Let’s face it, web design isn’t just about aesthetics. In fact, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. As we know it, the practice is rooted in its solutions-heavy, logical modus operandi. SEO is the leading factor that influences how search engines like google, look at the webpages you’ve painstakingly designed.
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Google will not index your pages if you’ve not paid attention to the countless blogs, youtube tutorials, and ads from overzealous youtube marketers screaming the same thing; SEO. The good news is, a little can go a long way with reaching your intended audience. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to ensure your website gets seen by your intended audience.
The idea is to be as clear-cut and structured as needed for search engines to index and rank your website. It’s also important that visitors can easily browse through your website. The homepage must show a visitor the big picture with its significant details broken down into sub-pages.
Let’s say you’re building a website for your jewelry store, your home page can lead to separate category pages for earrings, rings, necklaces, etc. Each of those category pages can have more subpages of its own. However, don’t go overboard or Google might have trouble crawling all of them. If visitors can’t find a page by following links, chances are search engines won’t either.
PRO TIP: Design Crawlable URL’s
URLs play a big role in SEO, so make sure all your pages have short, structured ones. They must highlight the content of the webpage as clearly as possible. If its on the longer side, break it up with hyphens and try to use a keyword or two.
A bit of hyperbole, but you get it.
Okay, you’re probably seeing a pattern here too. Like #1, this is structuring the contents within each webpage. Titles, headers, and metadata are important aspects of SEO you just cannot miss. Every webpage must have a unique <title> tag, so make sure you don’t duplicate your title tags. Similarly, include <h1> tags on your webpages to structure its content. For title and h1 tags, include a keyword or two that’s relevant to the page’s contents. Avoid keyword stuffing. Meta descriptions are a great tool to get more eyes on your content. If you’re unsure, meta descriptions are the blurbs under the links on a search engine result page (SERP). So make sure it’s clear, concise & thoughtful.
PRO TIP: Understand A Searcher’s Intent
Excellent web design addresses multiple stages of user intent, from landing to checkout. Keywords are obviously, key. They represent ideas, subject matter and people, around which content is created. Remember that if someone is searching for something, the question is usually conversational when they’re looking for tips, suggestions, or a specific item. They tend to be less conversational and clear-cut when the searcher tries to look for specific information like an address for a store or store timings. Google Search Console is a fantastic tool to use when trying to find the keywords that can drive traffic to your website. Keep your friends close but your users closer.
As of March 2018, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing in response to the growing online traffic from mobile devices. To meet the rising needs of these mobile users, Google now prioritizes your mobile site. From an SEO stance, your site speed on mobile can impact your google ranking. That’s where responsive web design comes in. It creates a fluid, hassle-free experience that adapts to various screens and devices, ticking the right boxes on google’s ranking factors. You can also check how friendly your current site is with this free tool by google.
PRO TIP: Google Analytics Can Come In Handy
Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool that gives you handy insights into your audience’s behavior and preferences. It also tells you which devices they use, along with the kind of content they interact with the most.
While Google has found ways to effectively read and rank text, it’s not quite there yet with images. That’s why it is imperative you pay attention to alt texts and the nomenclature of your images.
Alt text makes your images are accessible not only to more viewers but also lets a search engine know what the contents of your image are. This recognition can help you rank higher in google images too!
PRO TIP: Watch Our For File Sizes
Bigger files like png’s can cause your sit to slow down. So stick to .jpg and .svg formats for better load times.
This is more important than you think. We talked about structure being one of the most important things for Google to distinguish your content from others. That being said, unusable pages that aren’t properly linked to the rest should be blocked from being indexed. Before we tell you how, let’s get the basics out of the way.
Crawling: the process of following a page’s hyperlinks to discover new content/pages
Web Spider: does the crawling
Googlebot: Google’s web spider
Indexing: the process of a search engine organizing and storing every webpage in a massive database
Crawl Budget: the number of pages Google will crawl on your site on any given day
Google says that having many low-value URLs can negatively affect a site's crawling and indexing.
“Wasting server resources on pages like these will drain crawl activity from pages that do actually have value, which may cause a significant delay in discovering great content on a site.”
While google mentions that if your site has less than 1000 URLs, they will be indexed efficiently, it wouldn’t hurt to ensure your site’s usability.