- Did you know that your website design can have a direct impact on your site's visibility on search engines?
- The performance of your site depends on a variety of factors including relevant meta data, tags, website speed, optimal keyword density and much more.
- While it may seem like a lot to think about, there are some simple web design tips that will help you improve your onsite SEO.
- Check out these five SEO web design tips to transform your level of online visibility.
Search engine optimization or SEO is the key to ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves a complex array of actions undertaken both on and off your website to convince Google that your site is worthy of appearing highly in SERPs.
For any website to realise its highest potential, both onsite and offsite SEO must be performed.
What Is the Difference Between Onsite and Offsite SEO?
Offsite SEO is an incredibly complicated process that includes link building. This is an ongoing venture rather than a one-off activity–it is ideally performed by an expert SEO provider.
Onsite SEO, on the other hand, is more easily achieved by website owners or managers. It consists of actions taken directly on the website itself to not only make it easier for search engines to find, but to also help them rank.
How Does Web Design Affect SEO?
The design of your website directly impacts the perception consumers have of your business and your brand – it attracts and captivates them to take positive action and become a client or customer. It is also a powerful tool for increasing the visibility of your business online, and the design of your site itself matters much more than you might realise.
Designing your website from the outset with SEO in mind can save you time, money and increase your return on investment much sooner. Alternatively, redesigning or tweaking your existing website can be a powerful way to actively improve your visibility online and your appeal to not only a human audience but also to search engines.
The performance of your website depends on a focus on various critical factors simultaneously. These include (but are not limited to):
- And easy-to-read design (consider the text, font, background colour, text blocking, etc)
- A relevant meta title and description for every landing page
- A single, keyword-focused H1 tag on every landing page
- H2 and H3 tags to separate large text content
- ALT title tags on every image and video
- High quality compressed JPEG or PNG images
- 1-3 internal links on each page with effective anchor text
- Relevant, high-authority external backlinks
- A clear call-to-action on every page
- Clear, location-based contact details onsite
- High quality, relevant, readable content with adequate, keyword-rich text
- Use bullets and numbering to improve readability
- Optimal keyword density
- Dynamic content (that is updated regularly)
Content is “king” when it comes to the optimization of your website (you can learn more about the importance of content for SEO in our previous article) but there is a plethora of other ways to improve your onsite SEO through website design. There are also some indicators that are critical in terms of SEO effectiveness.
The Top 5 Website Design Tips for SEO
The top five website design tips to improve your site's SEO are:
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
- Select the right URL
- Understand user search intent
- Website speed matters
- Include a sitemap
1. Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
More than half of all online traffic globally now results from mobile devices, and this rate is only increasing as we collectively become more reliant on our mobile phones and tablets to conduct our day-to-day lives.
Google now reviews mobile versions of websites in its indexation process, and the mobile version is what is invariably displayed in search results.
If your site is not mobile responsive across both Android and iOS devices, your search engine ranking may suffer significantly. As such, the content of your entire website must adapt seamlessly to different devices, operating systems, and screen sizes.
2. Select the Right URL
Otherwise known as your domain name, your URL is the website address internet users type into search engines to locate your website. It begins with "HTTP/HTTPS", or "www."
Akin to a shopfront sign, it’s the first thing your website visitors see so it needs to be clean, clear, concise, relevant, and easy to remember. The perfect URL will incorporate your business or brand name and possibly a relevant focus keyword or two.
3. Understand User Search Intent
Keyword research and analysis is intrinsic to SEO. Not only must you select relevant keywords which reflect the search activity of your target audience, but you also need to focus on their intent.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing and, while in the past exact-match search phrases were Google’s ranking focus, search query intent is now of paramount importance. User intent may be for business location, information, specific guidelines or how-to’s, or for sourcing a specific item or service.
Keywords need to be matched with the corresponding user intent, with landing pages optimized for each. As such, website design must be intuitive, user-friendly, high-value in content and enhance the visitor experience.
4. Website Speed Matters
In terms of technical SEO, the speed of your site is one of the most important ranking signals. A slow-loading site will repel users, as most will abandon a page that has not loaded within three seconds.
5. Include a Sitemap
This assists when search engines crawl, scan and index your site. It offers search engines a guide to your entire site (pages, content, and navigation) and allows you to instruct the search engines about which pages are most important for ranking.
The larger your website, the more important a sitemap is for SEO. Additionally, sitemaps are beneficial for human users to navigate your site.
A fresh, dynamic, and contemporary website enhances not only your SEO and the user experience, but also raises the profile of your brand and the digital impression you convey. When you place effort into your site, it shows that you care about your business – and this elicits consumer trust.
You must fix issues on your website which may be compromising your SEO success. A professional SEO company can provide an SEO audit to help you identify and understand these issues, and offer simple ways for you to overcome them.
Reversing the impact of common SEO errors, whether with small website design tweaks or a complete website overhaul, will transform your level of online visibility and bring you the search engine ranks you deserve.
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