How to Integrate SEO Into Your Website’s Design
A website acts as the cornerstone of any digital marketing plan; so it comes as no surprise that webmasters want to make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But if a website doesn’t appear in search results, how do businesses expect their constituents to even see their newly designed website? All too many times, businesses fail to recognize search engine optimization until after they finish designing their website.
This explains the lack of website traffic. In order to save time, effort and money, SEO must be an integral part of website design from the initial conception process. At a basic level, SEO-friendly websites encourage search engines to explore and read all pages across the website. It is important to understand that search engines must be able to easily crawl through and understand a website’s content; otherwise, the search engine will not index pages. Having a digital marketing plan with a clear business model and value proposition will help business owners create a visually appealing and SEO-friendly website.
Have you ever visited a website with confusing navigation? These are the types of websites that fail to provide the answers you were searching for. Since you could not find the information you sought, you probably clicked away to a different website. If you want to attract and retain visitors, you will need to implement easy-to-understand navigation. Visitors prefer websites with clear, thought-out designs, to best simplify their search process. Don’t allow your visitors to get lost when looking for information on your website. Instead, strategize how your website layout can best lead them to it. It is crucial to design your website with your visitors’ needs as the basis for your layout.
Your navigation acts as more than just the menu at the top of your website—it also attracts users to the most relevant parts of your website while highlighting additional services. Thus, include your text links, the content in your design template, and the content on each page of your website when creating your main navigation.
Responsive web design enables a website to automatically adjust for optimal display on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Essentially, the website should automatically switch resolution, image size, and scripting abilities to respond to the user’s device. With a responsive design, you no longer have to think about how your website will appear on various devices such as desktop, tablet, or mobile.
The number of users accessing websites from their smart phones in 2017 continues to exceed 70%. Therefore, delivering a mobile-friendly experience has never been more important. Using responsive web design will provide mobile users easy navigation of your website. Equally important, did you know that Google rewards mobile-friendly websites with greater organic search visibility?
Keywords Still Matter
In order for complete optimization, be sure to implement your keywords strategically through each web page. A common mistake found on many websites involves the use of too many keywords for one page of content. This can hinder leads because the content may be irrelevant causing search engines to penalize sites guilty of “keyword stuffing.”
To maximize lead generation, create unique pages for each group of keywords, ensuring that the keywords on each page remain closely relevant to that content. Additionally, use keywords strategically throughout your website in your title tags, headers, copy, URLs, and image names.
You can locate title tags directly above the URL in the tab portion of the page. Title tags continue to be a major ranking factor for Google and Bing and must be well composed and based on solid keyword research to positively influence your website’s search rank. Keywords ideally appear at the beginning of the tag while used in a natural manner. Tags should also be around 50 to 60 characters long and focus on the end user.
Header tags describe pieces of coding that tell search engines to read certain parts of your content before crawling through the rest. Heading tags help structure the page and indicate hierarchy in a document: H1, H2, H3, and so on. Try to strategically place keywords in header tags to further optimize your website. Header tags make the page visually easy to understand, merging design and content for the best end result.
Be sure to include your business name, phone number, and address on your website. Customers and search engines look for this information so make sure that it’s easy to find; place this information in your website’s header or footer. Also, include a contact form for potential customers to fill out. This gives website visitors a quick and convenient way for you to gather their contact information.
Internal Linking and Sitemaps
To better boost traffic to individual pages consider including internal links as these links open a path for visitors to explore other pages that they may initially overlook. When creating new content, include links back to your older pages that contain relevant information. Links to high-value SEO pages should appear more often, allowing Google to determine which pages of your website are most important. A sitemap is a page that lists out each of your website pages’ URLs. Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to search your site and discover new pages.
Optimizing your photos increases your chance of achieving a top spot in results for image searches. Image optimization is relatively easy and straightforward.
- Image Name – Use a short, yet descriptive name that clearly describes the image.
- Alt Text – Since search engines cannot scan images for keywords, including keywords in alt text allows an additional opportunity to incorporate keywords onto a web page.
- OpenGraph and Twitter Cards – Include these so visitors can share your image on social media.
- Size Dimensions – Choose appropriately sized images to ensure quick and seamless downloads.
Creating Your Optimal SEO Web Design
Creating an aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate website that is SEO-friendly, show your business as having a clear digital marketing plan and value proposition in mind. By implementing these features you will help optimize your website to deliver traffic to your target market. Furthermore, having an SEO-friendly website will climb in search results, gaining new leads. While all of these website features are necessary for an optimized web page, don’t forget your content needs to be fresh, relevant, useful, and engaging to increase traffic to your website.
Is your website SEO-friendly? To redesign your website to best increase your web traffic, contact the experts at Premiere Creative today or give us a call at (973) 346-8100 to help get started.