How important is an SEO friendly website design?
SEO friendly website design has an important role in today’s digital world; as people are searching everything on the internet today with various types of digital devices. When you make a presence in the digital world with a website for your business; it is also important that it should be listed in front of the people who are searching for your service or product. Hence we can say, SEO and the website design have equal importance and SEO friendly website is a must for boosting your business in the digital world.
When you promote your website or business online, the design plays an important role. Though the beauty of the website attracts and impress visitors, beauty cannot win the race of SERP ranking. If the website is not listing in search engine results, a small number of people will only see it. Hence the expected result will not achieve. For winning the SERP ranking SEO is a must. Hence it is important to educate web designers about SEO friendly website design tips. When you make an SEO friendly website design, from the basic structure itself, it can do wonders and can list in the top of search engine results.
Here are some great SEO friendly website design tips that will help everyone in the web designing, developing and SEO fields.
1. Responsive design for SEO friendly website design
The first important thing to be taken care while creating an SEO friendly website design is its responsiveness with various resolutions. Means the website should synchronize extremely well with any screen sizes and multiple resolutions. It should have the flexibility to scale up & down to display in various resolutions; in different sizes of smartphones, iPads, & Desktop screens. Since the smartphone usage is increased and Google introduced the mobile-friendly algorithm; it is useless to develop a website that is not responsive and mobile friendly. If your website looks great in design and harmonizes well with any devices responsively, it means your website has good quality and has good chances to be listed in the search engine results.
2. Make sure the website navigation is SEO friendly and easy for everyone.
4. Use content that Search Engine Spiders can read
Content is the king in a website. Content is what the search engines need, to understand the category and services on a website. When you write contents for a website, design or structure it properly with headings, paragraphs, links etc. Sites should have enough content with proper styling with CSS. Text/ Html ratio should be maintained in the content for good SEO. Don’t use image texts, as search engines can’t read it. Use styling of texts with CSS instead of images. The content should be easily readable in clear fonts. Web pages should be printer friendly and give visitors the freedom to print the pages.
5. Use Heading Tags Properly
‘Heading tags’ should be used properly in the website content. It enhances the beauty of the page and makes the topic more understandable to the visitors. Heading tags are very important for search engines as they give information about the structure of a web page. Search engines understand important pieces of information from the headings or titles in a web page.
<h1> tag should be used only once in a web page. Give the main or key topic of the page in the <h1> tag. Make use of <h2> through <h6> tags wherever necessary and appropriate. Use heading tags to indicate the content hierarchy and to define similar content blocks.
6. Design your URLs for Search Friendliness
The URL of your webpages should be understandable and SEO friendly. It should be short, logical as well as clear. This will make search engine bots to crawl it easily. Try to include the keyword in that page URL, which is targeting on that web page. Try to avoid URLs created automatically which contains special characters like space, ampersand, numbers etc. Underscores also should be avoided in URLs. Use hyphens between words in a URL as Google consider hyphen as a word separator. Make the URLs easily readable and understandable to both the users and Search Engines.
7. Web page loading speed
Make your web page load faster as possible. If your web page is slow and takes much time to load, visitors may lose patience and close your web page. They will go to another web page that is loading fast and giving the information they need. This will cause losing customers and also increases the bounce rate of your website. Increased bounce rate will take into consideration by search engines and it will result badly for your website by lowering the search engine ranking. When the search engine ranking decreases, it again causes more traffic lose to your website. To make the web page loading faster, Minimize – Http requests, Server response time, Resources and Redirects. Enable compression & browser caching. Optimize CSS and images.
8. Make use of CSS image sprites
Images and its sizes matter a lot in the page speed. Reduce image size as possible by saving it in the required format and size. Instead of a collection of small images, use a large image with ‘CSS image sprites’. An ‘image sprite’ is a large image, which is a collection of small images joined together and showing the required part of the image with CSS when it is required. It is easy to load a single big image instead of a number of small images. You can quickly download all with a single request. This technique can save server request and bandwidth and reduces server load.
