Your website should be designed to impress. If you want anyone to see your site, however, you first need to optimize your site for search. So, as you build your site, keep both the visual aspects and the SEO aspects in mind.
Web design and search engine optimization go hand-in-hand. If you are able to strike a balance between the design and your site’s SEO, you can expect the following results:
- Attract qualified visitors to your website.
- Keep their attention on your web content.
- Convince them to do business with you.
As you work through the design of your site, make sure to keep these 7 important SEO tips every web designer should know in mind.
Keep it Clean and Simple
It can be tempting to add a ton of design elements on your website. However, this have the effect of making your site visitors distracted and annoyed.
This explains why we only use web design elements that are absolutely necessary so they don’t hurt search visibility.
We love white space. It minimizes distractions and helps the right elements stand out. Using an ample amount of white space gives your content room to breathe.
It is also important to note that your website navigation is part of your web design. Providing a simple web navigation experience allows your site visitors to go from point A to point B with ease ‒ making it is easy for them to explore your website efficiently.
When that happens, you can easily educate a site visitor about your brand and what you can offer. This can lead to the outcome of achieving a boost in your conversions.
Design for Mobile Experience
Studies show that more than half of the global internet traffic is from mobile devices. More and more people access the Internet on their smartphones.
This means that you should have a mobile-first mindset when designing a website. Simply put, you should first consider how your website will be displayed on mobile.
Use Consistent Web Content Structure
The content you place on your site is hugely important, but without the right content structure, it can all be a waste of time. As a web designer, your job is to ensure that the site you design is presented in an easy-to-navigate, visually appealing and consistent way.
Website structure matters a lot when it comes to SEO. And whether you are designing a business website, an online store, or an online magazine, the rule of thumb is that a web page should not exceed four clicks from the homepage.
Aside from usability issues, it could mean that your content is too deep in the hierarchy that a search engine bot may be unable to crawl it.
Optimize Your Visual Elements
Other than high-quality content, what makes a site visitor hooked to your website are the visual elements. This includes the font, colors and patterns you use on your web design.
While these elements can make your website look appealing, it is important that they do not bog down your loading speed. The key here is to ensure that your visual elements can load fast.
Luckily, there are WordPress plugins that you can use to help optimize the images that you upload on your website. You can also opt for Accelerated Mobile Pages, which allows you to optimize your website ‒ especially for your mobile site visitors.
Lastly, make sure that search engine bots can “read” your visual content. Since these robots do not know that they are crawling an image or a video, what you can do is add a keyword-rich ALT TEXT on the HTML code. That way, the bots will know what your image or video is all about.
Create Crawlable Designs
In relation to the previous point, you should also keep readable web fonts in mind. This is ideal if you are designing banners or images with texts on them. That’s because popular search engines like Google enable images with web-fonts to be readable.
Content writer and marketer Amy Copadis notes that you could combine web fonts with HTML. This is to ensure that the text on your visual content is crawlable. That way, search engine bots can still see what your image or video is all about.
The best part? You can add a keyword to it, which could come in handy for SEO reasons.
Insert Expandable <div> Tags
Aside from ALT TEXT and web fonts, you can also insert expandable <div> tags to put together minimalist web design and optimized content.
For example, you have a panel of product images. As far as minimalism is concerned, you will just leave the images as is and then use the ALT TEXT to make it crawlable.
You can add an expandable <div> tag to insert an important text for each image. So when a site visitor clicks on an image, the expansion on the bottom will provide a space for SEO-friendly content.
Doing so will make both your site visitors and your SEO team happy.
Keep Page Load Speed in Mind
One of the most important ranking factors is page load speed. That’s because when your website loads fast, it’s easier for you to capture your site visitors’ attention and keep them from bouncing.
Meanwhile, the more time your site visitors spend on your website, the more search engines deem that the content is useful and are more likely to serve it up in search. On the opposite side, if your site visitors leave in a jiffy as soon as they land on your website, your search position may suffer.
You want to do all you can to maintain a fast load speed to avoid high bounce rates. In fact, when your website takes 5 seconds or more to load, there is a 90% chance that your bounce rate will increase. And this could have a negative impact on your search engine ranking.
That said, it is important to implement web design practices that can help boost page loading speed.
Great User Experience is Key
The aim of every search engine is to provide the most relevant and useful results to Internet users. Hence, it is important that you provide a great user experience once people land on your website.
To do that, you need an aesthetically pleasing website that has informative content and practical functionalities. Not to mention that it should be mobile-responsive.
Remember: If a website can offer a great user experience, a site visitor will spend more time on it. This signals search engines that your website is useful and informative. As a result, you will likely see an improvement in your search engine ranking.
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- 7 Important SEO Tips That Every Web Designer Should Know - March 5, 2020