SEO and Website Design – What You Need to Know

SEO and Website Design – What You Need to Know

The center of your digital marketing world is your website website design company. Organic search is the largest source of traffic.

Businesses don’t think about search engine Optimisation until after a website is designed, and these sites are sadly lacking on the digital marketing front. If the marketing smarts are not cooked in at design time, then you will be running the marketing race with a wooden leg. It was faced with going back to the drawing board and wasting time and money.

A website design planning guide has been published by Bowler Hat to help with the process of planning a website. This is a companion piece to the guide that covers more in-depth the issues of the internet.

In this post, I’ll show you how to make your website’s search engine part of the process. We’re going to look at what you need to consider to have a site that is built for search marketing and lead generation, and how focusing on happy users keeps the search engines happy.

Some of the common pitfalls that can befall businesses looking to build a new website that is central to their digital marketing efforts will be reviewed.

I will help you make sure your next site is lean and mean.

What usually happens…

A phone rings at Bowler Hat HQ.

Marcus is here. What can we do?

I’m the caller. We lost a lot of traffic after the website was built. We don’t rank for the things we used to be seen for. We are not getting any inquires. We want to look at what we can do to improve our ranking.

Marcus: OK. I can make suggestions if you let me know your URL and number.

This is a problem. If you plaster on an existing site, it’s not a good idea. Most businesses fail online if they don’t have websiteseo. The same ideas that fuel solidseo help with paid search, social and any other inbound marketing efforts You will fail to hit your goals if you get this wrong.

Developing an SEO-friendly website

Anseo-friendly sites allow a search engine to explore and read the pages on the site. Ensuring a search engine can easily crawl and understand your content is the first step to ensuring your visibility in the search engine result pages

We are trying to work with the search engines instead of against them, because a search engine uses a web crawler for this task. There are many ways to make a website, but not all technologies are built with search in mind.

A structured approach to representing your business and the services you provide is required to build anseo friendly site. It can be difficult to document exactly what you do.

Your website should be built with a clear business model and value proposition in mind. You need to revisit that if it is unclear.

If you have everything in place, let’s go.

Fundamentals

There are a few elements that make up a website design process.

example.com is the primary domain for your business. You might have others. It’s important that your domain relates to what you do. Ensuring that all variations point to the main site is important.

Bowler Hat is our business. We are in the UK. We’re a web-based business. Our domain is www.bowler hat.co.uk. The main URL is www.bowler hat.co.uk. 301 can be used to return to the main URL. This is all right.

Don’t think that having-my-keywords-in-my-domain.com will help you. It looks silly. It can help a little, but make sure you are mapping the real world. Be smart.

Your hosting is important. A slow site can make you unhappy. Common-sense rules should guide your hosting. Your audience is located where you are. If necessary, be specific. WP Engine is a great example, as it provides a platform tailored toWordPress websites.

How successful you are can be influenced by the system you choose. It is not the only option in many situations. It’s wired up at a basic level, and it can be understood by people. It is a good starting point for most businesses, but it is not the best choice for all situations. If you want to work with a web company that prefers to work with a different content management system, be sure to choose the right one.

Crawling & accessibility

Ensuring a search engine understands what you do and where you do it is the first step.

They need to be able to read the page to understand it. The main content of your website should be written in text. No video or flash. Your main content should be text-based. You can still look at the part, but be sure to talk in clear language about what you do so the search engine can read and understand your offering, and there are some great tools, like web fonts.

Search engine traffic can come from images, videos, PDFs and content. Again, they need to be discoverable.

Internal links are what the search engine can crawl to find your content. Your primary navigation, search engine directives and tools help the search engine crawl your site. Screaming Frog can help you make sure that your site is easy to find.

Information architecture and structuring your site

The filing cabinet analogy is something I like. The drawers are major categories. The folders are in the drawers. There are documents in the folders.

  • Cabinet: your website
  • Drawer: high-level category
  • Folder: subcategory
  • File: individual document/page

Context is indicated by the position within the site and by the site itself. Our site has a drawer for services, and each service has subcategories. Your site will not change.

The Bowler Hat site has a structure that we can consider as an example.

– – Service Area

– – – Individual Service

– – SEO

– – – SEO Audits

There is a page in the information architecture that is called audits.

There is a page in the service drawer. Nice and orderly. The context can be indicated by the document alone, but this can be done with other elements.

This is relevant to everything that is part of your business. You want to structure the information in a way that makes it easy to understand.

A deep approach to structuring may be taken by some sites. It is important that things are organized in a way that makes sense.

A deeper approach to site navigation tends to work better than a three- to four-level approach because it ensures that most content can be easily accessed within four clicks.

Context is indicated by the URL More context is provided by a naming convention.

One set of URLs makes sense, and the other doesn’t help, but they are both hypothetical.

  • www.example.com
  • www.example.com

The first URL naming convention helps both search engines and users, and the second one hinders, so the second set of URLs serves a point.

It’s equally important to navigate. The navigation works with the structure, the URLs and other components to help solidify what each page is about.