Here is showing an example of CSS used to show the portion of a big image.
background: url(bigsigleimage.gif) 0 0;
9. Give clear instructions to customers
It is important to give clear instructions to the website visitors when they visit your website. Otherwise, if they don’t understand to use the website or links and not getting the desired result, they may close it and go away. This will increase the bounce rate and may reduce search engine ranking as said above.
Make the website instructions easy for the visitors and make them find easily. Give easy search and results on the website. Don’t make any difficulties or confusions in the website contents or links or navigations. Make sure your services and offers are easily understandable to the visitors. This will help you to increase the sales of the product or services your website offers.
10. Block pages you don’t want Search Engines index
If you have any web pages that are not required to be shown in search results or not want to be indexed by search engines, please specify them by using proper ‘disallow’ commands in the ‘robots.txt’ file. When you use disallow commands for pages, such pages won’t expose to web robots. Server-side scripts, or demo pages etc. are examples of those type of pages which do not need to be crawled by search engine robots and need not be listed in search results. Duplicate content issues also can be avoided with ‘no indexing’.
11. Never leave image ‘Alt’ attributes empty
Give ‘Alt’ tags for all the images in your web pages. The ‘Alt’ attribute should be descriptive and meaningful. Search engines understand images by ‘Alt’ tags, image filename, and title. When you give ‘’Alt’’ attribute, just don’t give any text that you like, but give a relevant text for the topic and image in that page. If you can’t give relevant ‘Alt’ attribute, it is better to avoid than giving a wrong one. When a visitor searches a query, search engines will take ‘Alt’ attributes into consideration when determining the relevancy of that page to the keyword in that query. On image based searches like Google images, ‘Alt’ tag will use for ranking. When image takes time to load and can’t see, attributes help to understand what image it is.
12. Use unique ‘Metadata’
Give unique data in page titles, descriptions, and keywords. The metadata given in each page should be relevant to the content on that page. Metadata is the data about the page data. It will not become visible to the visitors but will work behind the scene from the code. It helps search engines to identify the page from the keywords, title, and description. When the search engine crawlers crawl the page, it will check the metadata against the contents of the page.
13. Code cleaning
The code inside your web page is what makes your web page live and attractive. But when you develop a web page, you should mind two things importantly.
1. Don’t overstuff your web page with too many contents. It will make visitors get bored on seeing the page itself. Make pages attractive and easily understandable with proper heading and images.
14. Limited use of ‘Flash’
Never apply ‘flash animations’ to your ‘text’ in the web page. Limit the use of ‘flash files’ in your web page for animations. Flash files can’t crawl by search engine spiders and hence can’t understand what it is. If you are focusing for an SEO friendly website design than an attractive site, avoid the flash completely. A website that is not SEO friendly but attractive, can be visible to few people only. But an SEO friendly website design will be visible in search engine results and hence will be visible to a large audience. SEO friendly website design can increase traffic to your website and increase your business.
15. HTML5 and CSS3
When you make an SEO friendly website design, try to use the latest technologies available. HTML5 and CSS3 are the modern techniques using now in SEO friendly website design. These new technologies can make your website attractive, without making it heavy. Using CC3 and HTM5, you can design the website very sleek, clean and fast. The new HTML5 has more advanced functions compared to the old HTML. It is very flexible and can be scaled down as per your website design needs. CCS3 helps to create an interactive feel in the website without making it slow. The HTML and CSS validation should be measured properly to make an SEO friendly website design.
We have discussed 15 important tips for an SEO friendly website design. But please understand, an SEO friendly website design alone can not make you succeed in your business. With an SEO friendly website design, you have built up a base for your business website; to do a good SEO and internet marketing on your website. So you should move to the next step for the online promotion of your business. For this, it is important to find a good SEO and digital marketing company which can help you better with search engine optimization and online marketing. When you select a company for giving the work, be sure to check their knowledge on this field, like – ‘Are they using ethical SEO practices that the search engine approves?’, ‘Are they following the updated algorithms and techniques’ etc..