Yes, a website for your brand or business is absolutely mandatory in today’s competitive era. But you need to have a proper SEO-optimized website that features in topmost search rankings like the most popular websites. A beautiful website, with a design attuned to SEO, is indeed the key to attract more visitors, target higher conversions, and generate more leads and revenues. So, that brings us to explore deeper into web design for SEO and how to optimize a website to boost its rankings.
What Is SEO Web Design?
Web design for SEO essentially refers to developing and optimizing a website to make it as SEO-friendly as possible. An SEO-friendly website is built on SEO best practices, like having quick page load times, high mobile friendliness, and appropriate descriptive URLs. SEO web design is adopted to empower the Internet search engines (like Google), to easily identify and understand particular websites, and help them get featured in the highest search rankings.
Why Is Web Design for SEO Vital?
While web design concerns more about the visual aspects of your website, SEO concerns the functional aspects. However, both of these are heavily interlinked. When your website is designed as per SEO best practices, it can save unnecessary struggles even if you plan to rebrand your website i.e. relocate it from one domain to another.
A poorly designed website is certain to have a damaging impact on its SEO and cost you unnecessary money, time, and effort without any fruitful outcome. The best way is to build a strategy that combines SEO best practices into the web design and treat it as the foundation to developing an effective SEO-optimized website.
Which Aspects Need to Be Optimized?
Now, there are specific elements that depend heavily on the SEO web design. To build an SEO-friendly website, it is vital for optimizing these elements.
First and foremost, some fundamental web design elements must be kept in focus for better SEO performance. These include –
- Mobile-friendliness. Nowadays, with the majority of website traffic comprising mobile users, mobile-friendliness is a crucial factor to rank high in Google search results. So, your website must be equally responsive i.e. compatible with all the available mobile devices today. Users or visitors must be able to easily access your website on all browsers and mobile platforms. The mobile-friendliness of websites is one of the most critical ranking factors used by the Google search engine.
- Readability. Along with the non-textual aspects, it is vital to focus on the text present on your website- mainly the size of the fonts and style. A website with properly spaced-out texts is always more soothing to read and less confusing. The use of well-optimized, informative, and high-quality content matters considerably, in terms of SEO. The design of your website must allow ample space for copy and relevant information, to achieve high rankings.
- Code. When it comes to the programming languages used to design a website, CSS and HTML are the most popular options. And these can be used fairly well when it comes to designing SEO-optimized websites. However, in an attempt to create an eye-catching site, using elements like Flash can significantly hamper SEO performance. Flash is extremely difficult to optimize, so its use must be strictly avoided or minimized to the least.
The overall architecture of your website plays a vital role in delivering a matchless user experience, which again helps in deciding its SEO rankings. The most critical architectural elements to keep in mind are
- Navigation. The idea is to provide your website visitors with a seamless viewing experience, and navigability plays a huge role here. An easily navigable website is not only pleasant to explore, but also adds value to the visitors when they are looking for some information. Simplicity in navigation will help visitors relate to your website, which increases the likelihood of conversion. It reduces bounce rates, prevents users from feeling confused and leaving your site, and ultimately boosts SEO rankings.
- Structure of the URL. A well-structured URL makes it easier for the search engine to understand your website pages. So it is crucial to make each page URL properly and relevantly descriptive, using words and phrases separated by hyphens only. You can take it a step ahead and include few relevant keywords in the URL too, to further improve SEO rankings. But do not use random numerals or letters at any cost.
A website containing only textual content is certainly less visually appealing than a website with images, videos, and text. The use of images is imperative to enhancing its appeal and attract greater viewership. However, one must optimize images properly considering the following aspects.
- File size. Even though high-quality images are more visually attractive, they are considerably larger. Large image files take more time to download and display, which invariably increases the page loading times. A website that takes ages to download and display its contents is a sure-shot recipe to turn away visitors and increase bounce rates. You must use smaller image files that are lighter and can download in a jiffy!
- Filename. Just like using a descriptive age URL, using relevant and descriptive names for image files also helps the search engine read and contextualize them better. It does take some extra effort to create descriptive filenames, but the result will be outstanding.
- Use of alt tags. Using alt tags is not just great for accessibility purposes, but also helps search engines understand the representations better. Moreover, in case the image does not download correctly, users can hover over their mouse cursor to read what the image is about. So you need to ensure that all image files on your website contain optimized alt tags, along with properly formatted filenames.
Web Design And SEO – Final Points
Both web design and SEO work in conjunction, to provide a high-quality user experience. And when your website consistently offers exactly what your visitors are looking for, it becomes the magic formula for the success of your business.