Updated: Jan 22
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for online visibility, but it isn't just words on a page that determine your ranking. Good web design plays an important role in boosting your SEO - from page navigation and load times to how you use images and content. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your web design for SEO.
First and foremost, you should make sure your site is easy to navigate. Your site structure tells search engine crawlers (and visitors) how your content is organized and provides a roadmap for them to follow. Aim for clear navigation with logical hierarchy and link structure when you’re creating your site, and make sure the URLs are short and descriptive to keep people engaged. Additionally, including XML sitemaps can help provide searchers with an immediate glimpse at where they can find what they’re looking for on your site, thus improving their experience as well as your SEO.
With more people accessing the web on their mobile devices, responsive or mobile-first design is essential for effective SEO. Responsive design helps search engine robots learn your website’s content quickly by adjusting the layout to fit any device, while also providing a better overall user experience. Additionally, avoid using interstitial pop-up ads as they can be intrusive and have an adverse effect on site speed and visibility.
Internal Linking Practices
Internal links are the building blocks of any website’s navigational architecture. Utilize them strategically and accurately with well-written anchor text that accurately represents the content it’s linking to. Doing this will both help readers understand what your link is about and help search crawlers index its content quickly, as well as navigate your site efficiently. Furthermore, make sure to use enough internal links to ensure you have good navigation from page to page.
User Experience (UX)
User experience (UX) is a key component of SEO, as it not only affects user engagement with the website, but also helps search engine crawlers better index and understand your pages. Improve your UX by ensuring that navigation within the site is easy, succinct and logical. Consider using drop-down menus, breadcrumb navigators, breadcrumbs trails and contextual navigation - all elements that can enhance the user’s experience. Additionally, consider making sure that all your content is both mobile friendly and desktop friendly through responsive design.
Content Quality Over Quantity
Content quality is such an important aspect of SEO, and Google rewards sites with comprehensive, relevant, valuable and unique content. Despite the age-old adage about quantity over quality, it should become abundantly clear which is more important. Quality trumps quantity every time. Focus on publishing content that truly adds value to a potential customer's experience or solves some sort of problem they may have - shared experiences or solutions are always best - and make sure the content is fresh and up to date. Avoid unnecessary or duplicated content at all costs - this will only lead to your site being penalized by Google.