How to ensure that your website design is SEO friendly?
Everyone knows that a good search engine optimization or SEO strategy is critical for the success of any website. However, not many businesses or marketing leads think of SEO while designing their website.
Optimizing websites at the design stage can save a lot of heartburn trying to fix the issues later. But that’s only a small problem if you consider the loss of website traffic and consequent loss of revenues just because Google couldn’t find you or rank you higher.
An SEO-friendly website enables the search engine to explore and read pages across its site. Search engines use web crawlers to read all the web pages and rank them according to relevance. A good website design is planned and structured to represent your business and services in such a way that both humans and machines can easily navigate through them.
More than 60% of all Online Searches are carried out on a mobile device. Hence, having a mobile responsive design is a basic necessity. Equal consideration needs to be given to the mobile layout of the websites than just being plain responsive. Mobile-friendliness is an important ranking factor for your site. So, work on optimizing the user experience.
To understand the site, crawlers should be able to read the content of your page. The main content should be text-based. Marking internal links clearly under high-level categories, subcategories, individual files, and so on, will help the search engine to crawl through the index content beyond the home page. The navigation should make sense and simplify discovery.
Universal Resource Locator or URL can add further context to the content of the page. Hence, avoid using arbitrary numbers or characters on the URL and make sure URLs are descriptive. For example, using www.store.com/fashion/menswear/caps is far more effective than using www.store.com/code123/item123/batch123. Some Content Management Systems (CMS’s) may automatically generate numbers and special code for page URLs. Use CMS that gives you the ability to customize your website’s URL.
Search engines love well-formed, clean code. Clean codes make the site easier to index and can be an indicative factor of how well a website is constructed.
Images on your website can be a significant source of website traffic. So, make sure the image alt attributes on all your images are descriptive. All images need alt attributes to be 100% W3C-compliant but beware of adding text for the sake of adding text. Resist the urge to spam the filenames and alt text with keywords. Instead, be descriptive about the right content and context of the image. Add OpenGraph and Twitter Cards so that the images are used in social shares.
A slow site leads to unhappy users. Unhappy users lead to bad page ranking. Hence, choose your site hosting carefully. Modern SEO-friendly website design is lean and efficient. Google’s mobile-friendly test is a great tool to get feedback on mobile responsiveness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. It also provides a report detailing exactly what you can do to speed things up.
Block pages that don’t need to be found
Pages like server-side scripts don’t need to be indexed for search engines. These pages should not be exposed to web crawlers. These could also lead to duplicate content issues with search engines and dilute your real content’s density and negatively impact website search positions. The best way to prevent certain web pages from being indexed by search engine spiders is to use a robot.txt file, one of the five web files that will improve your website.
HTML title tags
The "title" tag is the primary tag that influences search engine results. Title tags should be ideally around 50 to 60 characters long and written keeping the click-through and end-user in mind. A common mistake people make is overoptimizing page titles. Make sure that you place keywords at the beginning of the tag in a natural manner. The approach to HTML title tags should be consistent across the site.
Meta Description Tags
Meta descriptions don’t directly influence ranking, but it is what wins you the click from the end-user. More users visiting the site improves visibility and ranking. Hence, pay close attention to the Meta description tag. Meta descriptions should truthfully describe the page content using relevant keywords (used naturally, not forced). Consider Google Ads for search engine marketing to improve click-through rates. Keep in mind that someone is making a split-second decision to click on your or not. So, make sure that you understand the user’s motivations to be interested in your content.
Rich snippets are another powerful tool to increase click-through rates. People are naturally attracted to listings that stand out with an image, review, or video embedded. These simply push your website listing to work harder to get those precious clicks.
The page content is the most important part of the page for SEO. However, beware of going overboard with keyword usage that affects the readability of the copy. It does not just make for a bad user experience for the reader, it won’t work for SEO either. Position the keywords early in the content. Use synonyms and alternatives.
Blogs on a website are a good way to keep the content fresh on your website frequently. Search engines love to see the content change from time to time on websites. Search engines use that as an indicator that the site is still active and well. Consider using excerpts of the latest blog posts on all the web pages.
Social media for SEO?
Social media does not directly impact SEO raking, but it is a great way to increase exposure to gain link clicks. Social media is a great way to promote your blogs and increase your brand recall. The viral potential of social media makes it a perfect place where your website content can gain traction, increase in reach and generate backlinks.
There are several ways content can be created for social media. However, the important thing to remember is that the content should be useful - entertaining or informative. Links from social can help Google with indexing your blogs. Indexing leads to more search traffic and improved rankings.