How to get website traffic or boost visibility is a primary concern for most business owners. Be it a business website or an online store, without a visually pleasing and SEO-friendly website, you wouldn’t be able to get much traction. Having a well-designed, interactive website is a good start, but it also needs to be well-optimised. Simply put, both website design and SEO work together to create a successful online presence as they help make your website user as well as search engine friendly.
A] The Correlation Between SEO and Web Design
Though SEO and web design are two separate elements, they focus on a single goal – to provide an enhanced, seamless experience to the user. A website is a blend of various elements; graphics, content, images, videos, contact forms, and CTAs. Each element needs to be well-optimised for it to provide SEO value.
For example, having unoptimised images on your website could impact your site’s speed. Likewise, without a well-structured and easy-to-navigate website, even the most well-planned SEO strategy wouldn’t yield the desired result.
As an SEO agency in Surrey we can help optimise your website.
B] SEO Web Design: What Does it Include?
1. Responsive Website Design
If you are familiar with SEO and web design, then you already know the importance of making your website mobile-friendly. An SEO optimised website design is 100% responsive. This provides a better user experience, which helps boost the site’s ranking. A responsive website design makes your site accessible across all browsers and devices. Whereas, a non-mobile-friendly website affects your brand’s credibility and can make you lose your potential customers to your competitor.
HTML and CSS are the most commonly used codes that are easy to optimise compared to Flash and other programming languages. To rank well in the SERPs, having clean codes is essential. Following the W3C standards for writing clean, clutter-free code can also facilitate seamless indexing by search engines.
3. Simple Website Navigation
Navigation is one of the most significant website components that contribute to a great user experience. A simple navigation structure can make it easier for visitors to find the information they are looking for on your website. Well-structured navigation also simplifies indexing for search engine robots. Plus, it will help lower the bounce rate, eventually improving your site’s rankings.
4. Above-the-fold Content
Above-the-fold means how Google and website users see your content when the page loads. The “fold” in this case is an invisible line that divides the content into two: what you see before scrolling and the content after you begin to scroll. Above-the-fold content has evolved, especially after Google rolled out Mobile-First Indexation (MFI) to improve the mobile experience.
5. Content Readability
As a professional web design agency in Dorking we understands that readability is an essential aspect of web design usability. Quality content is the driving force behind all digital marketing campaigns, including SEO. Thus, an SEO-friendly website should consider content readability. This includes getting the font size and style right, proper spacing, colours, and ample white space.
6. Making Use of H-tags
H-tags or Header tags help improve the readability of a web page., H-tags, identified as <H> in HTML codes helps provide structure to your website and are important from an SEO perspective. When it comes to SEO web design, good structure (headings, paragraphs) should be taken into consideration during the planning stage. This ensures your website is a search engine and user-friendly.
Further Reading: Web Design Tips To Make A Website Look Professional
7. URL Structure
Your website should consist of descriptive URLs that describe the content on each page/post and include relevant keywords. Make sure the words (in the URL) are differentiated by hyphens, not underscores. Descriptive URLs help search engines identify and understand your page/post better. Plus, they provide a clutter-free look.
8. Incorporate Structured Data
Structured data is considered a standard format that provides information about a page and classifies the page content. The code used in structured data makes it easier for search engines to crawl, organise and display content in the search result accurately.
9. Image Optimisation
While images can make your page/post look attractive, large, unoptimised images can make your website sluggish and affect the page load time. This could increase the bounce rate and hurt your site’s ranking. To avoid this, optimizing your images is important. You can use the WP Smush plugin to resize, compress and optimise images. Image optimisation also includes adding alt tags to images.
10. Thin/Duplicate Content
While content is king, thin or duplicate content can impact your site’s ranking. It is important to review your website’s content periodically and update it. Siteliner is an excellent tool for identifying duplicate content on your website. Once you have a list, you can work on what content needs to be updated and which low-quality and thin pages need to be removed altogether from the website.
11. Optimised Meta Tags
Meta tags consist of text (up to 130 characters) that sum up the content on a page/post. They make it easier for search engine robots to index your web pages/posts, improving your organic ranking. From a user perspective, it helps them understand your page/posts’ content better, leading to improved click-through rates. Descriptive meta tags with keywords can highlight the most significant element of your content and make your website stand out in the search result amongst your competitors.
12. Website Speed
Google demands your site’s page to load fully in the first three seconds. If it takes more time, it could hurt your site’s ranking and lead to a higher bounce rate. Website speed is one of the strongest ranking factors, and a slow loading website not only delivers a poor experience but can also be penalized by Google.
Further Reading: WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Site
One of the best SEO website design practices that you shouldn’t ignore, is a sitemap that makes it easy for search engine robots to crawl and index your web pages. It helps search engine robots to understand your website structure and ensures your website is accurately indexed. It also helps speed up the indexing process, which is important for SEO. With the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, you can easily create an XML sitemap for your site.
14. Implementation of SSL Certificate
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layers, a public key infrastructure that helps establish a secure connection between the client and the server. In simple terms, it establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Using an SSL certificate for a website is essential to safeguard online transactions. It also helps keep customer information secure and confidential, preventing hackers from reading or modifying the information transferred between two systems.
15. Accelerated Mobile Pages
When your mobile web pages load faster, you automatically improve user experience, which is reflected in your search engine rankings. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) ensures a website loads quickly, offering a consistently fast web experience across all devices and platforms. It also improves engagement and reduces the bounce rate.
Need help in creating an SEO optimised web design? Contact us and to find out how we can help!