The menu at the top of your website is not the whole story. The most relevant part of your site is how you signpost users. Content on all pages and in the templated design elements of your site can be used to raise awareness of additional services.

I enjoy the signpost analogy. I walk into the store and look for the things I need. The website is the same. A user who searches for your brand name will land on your home page. They need a signpost to get there. It has to be easy to find.

It is easy to get this wrong, and careful thought must be applied before you build a site. A website should execute the strategy from your marketing plan. Understanding users is important so that you can meet their needs.

It should not make the user have to think. There is a sign at my local store. Which direction leads to the car park and which leads to the delivery entrance?

My brain follows the line from left to right and I turn right. There is a customer car park to the left. There is no way to show which is correct or wrong.

I go in the wrong direction a number of times. If users don’t find what they’re looking for on a website, they’ll return to the ocean of competition.

If one user can make a mistake, many others can as well.

Common problems

There are a lot of issues with content that can’t be found or can’t be understood by the search engine. For example

  • Orphaned content that can’t be found
  • Content only available via site search
  • Flash files, Java programs, audio files, video files
  • AJAX* and flashy site effects
  • Content can be problematic from another site.
  • The content is split into subdomains.

It is still possible to obscure content with pointless effects despite the fact that it has gotten a lot better.

Important content should sit in the overall structure of the site in a way that makes sense.

A human and a search engine should have a pretty good idea of what a page is about before they even look at it. A solid foundation is laid out by your information architecture and site structure.

Mobile-friendly design

The mobile phone is the most used device for internet searches. We live in a mobile age. Equal consideration should be given to the mobile layout of websites that are designed for search engines.

Responsive design is not sufficient. Responsive website design is important in 2012 Five years after technological progress and greatly improved mobile data networks, your future customers are using mobile as the first, and often only, device to interact with your business

What a user does on a phone is vastly different from what they do on a computer Even if your conversions are on a desktop, the first touch may be on a mobile device.

I looked at 28 key factors in creating a mobile-friendly website that will help you move beyond simple responsive design.

It is worth noting that mobile-friendliness is a confirmed ranking factor for mobile search, and it is the mobile version of your website that will be used by the search engine to review and rank your site. Mobile is more important than ever to your prospective customers.

You will be rewarded for your efforts in terms of traffic and user engagement if you work hard to improve the user experience for mobile users.

Page speed

Page speed is one of the key factors in the mobile era. People may be impatient, or they may not have a great mobile data connection. Ensuring your pages are lean and mean is a key consideration.

A great starting point is the mobile-friendly test. You will get feedback on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed. A handy little report detailing what you can do to speed things up is also included in the package.

In a recent column, I went into more detail about how to maximize speed. Page speed is just one of the many considerations that go into how your site is built and the quality of the hosting you use.

Usability

Other factors include device-specific design, page speed, design conventions and an intuitive approach to putting the site together with the end user in mind.

Key factors to consider include:

Page layout. Important elements should have more prominence.

Visual hierarchy. Make more important elements bigger!

Home page and site navigation Clearly tell users where to go.

There is a sensibly positioned search option.

Forms should be easy to fill in.

Design. Great design makes everything easier.

This is just scratching the surface, and the user experience has to be tailored to the site. Steve Krug wrote a book called “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability” and I would check that out.

The content marketing funnel

Your website needs to help your business get in front of potential customers on search engines, and then it needs to engage and convert those potential customers.

Content is needed for all of the stages of the customer journey. You may get in front of a customer as they look for similar services from another company, if you have good content and goodseo.

A marketing funnel is a way to think about the content you need.

Awareness — top of the funnel

Awareness content can be either a website or an article. We help prospective customers understand the problems they face and show them your experience and credibility in resolving them.

  • Blog posts
  • Informational articles
  • Webinars
  • Comprehensive guides
  • FAQs

Consideration — middle of the funnel

The content at the consideration stage helps your prospect compare you against others. Practical content helps the customer make a decision

  • Case studies
  • Product or service information
  • Product demonstration videos
  • User guides

Conversion — bottom of the funnel

The bottom of the funnel should encourage a sale or a lead.

  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Free trial
  • Free consultation

Customers will search across all content types. Search engines, consideration and conversion can be used to find these areas.

SEO nuts & bolts

Before we even look at the more familiar elements ofOptimizing your site and pages, we need to consider a lot of things. Once we have a solid foundation in place, we should only start to think about on-page optimization. If we have structured everything correctly, then the pages will be easier to use.

It is much easier to nail your strategy if you have a structure. If we look at our previous examples for site hierarchy and structure, it’s easy to add a few words to it.

– – SEO

– – – SEO Audits

If I use the pages as an example, we can move from broad to more refined search terms. If we are a local business, location can be considered.

– digital marketing agency

– digital marketing company

– marketing services

– digital marketing services

– Search Engine Optimization

– SEO Audits

– Technical SEO Audits

A well- structured site will give you a good way to determine your strategy. You can be sure that you have a solid strategy to target broad and more detailed terms, even though you still have to do the research.

