How to Utilise SEO Web Design

Posted by luke on

Web Design and SEO became officially “married” in April this year, when Google announced that websites needed to be “mobile optimised” if they wanted to have a better chance at being ranked highly in their algorithm. This was huge because it was showcased how the design of a website is such an factor in its search engine ranking.

Also, considering that:

  • 70% of the links search users click are on organic search engines
  • Google owns 65-70% (approx) of the search engine market
  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine

Source: imForza

It is no mystery why you should be investing in website SEO techniques, and web design SEO is just another avenue to take advantage of.

So, how do we do that?

Get a Responsive Website

Responsive web design is the process of making a website that is able to adjust to the dimensions and specifications of whatever device it is being used on. Whether it is a mobile, tablet, desktop etc.

A responsive website has many advantages other than SEO, including better usability and cost effectiveness. When Google talked about “mobile optimised” they were referring to responsiveness.

Check out our previous blog post on responsive website design here.

Use Many Internal Links

There is a phrase that you might hear web designers talking about called ‘dead end pages.’ These are pages that have no ‘next step’ for the user, in terms of their journey through the website.

This is an issue for two reasons. Firstly, it encourages the user to simply abandon the site when they reach a dead end, because they don’t know what to do next. Secondly, it makes it more difficult for search engine crawlers to index the site.

The more links there are between sections of the site to one another, the better your SEO ranking.

Optimise Image-tags, Meta-tags and URLs

It is commonly understood in the SEO world that you need to include keywords in your body copy if you want a better chance at being searched. However, many people simply aren’t getting the most out of that situation.

The first thing that you should change the image tag on the images you post. Instead of saving it as “DSCN00023.jpg” save it as a keyword, such as “How_to_optimise_SEO.jpg” it will boost your SEO ranking. The same goes for Meta-tags and URLs.

Avoid Flash

Search engines have trouble reading flash files, which means that any links or content used will have trouble being indexed. Plus, it also slows down the page’s load speed which will affect its ranking. Unless it is absolutely necessary, remove Flash from your SEO web design.

Make it Faster

If you go to Google Webmaster Tools, you can check your “load speed” under the Site Performance tab. This speed lets you know how long it takes for users to download everything on your site into their browser.

Once again, Google has said that the speed of your page is one of the factors used to determine your SEO ranking. So it is important to keep it fast. Fast sites are considered to be 1.5 second loading time and under.

So, what if your loading time is too high? Here are some things you can do to shave it down:

  • Enable compression – There are programs that will reduce the size of your CSS, HTML and Javascript files that are bigger than 150 bytes.
  • Reduce Server Response Time – Check your hosting provider and consider upgrading to a package that can handle more traffic. If you are getting increased traffic, but don’t have the hosting capabilities to handle it then your site speed is going to suffer.
  • Take Advantage of Browser Caching – When you load a page in your browser, it has to load everything first. Browser caching will ‘remember’ everything that has been loaded the first time they visited your site, so when they visit other pages, they don’t have to load all of that info again.

Website design & SEO will enable you to get more out of your website and get ranked higher on search engines with minor amounts of effort.

Check out our other blog posts on Website Design:

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