Regardless of how well-designed a website is, it will go to waste without search engine optimization (SEO). How will your target market find your site if it doesn’t rank on the first page of search results?
Overlooking this aspect while concentrating on making the most eye-catching site will be anticlimactic. You will only end up at the bottom of the search ranks, which may result in you losing potential customers and online presence.
While usability, professionalism, and attractiveness are all geared toward great customer browsing experience, it is SEO that will showcase those design elements to their intended audience. This is why it is highly recommended that a website is designed SEO-friendly from the get-go.
It is best to combine web design with SEO. And this is not just the dodgy black hat tricks, which will only get you penalized. These should be good, clean optimization techniques that will legitimately help you increase your SEO rankings and, as you may know, higher rank means more profits.
Check out below and find out what are these techniques.
1. SEO-friendly images
Aside from concentrating on writing relevant content, it is also important that you optimize the images on your website. There are three things that you need to do when you want your images to be SEO-friendly.
Use alt-tag on images so that crawlers will find more relevant content whenever these bots crawl your site. By alt-tagging, you add an image description, which will be advantageous not only for web ranking but also for readers who are visually-impaired since the displayed images will be described audibly.
Downsize images since it will take time for larger ones to upload. A slower load speed will negatively affect your rank on search engines. So make sure that you scale down images to help with your page speed.
Lastly, never forget to include keywords in naming or describing images. This SEO technique is often overlooked by most publishers. However, this is proven to be quite effective in boosting your web visibility.
2. More accessible content
Adding restriction to content, such as paid access and paywalls, can hurt your page ranking. You may have your intentions to monetize since you are a business, after all, but locking out visitors and restricting to members only will have ramifications.
Google’s crawlers need access to a website to gather content. If they can’t crawl a site, then a website’s content is virtually invisible to Google and the people searching for it.
If it is possible, and blocking content is not really that necessary, it is much better for you to make several sections of your site optimized and open to the public, most importantly the landing page.
If you are running a news website, however, accessible content may be counterproductive, which is why Google created the First Click Free (FCF) solution, where readers are treated to a free content during their first visit before paywalls are served.
Since not all publishers are open to giving out content for free, even if it’s only for the first time, Google has recently ended FCF and offers it on a voluntary basis without affecting rankings.
3. Up-to-date information
Search engines favor content that is current and relevant to their customers. If your page remains outdated, don’t expect that you will rank higher. It is essential that you keep publishing new material and updating old pages with newer information and images.
It is also important that you maintain a social media page or a blog where you can regularly post interesting materials for your audience. Through this, search algorithms will find more reasons to boost your rankings.
4. Optimized URLs
One way to optimize your website is through changing your domain or page name. Make sure that your URL is search-friendly.
Avoid using vague abbreviations and try to come up with a name that best describes your services or the page itself. For instance, if your business specializes on cake nappies, then make sure that the keyword is included in the URL.
Also, incorporate geographical information for location-based searches to reach your target market.
5. Mobile-friendly website
Nowadays, most people are using mobile phones in searching information. In 2016, it was found that internet use on smartphones has surpassed desktop usage by 2.5 percent, suggesting that most of your potential customers are reachable through their phones.
For this reason, Google decided to rank mobile-friendly sites higher. And in preparation for Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm, which is coming this 2018, you have to make several modifications to your website.
First of all, you need to have a responsive design which allows users a desktop view of your page even through a mobile phone but, of course, with slight changes. Moreover, the text should be, to some extent, bigger to accommodate narrower screens and allow people to read easily. You know that it is quite tiresome to tap your fingers on the screen just to make the article readable.
If you are not using a phone-friendly web design, you will surely go down the ranks.
6. Faster Load Speed
No matter how attractive your design concept is, a slow page load could be a cause for penalties, if not by Google, then by your target audience.
A higher bounce rate is most likely incurred when page visitors find your page loading sluggishly and they leave your website. Even if you have better content, slow loading will be a point against your rank and reputation.
Combining SEO techniques with impressive web design is essential to gaining traction and to building brand awareness, potentially bringing in customers and increasing profit for your business. And since online competition is fierce, it is highly critical for you stay updated with the changes search engine algorithms are going through lately. This will assure you of better website visibility and relevancy, helping you stay ahead of your rivals.