The basics of a SEO friendly web design - 8 things designers should know about SEOTim Ross
The contemporary world is the world of digital technologies. Most people worldwide can’t imagine their lives without the Internet anymore. They earn money, do their shopping, order food or find exciting ways to entertain and communicate without leaving the virtual universe of the Net. As a result, about 570 new websites are created each minute to give the whole bulk of Internet users an opportunity to satisfy all their needs.
So, it is little wonder that good web designers are in high demand these days and are truly hard to find. If you decide to try yourself in this very perspective sphere, you’d better start by learning what makes an efficient website. One of the most important things in this situation is to learn how to create a SEO friendly web design.
What Does SEO Mean?
SEO are three magic letters which stand for Search Engine Optimization. All search engines, such as Google Search, Yahoo! Search, etc, use special complicated algorithms for finding the most relevant websites which answer a visitor’s search inquiry. You certainly want your website to be included at the top of search results when a corresponding search inquiry is being processed. But the key problem is how to achieve this highly desirable outcome. This is the very case when you need to apply SEO techniques. This way a SEO friendly web design will help you:
● to increase the quantity of traffic to your website
● to improve quality of that traffic
● to raise the amount of organic (that is not paid for) search engine results.
To begin with, all types of SEO activities you perform while working at a SEO friendly web design are divided into two main groups: on-page SEO and off page SEO.
On-page SEO includes your work with:
● Code structure
As for off-page SEO, it mostly deals with building external links on other websites, backlinks and social media promotion of your website. Off-page SEO includes influence outreach, target audience study, blog directory submission, guest posts including, etc. In fact, off-page SEO belongs more to the sphere of marketing than to web developing, that is why at the moment let us focus on the on-page SEO.
What Web Designer Should Know about SEO
Here are 8 simple things which will help you to create a SEO friendly web design without extra difficulties.
Choose a SEO-Friendly Domain Name
You do want people to recognize your brand or your business. This is precisely what a SEO-optimized domain name serves for. If a domain name somehow stands out of the rest of search results, it has much greater chances to be clicked. There are two main ways of picking the right domain name: branding (to use the name of your brand) or keywords (to use the best keywords for your sphere).
Mind Your Meta-descriptions and Title Tags
Thorough work with coding is of vital importance for a successful SEO. The code gives search engines all the information about your website. Make sure both title tags (which are displayed in the search engine results) and descriptions (pieces of the text you can see on a SERP under a site’s URL or title) are:
● Informative (to contain a relative and precise description)
● Have the right length (not more than 60-70 characters for tags and not more than 300 characters for meta descriptions)
Structure URLs in a Correct Way
URLs are web addresses for different documents which are precious from SEO point of view. They are displayed in search results, appear in the web browser’s address bar and are used to link anchor texts to reference pages. So, it is truly important to coin easy to remember and wisely structured URLs. At the same time, try to keep your URLs as short as possible. Include necessary keywords in the URLs, but be careful not to overuse them. Separate words within URLs structure with the help of hyphens instead of underscores or other signs.
Carry on a Keyword Research
Create a list of 10-15 most suitable keywords and remember to look for long-tail keywords as well. You can do it by applying a brainstorming technique, by studying search results in your sphere carefully or by analyzing your competitors’ content. You can also consider using special tools called keyword generators to help you to cope with this task. The most obvious choice is Google Adwords: Keyword Planner, but there are also such excellent variants as Kparser or Keyword Tool.
Optimize Your Pictures for Search Engines
Add the alt text (or alt tags) to an image. When the visitor does not see the image for whatever reason, this descriptive text is displayed.
● Include the SEO keyword for that page in the alt text.
● Reduce the picture size.
● Use images which are relevant to the main text
● Choose the right image format (JPEG, GIF or PNG).
Add Some Breadcrumbs
A breadcrumb is a term applied to a small text path which is located at the top of a page. Breadcrumbs are very helpful because they immediately show a visitor where he is. Moreover, every part of that path is clickable, so it can lead a user all the way to the homepage. Useful, isn’t it?
On your website, you may have certain pages which you would not like search engine crawlers to visit. In such a case apply robot.txt. This is a text file you put on your site to tell search robots which page to stay away from. The structure of a robots.txt is really simple. In fact, this is nothing but an endless list of user agents with prohibited files and directories. Remember, that this file must have only one name – robot.txt, and it should be placed in the root category of the website.
Structure Internal Linking Carefully
Internal SEO links are used to point to your website (or domain) and include common page elements, a concise menu bar, and natural page links. Internal links fulfill two principal functions: to assist you in building SEO in general and to create your website’s structure. Internal links help you to organize the content logically and establish the information hierarchy within the website.
Take into consideration that you need to optimize each page of the site and keep an eye on the changes on regular basis. Otherwise, your website will never stay at the top no matter how incredible the search results were at the very beginning. Use key performance indicators and SEO performance metrics for this purpose. One more valuable piece of advice for achieving success in a SEO friendly web design developing is never to stop and attentively trace the latest SEO tendencies.