Since all major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo determine the ranking of their search results in a similar way, the internal coding and the visual appearance of your website plays a hugely important role when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). With the internet now being the hottest source of information for almost everything you could think of, it’s also one of the biggest platforms out there for advertising your brand. With the average web user browsing the web around fourteen times a day from a variety of devices, every website has a design – but is yours helping, or hindering your success? We’ve listed some top tips for improving your website’s SEO through your web design.
When it comes to optimizing your web design for SEO, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is failing to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Today, more and more web users are foregoing the traditional desktop and laptop computers when browsing the web, instead, using portable, convenient smart devices such as a tablet or a smartphone, which can be checked on the go. Since search engines such as Google noticed this, they updated their algorithms to favor websites which offer a truly mobile-friendly viewing experience for all of their visitors. The best way to achieve this is by using a responsive website design, which ‘responds’ and fits to any device that your visitors may be browsing your website on.
Keep Up to Date
Similar to the fashion industry, the website design industry is constantly changing with the addition of new trends, along with others that come back around. One of the best ways to improve your search optimization through your website design is to ensure that you are utilizing the hottest trends and that the layout, visual appearance and navigation on your website is not dated. Simply by using a modern and up-to-date website design, you will improve your website’s bounce rate since more visitors will be likely to stick around if your web design is highly appealing and includes an easy to use UI. Currently, the top three web design trends include video backgrounds, multi-grid layouts, and interactive website designs.
Don’t Slow It Down
Although it’s essential to study and consider the hottest web design trends to ensure that your website not only appears modern and trendy, but also provides a sleek and updated experience for your viewers, it is also essential to consider whether or not your choice of web design is going to slow down your page loading time. For example, video backgrounds can be very appealing and are certainly popular today, but the problem with this is that a large video file on your website can quickly slow it down and frustrate your users. Be sure to check whether or not your site’s web design is affecting your page’s loading time using Google’s handy tool.
Revamp Your Meta Tags
Meta tags are a hugely important component of your website, as they are picked up on by search engines before they rank your site in the search results. The purpose of a meta tag is to notify the search engine of the title, description, index rate and keywords on your website. For the best results, every page on your website should include a meta-tag, so regularly take the time to ensure that all of your meta tags are up to date and that none are missing.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
Whether you are writing meta tags and descriptions for your website or want to improve SEO by including more keywords in your website content, long-tail keywords tend to yield the best ranking results since they are more specific and unique. Along with this, it can be much easier to naturally fit a long-tail keyword into the flow of your content without it looking forced or obvious. This, along with informational, interesting website content that flows well, will not only improve your website’s traffic, but also the bounce rate by encouraging more visitors to stay and learn more.
Less Is More
When putting your website design together, keeping it minimal will provide the best results for your on-site SEO campaign. Not only is minimal web design a good SEO booster, it’s also really in style and works with almost any kind of website. A minimal web design is straightforward and easy for all viewers to understand, and there’s little chance of a web user getting lost in the navigation system or failing to understand how to use your site when you keep things simple. According to opinion polls, web users much prefer minimal web designs – so providing your viewers with what they want will earn your website favor with search engines.
Check Broken Links
It’s important to regularly check your website for any broken links, since leaving them present will increase the total number of redirection requests. Since too many redirections will result in a drop in your site’s visibility and ranking in search engine results, it’s important to ensure that you eliminate broken links by running a check once your website is launched to the server. Usually, broken links are caused by an issue that can be quickly rectified, such as a misspelled word.
Improve Your Website Content
When it comes to SEO, web content still rules supreme. So, along with the visual parts of your website design, getting the content just right is also very important for achieving an excellent standard and improving your search engine ranking. In general, websites which include great content tend to be much more favored and trusted by search engines, leading to higher rankings and better traffic. Make your content more interesting for readers by using appealing Google fonts, high resolution images, and bold text. You may also want to consider incorporating a blog into your website’s design; this will provide visitors with much more information to read and creates more URL indexes for your site on Google, leading to increased visitors.
Would you like to add to this list? Share your best design tips for on-site SEO in the comments!
header image courtesy of Ayana Campbell Smith