Your website appearing on top of search engines is an excellent way to catch your audiences’ attention and keep it. However, if you want to rank better on search engines and make it to the first page, it’s critical to understand the relationship between web design and search engine optimization (SEO). SEO web design is when you design and develop a search engine-friendly website.
Building a website that integrates best SEO practices into the design makes it possible for your website to rank higher on search engine page results. This results in higher web traffic, better leads, higher conversion, sales, and ultimately revenue. This article discusses how to build a site that seamlessly incorporates SEO in web design.
What is SEO Web Design?
SEO affects how web users find and interact with websites. It combines the visual aspects of a website and other critical web factors. These functions include navigability, faster load times, responsiveness, and many other functions. These factors make it simpler for search engines to crawl and understand the content, leading to better traffic and higher ranking.
These functions also form part of what makes websites more accessible and ADA compliant — you can learn more and understand what is ADA and how the regulations affect your web design process. In the meantime, here are five areas to focus on that will help your site rank better and stay on top.
A Responsive Design
Almost half of all web traffic originates from mobile devices, implying that over half of your audience is likely to use their phones. That means you’re excluding half of your audience if your website isn’t mobile-friendly. Since 2017, Google has used mobile-friendliness as a top-ranking criteria.
Without a mobile-friendly website, your site will have high bounce rates when visitors realize they can’t access your site on their mobile devices on the go. As a result, your search engine rankings will suffer.
Website readability and accessibility
The level of readability and accessibility of your website indicates how simple it is for your site’s users to read and comprehend the content. It also shows that you care about each visitor by building an ADA-compliant design. Your site’s presentation, such as colors, font, arrangement, navigation, and the actual content, plays a role in readability.
Most website visitors want to find the information they’re looking for in the easiest way possible. Easy-to-read content attracts and engages with visitors right away and lowers bounce rates. This makes it suitable for your users and search engines alike.
Here are a few pointers on how to make your writing easier to understand:
- Make the fonts large enough for internet users to read comfortably.
- Use the correct color contrast to ensure that all of the text on the page is clear.
- Use headings and bullet points to make it easier to skim the content, and pay attention to the length of your sentences and paragraphs.
- Avoid putting text within images because search engines are unable to read them.
Build a Sitemap
A sitemap to your website is like a blueprint for a building. It allows your site visitors to find your content easily, be crawled, and be indexed by search engines. It properly catalogs all of your website’s pages and content. This allows search engines to inspect which pages are most important to your website.
If your website has many pages or you’ve newly created it, and it hasn’t gathered any authority from external links, it can benefit significantly from sitemaps. Similarly, sitemaps help your web visitors find content quickly by making navigation better. In addition, sitemaps include essential metadata about your web pages that can help them rank higher in search results.
Website loading speed
The speed of a website is an integral part of technical SEO. Having a slow-loading website can cause visitors to leave your site rapidly, hurting your search engine rankings. At the most, you’d like your site to load in under two seconds. Half of your visitors will leave if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Page speed is even more important on mobile devices because people have a shorter attention span. Google and other search engines care about page performance just as much as your customers do. For search engines to crawl your site better, it needs to be fast. Crawlers will index only a few pages if your website takes too long to load. If this happens to your site, your website may not get ranked at all.
Include ALT Tags
You have to remember that your audience also includes people living with various disabilities, some of who are blind. All your non-decorative images should also have optimized alt tags or alternative text descriptions in addition to their file names. Search engines rely on these descriptions to find your page, and that’s critical for people who only use text-based browsers or screen readers. Also, you need captions and transcripts for your audio and video content for the same reason. To learn more about how to create ALT tags for your web content, you can get seek the help of an ADA website-compliant consultant.
The ultimate goal of a website is to provide an excellent user experience, attract, engage users, and convert them to customers. Developing a website with SEO in mind becomes a two-pronged strategy where SEO will bring visitors to your site, and the design elements will keep them there.