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What Does SEO Have to Do With Web Design

When you're focused on web design, you may not feel as if search engine optimization matters. SEO can feel like it only matters when it comes to the content written on your website, not the website itself. But if you really want your website to rank higher in Google, you need to consider SEO best practices at every stage of your website creation. Here are some important things to remember when designing a website with SEO in mind.

Create a Responsive Web Design

Over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Search engines want to reward websites that users enjoy--and 50% of users enjoy websites they can use from mobile devices. That’s why a responsible web design is key to creating a SEO-friendly website.

A responsive website looks slightly different on a phone or tablet than it does on a desktop computer. Usually, images are smaller and more compressed so that mobile users enjoy a shorter load time. Additionally, menus may need to be adjusted so that they don’t overlap with one another on phones and so that they can be easily clicked with thumbs.

Have Clean URLs

Search engines don’t just look at the content on websites: they also look at URLs. Having URLs that include keywords can tell Google how to navigate through your website and what your web pages are about. If you’re combining or deleting web pages, you should ensure that you enable redirects so that any backlinks you’ve already developed go to the appropriate place on your website.

Sometimes, you can buy expired domains in order to maximize the backlinks that are coming into your website. Visit Spamzilla.io to learn more about this process.

Create a SiteMap

One of the best things you can do to ensure that the search engines understand how your websites connect to each other is to create a sitemap. A sitemap orders your web pages by hierarchy.

Sitemaps tell search engines which pages on your website to crawl and which pages not to crawl. It also helps the search engines index the pages on your website and understand how they should connect to each other. This is especially important if more than one page on your website has the same keyword.

For example, if you sell products, and you sell five different kinds of protein bars, you could be competing for the “protein bar” ranking on all five product pages and on the category page. But by creating a site map, you show search engines that the category page is the most important one to consider, and each of the protein bar product pages is there to support that one category page. This limits the amount that you compete with yourself, which can help you continue to rank for keywords that are spread throughout your website.

Comprehensive Layout

Search engines pay attention not only to which users are visiting your website, but also to how long they’re visiting your website. If users are constantly bouncing off of your website because they can’t find what they need, that will teach search engines that your website isn’t very good.

This is one of the key areas where web design and SEO have to work together. The website layout needs to be comprehensive and clearly lead users from one page to the next. This will keep them from getting frustrated and leaving the website if there’s content there that they’re actually interested in.

It’s also important to pay attention to alt text on images. Alt text makes websites more user-friendly for people who can’t see, but they also tell search engines what your images depict. A good rule of thumb when creating alt text for images is to describe the image exactly the same way you would describe them to a blind friend.

Load Times

If you want users to stick around on the website, then the website needs to load quickly. Users are more and more impatient with load times every day. Sometimes, web designers will spend so much time making the website look beautiful that they don’t worry about how much time it takes to load those images and graphics.

You can reduce load times on your website by creating fewer moving parts and compressing image sizes. You can also do regular clean-up on your website to eliminate and redirect broken links.

In Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization can’t just be left to the content team. To create a website that ranks high in search engines, the entire team needs to be on the same page about SEO best practices. Web design is key to making a more responsive website that the search engines know how to crawl, index, and ultimately rank.

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