How to Design Your Site for SEO Dominance-Featured.jpg

How to Design Your Site for SEO Dominance

Design your website so that it ranks!

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on hiring a professional to design your website, nor does it matter how much time and energy you put into designing your own website. If it doesn’t rank well in the SERP (search engine results pages), no one is going to see it. And, if no one sees it, why have a website at all?

A lot of people are under the misconception that SEO (search engine optimization) is only about producing content regularly and strategically using the right keywords. These things are undoubtedly important to the online visibility of your website, but true SEO success starts with the design of your website itself.

There are so many aspects of your website that can affect its ranking in the SERP, from your content to the mobile responsiveness of your site.

Getting the design of your website right is an important part of the SEO puzzle. But, how do you design a website that pleases both search engines and users? Here are a few tips to help.

5 design tips for SEO dominance

#1. Make your site responsive and mobile-friendly

These days, most people won’t be looking at your website from their laptop or desktop computer. More than likely, they’ll be looking at your website from their mobile phone or tablet.

No one understands this better than Google does, and that’s why Google has made having a mobile-friendly website such an important part of ranking in the SERP.

Building a website with a responsive design is the first step toward building a site that will perform well on mobile devices. Responsive websites are websites that will automatically configure themselves to whatever device they’re being viewed on.

In addition to designing your website to be responsive, it’s also important that you structure your site in a way that’s easy to view on any device, that you make sure that your website is easy to navigate on any device and that your buttons are big enough to click on any device.

#2. Update your URLs

When you’re in the process of designing your website, it’s important that you take the time to update your URLs so that they are friendly for both your users and search engines.

This will help to improve your website’s organic rankings. Plus, it will also make your URLs more clickable, which can help to drive more traffic to your website.

Here’s an example of what a URL may look like that hasn’t been optimized for users or search engines:

As you can see, this URL doesn’t give much information to search engines or users as to what they might find when they go to the page in question. It’s also a huge missed opportunity to use a targeted keyword.

Here’s an example of an optimized URL for the same product:

This URL tells users exactly what to expect when they click on it, and it includes a keyword — matte red lipstick — which makes it optimal for search engines.

#3. Compress and optimize images

In terms of the amount of traffic and the number of conversions your website gets, almost nothing is more important than using eye-catching, high-quality images. However, there are a couple of additional steps you’ll want to take if you want those images to affect the SEO of your website in a positive way.

The first step you should take with your images is to always resize and compress them for your website. Almost nothing slows a website down quite as much as large, bulky images can. And, site speed is certainly one of the things Google looks at when it ranks your website. Site speed can also affect the user experience and lead to a higher bounce rate.

Another thing you can do to make the most out of your images is to optimize them for SEO. This means naming your images properly, adding SEO friendly alt image tags to your images and saving images as the right file type, among other things.

#4. Integrate your design with social media

Social media is becoming a bigger and bigger piece of the SEO puzzle, and being active on social media is valued by both search engines and users alike, making it incredibly important. In addition to actively participating on social media, it’s also important to integrate it into the design of your website.

When you’re in the process of designing your website, you’ll want to make it a point to include icons that take users to your social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Not only will this help with your SEO efforts, but it also gives your users several options for connecting with your business online.

A consumer who's not quite ready to work with you might be ready to follow you on Facebook. That will keep your business fresh in their mind when they do have a need in the future that you could meet.

#5. Maximize your crawl budget

The Google bots that gather information in order to index and rank sites will spend only a certain amount of time crawling each website. The designated time spend crawling your site is called the crawl budget.

If your website is large and takes a long time to load, you’ll blow your entire crawl budget on just a few pages of your website. That means that some of your pages won’t be crawled at all, which means that they aren’t doing your organic rankings any favors.

Learn about the steps you can take to make your website faster when you check out my previous blog — How to Make Your Website Faster.

If you already know that there are pages on your website that you don’t want Google bots to crawl, you can avoid wasting your crawl budget on them using robots.txt. This will tell Google’s bots not to crawl the page in question, allowing them to move on to the pages you do want them to crawl.

If you want to design the ideal site for both users and search engines alike, a great place to start is with the website builder from Websites 360®!

Originally published 2/4/20