Top 9 Web Design Tips to Boost SEO in 2019
SEO or search engine optimization is essential to your online presence. With the right techniques, SEO can help to increase the visibility and Google ranking of your website, hence widening your marketing funnel and drawing in more sales. The top 3 search results of any given term take most of the clicks, and this rings true across branded and non-branded terms. The top result grabs roughly 30% of the clicks, the second 15%, and the third only around 10%. Afterward, it’s a non-linear curve that diminishes very quickly such that even ranking at #10 gives you less than 1% of the search volume.
With that said, you have every incentive to boost your site’s SEO. You can do so from improving its’ ‘search-friendliness’ which can be understood as Googles’ validation of your page. Try out these 9 tips to experiment with search results this year.
Tip #1 – Enable Quick Site Navigation
You need to ensure that your website is quick and easy for users to navigate when designing it. Slow navigation would be a frustrating experience for users as they cannot easily find what they’re looking for on your website. To keep things simple and easy to use, place the navigation bar along the left margin or at the top of the page.
Tip #2 – Optimize Your Images
Optimizing your images will speed up the load time of your page and improve rankings. Use images that are 30KB to 100 KB in size and have 72 dpi resolution. When saving your visual files in Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, select ‘save for web’ in the format of JPEG. You are also advised to use keywords in the alt text for header images, logo images, buttons, and graphics on each page to show Google the relevance of your visuals, hence, your page.
Tip #3 – Use Fresh Content to Update Pages
Search engines like to see web page content changing and being updated now and then as it shows that your website is still active. However, if you don’t use fresh content when updating pages, Google may see this as duplicate content, which Google dislikes.
Tip #4 – Ensure Your URL is SEO-Friendly
Use keywords relevant to your business in your URL to make it SEO-friendly. Try not to use long URLs and use hyphens to separate each term if possible. If your site is designed in a hierarchical structure with for example, ‘Web Design’ tucked under the sub-page of ‘Search Engine Optimization’, you should give your URL a layered structure as such: /SEO/web-design/ instead of just /web-design/. This helps Google understand what branch of web design you are talking about to rank your page to the appropriate keywords.
Bonus Tip: You can use a VPN to change your virtual location to see how well you rank in foreign target markets. Just connect to a VPN server of choice, open a new incognito browser window, and do a keyword search.
Tip #6 – Have a Responsive Design
Responsive design is designing for multiple devices, and Google recommends it. Responsive design will optimize the performance of your website across multiple devices. A responsive website will have a single URL which works for both the main and mobile site rather than two separate URLs. Regarding SEO, this makes it easier to increase the amount of external backlink.
Tip #7 – Create Sitemaps
Sitemaps are more important now than when they were first adopted by search engines. Sitemaps enable easy navigation, improved search engine visibility, and informs crawlers instantly of any updates on your website; therefore the page gets indexed quicker. For SEO purposes it is recommended to create an XML sitemap rather than a conventional sitemap.
Tip #8 – Hide Pages that You Don’t Want Indexed
There may be some pages on your website that you do not want to be indexed by search engines. For example, it could be pages that you are using for testing purposes. The best way of preventing indexing is to use robots.txt files. Another method is to can make pages password-protected or use a local website development environment.
Tip #9 – Unique Metadata
Web designers will often create a template for their website but forget to change the metadata. Every page needs a unique title, description, and keywords so you must be sure when using a template that you do not neglect changing this content each time. This will help search engines understand how your website is structured.
Finally, Content is King
Google’s mission is to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,’ so when you’re feeling lost as to where to direct your optimization effort, just remember that content is always king. While ranking factors serve as guides to help you improve your site, the rule of thumb is to present your information in the most readable manner – you can’t go wrong with good content.
SEO is a highly dynamic field that’s constantly evolving, what works today might not work tomorrow, and it’s precisely this perplexing nature SEO that makes it a fun and worthwhile endeavor.