HTML title tags

Search engine results can be influenced by the tag. It is the only meta tag that affects position.

Best practice for title tags are as follows:

  • Place keywords at the beginning of the tag.
  • Keep length around 50 to 60 characters.
  • Key phrases are used in a natural way.
  • The brand and category should be separated by dividers.
  • Focus on click-through and the end user.
  • Have a consistent approach across the site.

A lot of page titles are over-optimized. We don’t want the title tag to be at the expense of click-through and human readability. If a human clicks on your content, keep that in mind.

Meta description tags

Meta descriptions don’t affect rankings. We all know that. That is missing the point here. A meta description is the content of your advertisement in a set of search engine results Your description is what gets you to click. Winning those clicks can help improve visibility and drive more users to your website.

Meta descriptions must:

  • truthfully describe the page content.
  • advertise the page and improve click-through rates.
  • The user will click on this page because of their thought process.
  • It’s natural to include relevant and natural words.

The title and meta description of the page will be highlighted in the search engine. Don’t use this as an excuse to make sure the meta description is good, or else it won’t lead to that important click.

There are situations where it makes sense not to create a meta description and let the search engine pull content from the page to make a description that is more accurate. Keep in mind that your brief meta description can’t always cover all the options for a longer piece of content.

H1, H2, H3 and so on are the headings that help structure the page. What really matters is the alignment of the structure of the site, behind the scenes, and the content itself. We help search engines categorize our content while eking out every last bit of simple, on-page optimization we can, and line everything up and things make more sense for users.

Remember to align the tags. The biggest text element on the page should be the most important. You are making the document easy to understand and ensure that the design and content work together for the best result.

The most important part of a page is the content. archaicseo practices like overt keyword density and search terms with a lack of connective words are still being practiced. This won’t work. It makes for a bad experience.

The context of the page is important to us. The navigation, URLs, page titles, and so on should help here. We want to use natural language.

Content that engages the user should be the focus.

Considerations for page content:

  • Keywords in content (but don’t overdo it)
  • Structure of the page
  • The position of theKeywords in the content
  • Synonyms and alternatives
  • What else would a high-quality document include?

Click-through rates can be increased by using rich snippets. We like to find listings that stand out in the search engine results. If you can improve the click-through rate, it will drive more users to use your search engine. If you factor in possible ranking improvements from increased engagement, you can have a low-input, high-output tactic.

The snippets that are most relevant to your business will depend on what you do, but it’s a great place to start.

Image optimization

It is possible to drive a lot of traffic in the right circumstance. Our thoughts about context are important. Context within the site and the page are important because the content of images is not used by the search engine.

I’m looking for a hobbit hole playhouse for my five-year-old, and the search brings up image results:

I can use the image to drive me to the site that sells the playhouse if I want to. Increasing prominence in the image search results can be achieved byOptimizing your images

Image optimization is technically straightforward:

The name of the image is important.

  • Descriptive alt text is used to help people who can’t see the images.
  • The image is used in social shares.
  • Fast downloads can be achieved by using the right physical size.
  • Consider adding images to your XML sitemap.

It’s relatively easy to improve image. The images are relevant. The alt text and filenames should be kept clean.

Common problems

At Bowler Hat, the first port of call is anseo audit. The following are the usual suspects that crop up, and web designers should be aware of that.

There are two types of duplicate content. There are multiple places where the content can be found. Think of a business with multiple locations or shoes listed on a unique page with different sizes.

There is a situation where multiple pages are targeting the same words. This can affect the ability of your site to have one page that is very specific.

The site architecture and hierarchy should be eliminated during the planning and design stages.

Domains, subdomains and protocols

There is a chance that the site is available on more than one domain.

Consider a business with two domains:

  • Example.com
  • Example.co.uk

With www and non-www versions:

  • Example.com
  • Example.co.uk
  • www.example.com
  • www.example.co.uk

And the site runs on HTTP and HTTPS:

  • http://example.com
  • http://example.co.uk
  • http://www.example.com
  • http://www.example.co.uk
  • https://example.com
  • https://example.co.uk
  • https://www.example.com
  • https://www.example.co.uk

We can get to a situation where the site has eight variations before too long. Factor in the site resolving on any subdomain and a few duff internal links and we can often add things like “example.com” to the list above.

These kinds of issues should be considered by any web design agency that takes care of hosting and is serious about their customers websites.

Botched canonical URLs

An incorrect implementation of canonical URLs is one of the issues we see. The person building the site usually looks at the URLs as a kind of anseo checklist. The URL in the address bar is inserted into the canonical URL.

This is flawed because we can end up with a site running on multiple URLs, each with a different version of the same URL. The implementation makes the issue worse.

When used wisely, icann URLs are a powerful tool, but they must be used properly or they can make matters worse.

Questions or comments?

There are a lot of moving parts. To be warned is to be hit. Before, during and after a website design project, I wanted to give you with the keyseo elements.

I would love to hear from you on social media.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author. There are staff authors here.


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