indicating that when shopping on e-commerce websitesa product image is a “significant” influencing factor in selecting and purchasing a product.
Make Your Design Google-Friendly
More than anything, you want to fall in line with Googlein terms ofease of accessibility and making your website design responsive by Google’s standards.
Previously, SEO experts believed that more pages meant more content, more keywords, and higher chances of ranking. But recent updates proved that placing a lot of emphasis on individual deeper pages can be bad for your SEO.
A Google-friendly websitedesign is one that allows bots to crawl and understand your content quickly.Many potential hurdles can preventmaterialfrom being found or understood that can work against you.
A variety of media on a page and will improve a website’s reputation, but images, videos, and PDFs need to be discoverable, indexableand sit in the overall structure of the website in a way that makes sense.
Google’s ability to crawl visual media has improved,but it is still possible to experience challenges with SEO when content is hidden with pointless effects.
HTTP or HTTPS
The rule of thumb is that if you ever plan on accepting payments on your website, you need HTTPS on those pages at a minimum. In most instances, you’ll want to move all pages to HTTPS considering that this is also one of the ranking factors by Google.
Asitemap is a list of pages of a website accessible to crawlers or users that lists the pages on a website. Sitemapsoffer easy navigation and better search engine visibility benefits, informing the crawlers immediately about any change on your website so that the page is indexed faster.
If you haven’t already, move from a traditional sitemap and create an XML sitemap.XML stands for Extensible Markup Language used primarily to make information machine-readableso that Google can easily understand the makeup of a website.
You can prevent individual pages from being indexed for various reasons by using a robots.txt file.
Consider Website Hierarchy
Your web design should always have a logical structure that allows for natural flow through the website. You are looking to structure the information in a way that makes sense and simplifies navigation and discovery.
There are horizontal and top-down website architecture models.We have found from experience that top-down website architecture is more intuitive and offers a better experience for users. E.g.
- Top-level: Homepage
- High-level: Category
- Mid-level: Subcategory
- Deepest-level: Individual page
A top-down model ensures that most content can be found within four clicks which works better for users and search engines.
A page’s importance/relevance is also indicated by the position within that website far beyond that which can be derivedfrom the unique page by itself alone.
Best web design and SEO practices avoid overwhelming internet users with too much content and too many decisions to makeon one page.
Navigation should not make the user have to think because ifthey don’t find what they are looking for,they will bounce. When putting together your navigation go through this short list of considerations;
- List all of the categories you want to include
- Prioritise which categories are most significant
- Decide which pages should be accessible and from where
Once you have outlined the structure of the website, you can design it to be as simple and easy to use as possible.
HTML5 helps create sleek modern web design, but implementation can be troublesome for SEO.Similarly, CSS3 speeds up page download and giving your website a modern, interactive feel. These designs can be great for user experience, but if they aren’t appropriately coded Google sees an empty page.
Just remember, simple code is more likely to work correctly in different browsers and is easier to edit while more code may mean slower loading times and a higher chance of crawler issues. If you don’t speak code, ask your developer what they can do to minimise it.
We should think about keywords once we have a solid foundation in placeto make the SEO of the pages more manageable.
A well-structured website gets you a fair way toward determining your keyword strategy. You still have to do the research and copywriting, but you can be sure you have a solid plan to target broad and more detailed terms.
Don’t spam the meta descriptionor else Google may ignore it. Make sense for users and categorise content while seeking opportunities tooptimise on-page where possible we can.Google may rank your content but humans click on it, so keep that in mind.
The content should be the most important part of the page, write naturally using synonyms and natural language to ceate high-quality content that engages the user.
Here are some considerations for page content:
- Include short and long-tailed keywords in content (don’t keyword stuff)
- Use keywords earlier on the page
- Use Synonyms and alternatives for the same terms – Google understands thatbarber can be a synonym for hairdresser
Google loves new contentas it indicates that the website is still active and with changing content comes better crawling frequency as well.
Ensure you don’t double up with duplicate or cannibalised content where multiple pages target the same keywords. This reduces the overall impact of your SEO efforts and dilutes your websites ability/authority to rank for a particular keyword.
Nailing your keywords is so much easier once you have a solid structure without internal duplication.
You can please both your web visitors and business bycreating a websitewith the same concepts that fuel solid SEO and help with any other inbound marketing efforts.
Get this wrong in the early stagesand you will find it doubly hard to hit your digital marketing goals.Recognise that the search engine bots are important but create what is best for the users, this will help you increase your leads andimprove your conversions.