How are website design and SEO linked?
The relationship between website design and SEO is based on the design and layout of your website and it’s pages, which has a huge impact on the over all page rank.
Small business owners should realise that over all website optimisation has an effect on each and every page. Optimising one page really well for search engines cannot work if the site is slow to load, hard to navigate or it is difficult to find information.
The strong pages do even better once your whole website has been optimised.
In turn, many well optimised pages can help a poorly optimised page.
The system then goes full circle. The better the content, the better the page rank. The better the page rank, the more traffic. The more traffic and click throughs from Google, the higher the website climbs on SERPs.
SEO website design
Google offers it’s users the best experience and the most relevant search result.
Website optimisation is when a website offers Google a simple way to understand pages and helps a user to easily move around the site, finding the information they want.
Google search engine optimisation
A website should meet certain standards set by Google if it is to rank well. When you look at any of Google’s guidelines they really make perfect sense. Give your customers a good experience on your website, try your best to provide great content and Google will rank you highly.
Google doesn’t always publicly announce what it expects from websites and things often change to prevent manipulative practices. That is why SEO is complicated and takes time. However there are some current basic principles.
Basic Google principles
- Do not create your pages for search engines, create pages for your users. Do not try to deceive visitors to your site, by bringing them in to a page using unrelated key terms.
- Avoid black hat practices to improve search engine rankings. Always ask yourself if you are helping your users.
- Google rewards websites that are unique, valuable and engaging. Writing an informative blog can really help your page rank.
Provide website users with the best experience
Make your website easy to navigate
Use a clear page hierarchy for both Google crawlers and users. Dead links to pages that do not exist have an effect on your over all rank so weed them out.
Ensure each page on your website is linked. Google will find a domain’s home page but cannot crawl other pages unless they are clearly linked. Each link should use descriptive text link, so users and Google know what is on the following page. If you are using images use ALT tags to describe your page.
Provide information to the user
Content hidden behind tabs or expandable boxes can be crawled by Google but Google considers this less accessible to users. Try not to hide information.
Make sure the websites most important information about the site is available as soon as the user arrives, instead of making them wait.
Make sure web pages load quickly
Huge images and too much code on a web page can slow it down. Make sure your pages load quickly for users, as it will help your Google rank. Delete unused plugins, images and code that is no longer used. Keep the pages clean.
Take into consideration slower connections like 4G, especially if you are a tourist attraction or restaurant that people will need to find “on the go”. There should be a balance between great looking and fast loading.
Website design for all devices and all browsers
A website should load well on every device including mobile, tablet and desktop. Much like page load think about how people use your website. If your users are on the road, searching then your website will need to perform well on mobile and tablet. Google actually has a mobile search, which will rank mobile friendly websites higher when users are on a mobile device.
Google Analytics provides detailed advice about your users and which device they are using. This can be really helpful when tweaking a website.
Test your website in as many browsers as possible. There are more popular browsers than others, but actually you should give every user a good experience when they come to your website.
Use best practices for media such as images and video
Remember that page images will be ranked in Google’s image search. Images create a lot of traffic for your page. The more traffic, the better the page rank. When putting a site together give Google as much information about the image as possible, including file name and ALT tags. You could even let people use your image and link back to your site to increase back links.
The best and most relevant videos content is provided when anyone does a Google search, because billions of users would rather watch video than read text. Make sure website videos are included with best practises in mind.
Visually impaired users
You may want your website to be all singing and all dancing, having a visual impact. Do not forget our visually impaired friends who will not see any of that. A visually impaired visitor can use a screen reader, which is a piece of software using a speech synthesizer or braille to read what is on screen.
When designing a website make sure that links and images are appropriately labelled. This will help visually impaired users to navigate around the site easily, and is also good for website crawlers.
Limited the number of links on a page
Relevant page links do help search engine crawlers to navigate around your site, and will help page authority. But do not over load your page with links, as the page can then end up with a high SPAM score. A high SPAM score can crush your Google page rank, which will take time to regain.
Create an informative, information rich website
Google loves content. However that content must be informative, information rich content that will help users. Everything you write should be first and foremost for your user. Expand on that content and make sure that your page produces the best, most relevant content around your chose key term and you will not go far wrong.
This content can be used throughout your website, and you can also use a blog to expand on that content.
Use keywords in the title of your page, and throughout the page
So that Google can understand the content of your page, or your blog post, make sure that you use key terms throughout your page. That will be in the title of your page, which is display on the Google Search Result Page, in the description of your page which may be used, and on images or videos. Use related key terms too, as this can help your web page rank highly. As long as you are writing in depth about a topic this should be very easy to do.
Website design and SEO conclusion
There is a lot more to website design and SEO than meets the eye. Start with search engine friendly web design and small businesses will actually end up spending less in the long run. Actually undoing bad work takes a lot of time and effort.