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How to Design a Website for Good SEO


Planning to design a brand new website or revamp your current one? The best way to get great SEO results is to build best practices into your site from square one. Google regularly readjusts their ranking factors, but there are many elements of website design that will always be valuable for your customers, and it’s important to get these elements right.

Here, we share some of the most important steps to adhere to when designing an SEO-friendly website from the ground up. To learn more, read on!
 
 

Aim for high conversion rates

Website design is crucial to conversion. According to a blog post from bluecorona.com, 48% of people consider website design as the number 1 factor in measuring an online business’ credibility. This is why even a small change in your web design can influence your conversion rates. Implementing better design elements to boost conversions can have a whole host of knock-on effects, as better UI can increase user dwell time and reduce your bounce rate. Essentially, by creating a website that functions as efficiently as possible, user behaviour on the site will be noticed by Google, potentially leading to better rankings. Here’s what to keep in mind when designing the site:

• Keep branding consistent. Website branding influences conversion. Make sure you develop a brand that’s consistent across all channels and tells the right story.
• Simplify UI/UX elements. Cut down on unnecessary design and allow your website to breathe visually. You can do this by making your navigation more minimalistic, removing over-the-top design elements, implementing clear CTA’s, and using appropriate amounts of white space between elements.
Add real-time customer support. Real-time customer support allows your brand to address issues your customers or website visitors may face while they’re browsing through your website. Live help chats can also help your business convert visitors by removing obstacles for them during their sales journey.

Provide a consistent mobile experience

As of March 2021, Google’s mobile-first indexing has fully come into effect. Page experience signals will also become a ranking factor come May 2021. This means web designers should be sure to also create a mobile design that provide users a positive mobile experience. If you’re not convinced that more people browse the web with mobile devices than desktop computers, just start noting how often you use your phone to visit a website—you might be surprised! Here are a couple of ways to design for mobile:

  • Provide simple navigation. Focus on designing UX that will allow mobile users to move between pages easily.
  • Increase control area sizes. Make touch areas larger and remember to factor in where the thumb is likely to be on the screen. You don’t always want to completely fill your mobile web page with content, as this will lead to some of it being covered or in the way.
  • Simplify. Reduce clutter by organising your content. Avoid displaying unbroken chunks of text and stick to what’s essential. You don’t need to present all possible information on the interface, just what really matters.
  • Larger text is better. Since mobile screens are smaller in size, larger text can help ensure content is easy to read and understand.
  • Consistency is key. Provide a consistent experience to your users when designing for both web and mobile app—you don’t want your mobile and desktop sites to look completely different.
  • Use accelerated mobile pages. AMP is an open-source initiative by Google designed to improve the speed for mobile users. AMP pages are optimised to load faster on mobile devices.

 

Limit your JavaScript use

JavaScript can hinder a search engines ability to crawl and index your website content efficiently. We highly discourage heavy use, because this results in your content are crawled and indexed much more slowly. The solution? Make sure you use HTML and limit your JavaScript use to the essentials. Content that isn’t indexed will struggle to rank.

Organise page headings properly

Heading structure is often overlooked, but it’s relevant because a clear heading hierarchy can help search engine crawlers understand your website content and structure. To use headings appropriately, make sure each page has one H1 at the top, and that other headings progress in a logical order below, without any skipped steps.

Adjust page titles & meta descriptions

When designing a website, you should remember to optimise your page titles as well. The title tag is the text that appears on Google search when your page appears as a result, so if you want them to rank well, you need to tweak titles based on keyword relevance and search volume. Marketers will have different approaches, but often, A/B testing will help reveal which titles works best for your website.

The same goes for your metadata; you need to optimise your meta descriptions by including relevant keywords and making them unique for every page, to ensure there aren’t duplicates that may negatively impact your site’s performance in SERPs.

Be smart with your content length

Long-form content is a great way to engage visitors and attract backlinks. However, take note that not all website content should be long. The general rule of thumb is you have around 8 seconds to catch a visitor’s attention, so when you want to engage a user, choose text that will make your copy enticing and engaging. For example, FAQ or contact pages don’t require lengthy text.

On the other hand, if you’re writing about a product or service that requires elaborating on uses, key benefits, and capabilities, you may want to offer longer-form content that serves your audience.

Use high-quality images in small sizes

Images also play a vital role in your website. According to Bright Local , 60% of website visitors prefer search results that include photos. When you use high-quality images, people will associate your well-curated imagery with your brand.

Page speed is also crucial, because website visitors favour faster pages. A great way to improve speed is by optimising image file sizes, so when you use images in your content, remember that they should be under 100Kb whenever possible. This can lead to a difficult balancing act between higher-quality images and smaller file sizes, but it’s one that pays to get right. Try using compression to lower file sizes without compromising on quality.

SEO-proof your new website this year!

Designing a new website can be hard at the best of times, and building an SEO-friendly website can be even harder, but we can assure you it’s well worth the effort. All it takes is a good set of SEO specifications, keeping up with changes within the digital marketing realm, and implementing the tried and true industry standards that have been there for years.

For more in-depth insight on SEO, content marketing, and digital marketing, visit our blog or subscribe to our newsletter! Get in-depth insights from the SEO experts themselves! Reach out to our SEO specialists today!

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