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10 things to optimize for SEO web design

Let's speak about ways to make your website more optimized. To make incorporating these 10 elements as easy as possible, keep search engine optimization in mind throughout the whole site design process.

After all, you don't want your web construction team to spend months building the site just to have your SEO team rip it up, prolonging the process. Instead, having the two teams collaborate on each of these issues throughout the design phase helps the project go more smoothly.

To rank a webpage, Google's search algorithm considers over 200 parameters. It's difficult for a single designer to account for everything. Instead, focus on the ten components listed below to improve your page's ranking:

  • Mobile-friendliness

  • Website speed

  • Sitemaps

  • Readability

  • Image file names

  • Alt tags

  • Website navigation

  • URL structure

  • Metadata

  • Indexable content

1. Mobile-friendliness

Mobile accounted for 55 percent of all global traffic in 2021. Three quarters of the globe is anticipated to use solely smartphones to access the internet by 2025.

A responsive website not only improves your SEO, but it also guarantees that your target audience has a consistent experience whether they're on a PC or a mobile device.

2. Website speed

As of 2018, Google's algorithm takes into account the speed of your website. It's understandable; no one likes to wait for a page to load. As a result, Google will not show it to them.

Things that can affect your page speed include:

  • Web hosting

  • File sizes

  • Plugins

  • Coding/scripts

  • Traffic volume

Luckily, Google offers a free PageSpeed Insights tool that lets you insert your website URL and see where you stand.

Your website will receive a separate score for desktop and mobile, as well as a number of metrics to assist you figure out how to enhance your page performance and, as a result, your rankability.

3. Sitemaps

While Google is extremely intelligent, it's never a bad idea to provide a hand. A sitemap is designed to do just that.

A sitemap is a file that contains all of your website's web pages, files, videos, and other content. These are useful for websites that have a lot of distinct pages, especially if they aren't all linked to one other.

This allows Google to locate and crawl all of your web pages, making them all rankable. After all, if Google can't locate your website, you won't get any organic visitors.

4. Readability

Readability is another important ranking criteria. If your website visitors can't understand the content, they aren't obtaining anything useful from your company.

To make your website simple to read, use strong, bold serif or sans serif fonts across the headers and copy blocks, according to best standards.

5. Image file names

Image file names are so little that you might not notice them, yet they can be a huge help with website SEO. So, before you call something home-page-header-final-2.jpg, think carefully.

Instead, incorporate keywords and adjectives that inform Google about the image's content.

6. Alt tags

In a similar vein, alt tags are required for your photographs. This is significant for several reasons. For starters, approximately 25% of Google search searches yield photos. According to data, visual search capabilities are preferred by the majority of younger searchers (62 percent).

Google's algorithm can tell what's going on in your photographs thanks to alt tags. Your image may appear in a user's search results if it fits their query.

Your alt tag should be a complete statement that defines what is in your image, beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period.

Second, it makes you more accessible in general. Individuals who use a screen reader to view your website will be able to comprehend what is portrayed in your photographs, allowing those who are blind to have a positive user experience.

7. Website navigation

Typically, web developers are concerned with the site's overall appearance, feel, and user experience. Designers and developers will be concerned with the visual aspects of a website and how users interact with them. They like to make things as easy as possible, especially because mobile device users have long outnumbered those who use desktop or laptop computers.

Because nearly all organic search results are subcategory pages, having a dedicated page for this phrase is extremely beneficial from both a search and user standpoint. When you Google 'boy's corduroy trousers,' the majority of the results are product sites rather than subcategory pages, as seen above. This implies you can probably optimize a product for that keyword without having to create a subcategory page.

Additional points to consider when trying to optimize for people and search engines include:

  • Using a content hierarchy. This organizes your website pages through categories and subcategories. If you have more than a dozen products on a page, you could consider building out a subcategory page.

  • Cross-linking between pages. SEO and content teams create useful blog posts, FAQs, and other content that can direct more traffic to product pages and vice versa. Horizontal linking easily navigates consumers to more information about your products and/or company, and also boosts your SEO efforts.

8. URL structure

The structure of your URLs should also be based on your SEO strategy. Only your web page or blog post's focus keyword should be included in each URL slug.

Make sure to conduct keyword research for each page you intend to include in your website's launch design or overhaul. Do the same thing for each new page you make along the way.

This helps Google figure out which keywords to rank your sites for while making them accessible. Because most emphasis keywords are simply a few words, your URL slugs will be simple to memorize and put into a URL field if someone is searching for a certain page.

9. Metadata

The title tags and meta description are examples of metadata (or meta tags). This is the data that shows up in Google's search results. Make sure your metadata is optimized, since 36 percent of SEO professionals believe the title tag is the most crucial SEO factor.

The focus keyword for your website or article should be included in the title tag and meta description to improve SEO. The length of your title tag is limited to 60 characters, while the length of your meta description is limited to 160 characters.

10. Indexable content

If a search engine can readily crawl a site, which means it can easily explore, read, and understand the information on each page, the site is deemed SEO-friendly, and the chances of the pages showing in search engine results pages increase significantly.

The major material on each page should be in HTML text format to make the site crawlable, since this is the easiest method for Google to grasp what the page is about.

"A site is deemed SEO-friendly if a search engine can readily crawl it, meaning it can easily explore, read, and understand the material on each page."

The usage of JavaScript vs. HTML is one of the most difficult issues that web development and SEO teams face. Because webpages are built with JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React, and others, HTML is wonderful for Google but lacks the functionality that JavaScript provides. As a result, many developers choose to utilize JavaScript to customize the site's appearance and functionality.

However, owing to factors like code mistakes, client-side rendering, and so on, all of these distinct JavaScript applications might cause complications for search engines. Downloading, rendering (parsing, compiling, and executing JS code), fetching external resources, and finally indexing that information takes a long time for Google. The more JS libraries you have, the longer it takes Google to crawl them.

The time and resources required to crawl HTML and CSS vs. JS on a website.

Furthermore, you should constantly verify that Google can crawl and index the material on your site. Running a fast search on Google using the exact wording on a certain page is a quick technique to see if the site content is visible.

If your site doesn't appear when you copy and paste the text into Google, you'll need to debug the JavaScript coding to figure out what's wrong and work with the development team to come up with a viable solution that allows Google to crawl and index your material.

In the end, 40 percent of consumers desire a site that loads quickly.

And yes, you can strike a balance between the need for JavaScript and the need for an SEO-friendly site. You can look into methods to make JavaScript work for your site without causing SEO issues, so everyone wins.

Walking the line between SEO and design

Bridging the gap between web development and SEO is essential for a well-designed, SEO-friendly website. Encourage your teams to collaborate from the start to ensure that your website is thoroughly optimized for SEO and usability.

Remember that the greatest approach to rank in search engines is to provide value to your customers. To boost your search results, optimize the factors listed above, publish great content, and provide top-tier user experiences.

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