Your website acts as a first impression, not just for human eyes, but for search engines as well. This means you have to make sure it’s aesthetically appealing on all levels, including those that involve the technical makeup of each page. Without a solid web design that keeps search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, you’re opening your site up to problems ranking high in organic results.
Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true ways to keep both your visitors and Google happy:
- Avoid complex site framework and layouts: You might assume a complex-looking site makes your company appear edgy, trendy, or professional, but it can be confusing to search engines. Search engine crawlers are created to analyze sites based on simple, logical formulas developed using traditional web design structures. If your site uses unusual framework and layouts, you may find your SEO takes a hit. This doesn’t mean you can’t have the newest designs, such as the parallax-style website setup that incorporates many pages into one large page, but you need to understand the SEO ramifications.
- Make sure you have a responsive site: Responsive site design is a must for many reasons, including SEO. Response sites are easy to view and navigate on any device, regardless of screen size. Plus, search engines including Google are rewarding sites that are responsive by giving them higher natural rankings.
- Use your tags and descriptions: Set up the right type of code on the back end of your site, and be sure to add meta tags and descriptions. Search engines use these tags and descriptions to help index each webpage you offer. They act as a kind of guidebook for Google, so you want to be certain Google can effortlessly figure out what every webpage means.
- Lower your bounce rates and increase the time on your site: Are you currently checking your site’s bounce rates? Do you know how much time the average viewer is spending on your site? Google measures these items to see if your website is carrying its weight, so it’s worth knowing the answers to those questions. If you discover your site has started dipping in search engine rankings, you may want to do a quick examination of your bounce rates or visitor time.
- Link throughout your site to internal pages: Adding links isn’t just helpful to your site guests, it’s also helpful for search engines. Your internal links set up a navigation of sorts beyond your menu of webpages. Make sure you’re linking in a way that makes sense for both bots and people.
- Supplement your infographics, videos and images with text: It’s wonderful to have infographics and other types of visuals on your webpages. In fact, this is highly recommended by SEO specialists. The only glitch is that without text, search engines have difficulty determining the importance of the page. Want an easy solution? Add text so you don’t have any webpages that are mainly visuals. Give a brief description on the page of the visuals, which will help your SEO.
- Remedy slow load times: The longer it takes your site to load, the lower your organic SEO results will be. You should be testing your load times periodically, and tweaking your site design if you discover you have ultra-slow loads on any pages. Pay attention to load times on all devices, from smartphones to laptops.
Being aware of how your website’s design affects your SEO can help you achieve your internet marketing goals. It can also ensure all your online elements are working together for your company’s benefit.