SEO and website design: how to design your website for optimal SEO
Websites can be dazzlingly attractive, equipped with the coolest functionality, but they cannot bring tangible results to businesses if they are not SEO-friendly.
Today, it’s pretty clear for everyone what SEO is and why it is vital for businesses. However, there is one thing about it that not everyone understands — SEO needs to be incorporated into website design processes and not just added later. In other words, you cannot use SEO like a paint on the walls — you need to build it into the foundation.
Today, our website support and development team is going to share with you how SEO and website design go together.
SEO and website design: how to build an SEO-friendly website?
An SEO-friendly website is one that is easy for search engine crawlers to find, crawl, and index. A website like this is really built for search marketing and lead generation. Here is how to achieve this by integrating SEO into website planning, design and development phases. This is important both when you want to design a website from scratch and redesign an existing one. Let's go.
Site architecture and URL structure
Probably the most important point of SEO in website design is that every site needs a well-organized structure of pages in order to be easily understood by search engines.
- Structure and categories. Categories need to expand to subcategories in a logical order, with a recommendation to keep it as simple as possible. This structure should be reflected in your website navigation, as well as your XML sitemap — a file that provides search engines with a comprehensive list of URLs on your site.
- Descriptive URLs. URLs need to be meaningful and enriched with the relevant keywords that you want to rank for. Of course, the URLs in your website structural pages should be especially concise and brief. Words are separated by hyphens with auxiliary words (articles, prepositions, etc.) often omitted. If you plan automatic URL creation, which is relevant for large websites, the optimal patterns need to be provided.
- Interinking. Another important thing is interlinking between related pages, which will spread the “link juice” (value of the links in terms of SEO) throughout your site. This will help your pages be more prominent in Google’s search results. It’s a must to involve an SEO expert at the stages of website structure planning. It lays a foundation for the future SEO success. Fixing the URL structure later will involve a lot of hassle and require the creation of redirects, which is unfavorable for SEO.
Content optimization is on everyone’s lips, but a good SEO expert will also make sure that other website elements bring organic search traffic. Images, videos, PDFs, and other visual content can be very important here. You just need to help search engines discover and read this content.
An SEO expert can advise designers on incorporating specific content requirements for future editor’s work into website’s design where possible (or this can be in the form of recommendations):
- ALT tags. ALT tags describe the content of images to search engines and screen readers. In order to make images a source of search traffic, it’s necessary to never forget a descriptive and keyword-rich ALT tag. This can be made obligatory at the website design — for example, as part of its accessibility improvements, it’s made impossible in Drupal 8 to add an image without an ALT.
- File names. The file names also matter, and they need to be descriptive, optimized with keywords, and cleaned-up from unnecessary symbols (numbers, underscores, meaningless letters, etc.)
- File size and format. A website can be configured to only allow files within specific size or on the specific format. This will improve your page loading time and reduce bounce rate, which is important for SEO.
Let’s say your website is found at example-website.com. This should be a single canonical version of the site. It’s a must to take care that all possible variations and subdomains correctly point at this main website. The WWW version should redirect to the non-WWW version, the same applies to the URL versions with slashes (https://example-website.com/). A good SEO expert will never miss a detail in this field.
At the website design stage, you need to think about your future mobile audience and its search activity. The number of users browsing websites from smartphones or other mobile devices is increasing. Any SEO expert knows that mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor for Google. So your website needs to provide the best user experiences across all devices and browsers.
SEO specialists prefer (and they are right!) the option to achieve mobile-friendliness through responsive web design rather than through a separate mobile version of the site. A site built according to the responsive web design principles adapts itself to all devices, while staying in its unique and single version. This eliminates the need to create duplicate content and leads all traffic to the same site.
Website speed and user experience
Loading speed and usability will also influence your SEO ranking, so website design should be created with these factors in mind. Everything is important: how long users have to wait for your page to load, how long their session duration is before they leave a slow site, whether they will visit you again or not, and how quickly and easily they reach their goals. Good UX is officially becoming a ranking factor for Google according to Google’s Page Experience Algorithm.
Contact a company where SEO and web design meet
In order to make SEO and website design work together, you will need the proper cooperation and communication of the relevant experts. The best option is to work with a web design and SEO company.
Here, Drudesk website maintenance and development team is exactly what you are looking for. We are a team with developers, designers, SEO specialists, QA engineers, and project managers. Based on the needs of the project, they work closely together.
So if you have an idea to develop an SEO-friendly website or redesign your current one, you can easily entrust this to us. In addition, if you want to fix some existing SEO issues, we can offer you an SEO audit and optimization.
Contact us to have SEO and web design services combined perfectly for your project!