No matter how many pages a site optimizes, a badly designed website has no chance of outranking competitors. Learn how website design and SEO can work together.
Keyword(s): website design and seo
According to research, 91% of content gets no traffic, and when a visitor does arrive it takes them a mere 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about a website.
These two facts make it imperative that website owners incorporate both outstanding website design and SEO to gain and keep visitors.
Additionally, web design and SEO, although regarded as two separate areas, are inextricably linked. Because of this, they should ideally be carried out in tandem, using a holistic and integrated approach.
In this post, we will be outlining 6 web design tips that will do your SEO a big favor. So, if you are curious to know where SEO and site design converge, and how to implement this to gain better rankings—read on.
1. Increase Site Speed
One of the first SEO tactics that has its underpinnings in website design is to increase your site speed.
Site speed is a crucial design and SEO area, which, if not optimized, can cumulatively cost businesses over $2.5 million in lost sales per year.
According to Aberdeen Research, 3 seconds is the breaking point where visitors start to drop off in droves. Therefore, when optimizing your site's speed, aim to nail a 1 or 2 second load time.
2. Optimize for Mobile
According to the stats, 63% of web traffic is mobile. This means that it is highly important that sites are optimized for mobile users.
In fact, seeing as over half of web traffic is now estimated to be mobile, it would even make sense to design for mobile, and then optimize for desktop, thereby reversing the order of priority.
Additionally, it is important to differentiate between mobile-friendly, mobile responsive, and mobile-optimized design. Mobile-friendly design displays relatively accurately on mobile devices, however, it may not function seamlessly, depending on the device.
Mobile-optimized design reformats entirely for users browsing on mobile and is superior to mobile-friendly design while being more involved to implement.
Mobile responsive design, on the other hand, resizes automatically to suit screen sizes. This is more costly to implement but holds the greatest capability to seamlessly cater to all types of browsing.
3. Utilize Alt Text
As Google is not able to read images and context the way humans do, it is necessary to inform Google and other search engines of what images on your site are about.
The way to do this is through file names and alt tags. Simply add a descriptive filename and alt tag to all images to leverage this SEO/site design area.
Ideally, you should also aim to incorporate desired keywords into descriptions. This will increase your ranking for these.
4. Transcribe Video and Audio Content
Does your site publish video or audio content such as podcasts and interviews? If so, a superb way to capitalize on this within your web design is to include transcriptions of this type of content.
As search engines, at this point, are unable to crawl video or audio files—they have a limited ability to index pages containing these content formats. To assist Google and other search engines in indexing your pages, it is a best practice to publish transcriptions along with any audio or video content.
Otherwise, all of that content will be invisible to search engines, and will thereby be harder for browsers to access.
5. Avoid Boilerplate Content
Boilerplate content is written text that can be reused in multiple places or on various pages. A common type of boilerplate content is company material/info that is repeated and duplicated. This type of content will often describe a company or its services.
Although this creates brand cohesion, in Google's eyes it can be seen as duplicate content. For this reason, it is best to avoid placing boilerplate content across multiple pages. For sites that offer the same service through location-specific landing pages, it is imperative to modify any boilerplate content to pass plagiarism tests.
The dangers of content duplication do not only hold for boilerplate material. Duplicate content is one of the quickest ways to lose rankings in search engines, so be sure to steer clear of this SEO debacle when designing pages.
6. Keep the Number of Pages down
One of the ways to minimize instances of duplicate content—as well as outdated and thin content—is to cap the number of pages you create.
Bloated sites with thousands of pages that do not have good site architecture behind them are difficult for Google to crawl. This means that some of the content might go to waste, and some of it might even get you penalized if it has duplication issues.
7. Get Smart with Title Tags
Title tags are a part of website design that can be used to effectively communicate with search engines. For this reason, you must utilize them smartly.
Because Google puts a lot of weight on title tags you should aim to incorporate targetted keywords where ever you can.
You can extend this practice from the titles and headers of posts right over to the titles of your pages. For example, instead of calling your homepage "Hompage" title it with a descriptive term that informs users and search engines what it pertains to. If you can, incorporate a relevant keyword to further boost the SEO benefits.
8. Check Your Pages
Did you know that there is a way to check whether or not Google can easily access your page? Well, there is, and it is a superb feature to utilize in site design to make sure that there aren't any issues with your pages.
Simply go to Google's Search Console and follow the steps.
Now You Know How to Carry out Good Website Design and SEO Simultaneously
Although website design and SEO are bagged as individual areas, they are highly interlinked. Bad web design is not going to do your SEO any favors, which is why it is important to incorporate SEO practices into your web design from the start.
If you need design or SEO services, be sure to browse our marketplace. For another great read, check out this post on the seven benefits of having long-term SEO campaigns in place.