How to optimise your web design for search engines
In the wonderful world of technology, there are numerous ways that you need to optimise your web design for Search Engines. If you’re just starting out, it’s crucial that you understand the basics before you get too far into the project.
That’s why we’ve created this post detailing our top tips for optimising your web design for Search Engines.
What are search engines looking for?
It could be argued that content is the bread in the sandwich when it comes to web design. However, you can’t deny that content is especially important when it comes to the success of a website. This content needs to be unique and it needs to include keywords that you want to rank for.
Search engines are always looking for a website that works properly and loads in as little time as possible. With the rise in mobile technology, this is crucial if you’re target demographic are savvy with their smart phones.
Whether you’re linking to other authoritative websites or they’re linking to you, search engines are looking for whether your website is being used as a reference in external, online articles.
Search engines are looking to see whether you’ve thought through the user experience of your web design project. This includes whether it’s easy to navigate, whether key information is immediately accessible and whether it looks safe to use.
What do you need to avoid?
Black hat SEO tactics
Black hat SEO is a term that typically describes ways designers try to fool search engines into ranking their website higher than it should be. These tactics include hidden links, keyword stuffing, colouring keywords the same as the background and buying links.
Lack of user experience
You may have the most beautifully branded logo, but if your users aren’t able to navigate around your website, they’re going to leave. This, in turn, increases your bounce rate, something that search engines are going to notice.
All content on your website should be unique, never copy word-for-word the same text onto multiple pages. The more unique content that you include in your web design from the start, the more chance you have of getting on the right side of Master Google.
As we’ve already mentioned, buying links for the purpose of increasing your rankings is a complete no-no when it comes to optimising your site.
What else should you be optimising?
When you’re planning your project, it’s important that you think about how you’re going to name the URLs for each of the pages on your site. They need to be readable but should give users an “at a glance” snapshot of what each page will include.
When it comes to the optimisation, you need to make sure that one of your keywords is included in the page URL.
We’ve already mentioned how important unique content and keywords are when it comes to optimising your website. However, you also need to take into consideration how easy your users will find it to find you on their social media platforms.
Whether you’re working on your own or have a content marketing team behind you, consistent use of specific keywords within these posts is going to help towards your SEO rankings.
It’s not just the content that you need to optimise for search engines, it’s the images that you use on your website too. When you’re in the initial stages of planning, make sure that you rename each of your images with as much detail as possible, adding in descriptive ‘Alt’ tags along the way.
This means that once they’re loaded onto the site and it’s been launched, users will be able to navigate to your site through image results on search engines.
Categories and site structure
The placement of content on your website also has an impact on how search engines rank your content. Whether it’s information for your current users or products that are on offer, it’s important that you name your categories and sub-categories appropriately, using keywords where sensible.
As we’ve already touched upon, links are important when it comes to optimising your website. However, it’s not just the internal links that help, it’s the outbound links too.
If you’ve included links in your content that redirect users to on-topic information on another website, that’s a good indicator to search engines that your own content is relevant to the keywords you’ve used.
Include social sharing icons
As social media is becoming more integrated into our everyday lives, it’s important that when you’re in the initial planning stages of your web design project you include social sharing icons. Some of the more popular platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Youtube, each business will have a social platform that will work better for them and their customers so choose wisely.
Utilising the social platforms of your readers means that you’re increasing the number of external links to your website (good for increasing traffic), you’re expanding your brand reach and awareness (good for enticing new customers) and you’re increasing your chances of lead generation (good for business).
Include a blog
Not only does a blog ensure that you have a constant stream of unique content for Search Engines to crawl, it also gives you more of an opportunity to include more keywords in each of the articles.
Remember, it’s not just writing meaningless filler content. When you have a blog, you’re able to incorporate different pieces of rich media. These can include:
- Videos and animations
- GIFs and cinemagraphs
- Audio files
All of these different forms of rich media content should be published in such a way that your readers can share it on their social media platforms.
So there we have it, our top ways to optimise your web design for search engines. What do you think? Are they any ways that you use that we’ve missed out?
Remember, we’re experts in all things web design. If your business needs help rebranding your site or giving it a complete face-lift, then get in touch with us here. We’d love to be able to help your company thrive in the ever-changing world of web design.