9 SEO Web Design Tips for 2021
When it comes to web design, there’s more than meets the eye. Sure, it has to look nice and be engaging enough to keep people on the page. But that won’t matter at all if you don’t have actual visitors on your website. And the best way to get people on your page organically is through good SEO.
“Okay, but what does that have to do with web design?” you might be asking. And that’s exactly the question we’ll answer in this article. You see, SEO is a crucial element you should keep in mind when designing your website. So keep reading to find out some useful tips and tricks to make your web design SEO friendly.
Make your content crawlable
Your website can be as visually appealing as possible – that won’t matter if the content doesn’t match. When designing a website, keep in mind that you’ll also have to make the content perfectly readable for Google’s bots. That means splitting it into headings, paragraphs and links. If your website has little to no content or has too much content that’s not split properly, it will struggle in the search results.
2. Use image alt attributes
This aspect is very overlooked when people design a website. It can be a tedious task but make sure all your images’ alt attributes are descriptive. Why? Because Google (and any other search engine) will also read these alt attributes and take them into consideration when determining what results page your website will show up on. On top of that, image alt attributes also help people who can’t see the images get a better picture of what’s going on.
3. Don’t use headings incorrectly
The heading tags are not just an accessory. When it comes to SEO friendly web design, they’re mandatory. These heading tags will help the search engine get information about the structure of the HTML document. The <h1> tag should be used for the main topic of the page, while the <h2> to <h6> tags determine the hierarchy of the ideas in the content itself. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use more than one <h1> tag on the same page to not take away focus from the main point.
4. Keep the navigation simple
Visitors will land on your website expecting to quickly find the information they’re looking for. That’s why you should make it easy for them to navigate between different pages and sections of your website. Besides the navigation bar, another good idea is to offer them a site map at the bottom of the homepage. This will allow your customers to reach any page straight from the homepage, making the entire process easy and seamless.
5. Make it mobile
The use of mobile devices has increased over the past years. So much in fact that some websites only offer mobile layouts. And in case you didn’t know, a website’s mobile responsiveness is now a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, so it’s crucial you design your website with a mobile version in mind.
6. Use inbound and outbound links
When you use links (both internal and external), they will act as endorsers sent to build your website’s credibility. Internal links connect different sections and pages of the same website and will help increase the time your customers spend on your website. External links, on the other hand, will build credibility from the outside. Use these links with moderation and make sure they offer value to the reader.
7. Mind the speed
Your website’s speed is crucial when it comes to ranking. This is yet another ranking factor in Google’s algorithm and will also determine your website’s bounce rate. If your website takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, there’s a high chance any visitor won’t stick around. To improve your website’s loading speed, we recommend you scale and optimize your images for the web and get rid of any unnecessary fluff that’s slowing your website down.
8. Update your content regularly
Fresh content is key to getting and maintaining a high position in search results. In-depth and relevant articles on topics that are of interest to your audience are the key here, as even search engines prefer a website that’s updated frequently with new content. This goes for both the text and the visuals – make sure you keep your website updated with both copy and relevant images or videos.
9. Check the meta data
Every page title, description and keyword on your website should be different. Sometimes, a web designer will come up with a website template and forget to change the meta data. This will result in many pages having the same information and Google won’t approve of that. Every page on your website should have its own distinct meta data, as this will help search engines get a better idea of how your website is structured.
Reaching higher and higher positions in search results isn’t something that will happen overnight. It’s a process that requires careful planning and strategizing and it involves each and every aspect of your website, starting with the design itself. Try to make a habit of creating relevant content from the early days of your website and once you’ve decided on a content structure, stick to it. There’s nothing search engines “hate” more than inconsistency.
The bottom line is, when designing a SEO friendly website, simplicity is key. Keep it easy to use and navigate and both your visitors and search engines will be happy. If you found this article useful, make sure to give it a share – you never know who might need a bit of SEO web design wisdom!