If you want to rank on the first page of search results, it’s crucial to understand the powerful combination of web design and search engine optimization (SEO). SEO web design refers to designing and developing websites to make them search-engine friendly.
What does it mean to make a website SEO-friendly? It means that Google and other search engines can crawl each page on the website effectively, interpret the content efficiently, and index it in their database. Once indexed, search engines can provide the most useful and relevant web pages to their users based on the topics they search for.
When you build a site that integrates SEO and website design, you make it possible for your business to rank higher in search results – this translates to more traffic, leads, and revenue.
Keep reading to learn how to build a site that nails SEO web design!
What is SEO Web Design?
SEO web design is a way of designing and developing websites to make them search-engine friendly. An SEO-friendly website follows SEO best practices – like fast load times, descriptive URLs, and a mobile-friendly experience. These factors make it easier for search engines to understand and rank your company’s website in search results, leading to increases in traffic and rankings.
Is SEO Web Design Important?
Since SEO affects how a site gets found, and design has to do with visual aspects – it may seem like they have nothing to do with each other. And in a way, that’s true. Designers and SEO experts perform different jobs, and you can’t expect one to do the other’s task.
But that doesn’t mean web design and SEO don’t collaborate. Together, they can have an incredible impact on your company’s bottom line. It’s important to incorporate SEO and web design together because you can build a foundation for your SEO strategy through your website and its design.
6 Elements to Optimize for SEO and Web Design
Now that you understand the connection between SEO and web design let’s look at the specific aspects of your site that are affected by both – and how you can optimize them.
Today, over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices – which means that over half of your audience is probably using their smartphones. So, if your website design isn’t mobile-friendly, you are alienating half of your users!
Mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor for Google since 2017. If your website has a high bounce rate because it doesn’t load properly on a phone or tablet, your rankings will plummet.
Website readability measures how easy it is for visitors to read and understand the text on your page. Readability relies on presentation (font choice, colors, spacing, etc.) and context (the actual sentences).
Website readability is vital because most visitors want to find the information they’re looking for on your website as quickly as possible. Highly readable content grabs your visitors’ attention and connects with them – fast!
Here are some tips to make your content more readable:
- Use fonts that are large enough for online readers.
- Use appropriate color contrast to make all text visible on the page.
- Make content easy to scan – use headers and bullet points and pay attention to sentence and line length.
- Don’t put text in images because search engines can’t read what’s inside them.
3. Website Speed
One essential aspect of technical SEO is website speed. If you aren’t ranking well, it could be that your website is too slow, and people are bouncing quickly.
Ideally, your website should load in two seconds. If it takes longer than three seconds, at least half of the users visiting your site will abandon it. Page speed is even more critical on mobile devices when people spend even less time waiting.
Page speed isn’t only important to users – it’s also important to Google. The speed of your website affects Google’s ability to crawl it. And if it has to crawl fewer pages, then you won’t have many pages getting indexed. When this happens, those pages can’t rank at all.
A sitemap is like a blueprint of your website that helps search engines find, crawl, and index all of your website’s content. It provides search engines with a guide to all the pages and content on your website. And it allows you to tell search engines what pages are most important to your site.
Sitemaps are especially helpful for larger websites with tons of pages – and newer ones that may not have any external links yet.
In addition to helping search engines, sitemaps benefit users as they navigate your website. Sitemaps also contain essential metadata about your web pages to increase their chance of ranking highly.
5. File Names and Size
Your images should all have logical and descriptive file names. It may require a little more work than leaving them with names like “IMG_1234.jpg,” but naming them will help search engines ‘see’ your images and put them into context.
And although high-quality images are visually appealing, your designer should try to keep file sizes as small as possible. Why? Because large files slow down page load times resulting in a poor user experience and also increase your bounce rate – and damages your rankings.
6. Alt Tags
In addition to their file names, your images should also have optimized alt tags or alternative text descriptions. These descriptions allow search engines to locate your page, which is essential – especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.
Ultimately, the goal of both SEO and web design is to provide users with a positive experience. Effective SEO will attract users to your site, and excellent design will keep them there.
So, what’s the best way to ensure you have both? Partner with a full-service digital marketing agency like Impact Group Marketing located in College Station. Our experienced team of developers, designers, and SEO experts will work together on your site. The final product will be cohesive, with each aspect perfected by our specialized professionals. Contact us today for a free consultation – and let us help you build an SEO-friendly website that ranks at the top!