Want to create an award-winning website armed with the most effective SEO tools? As a business owner, we all have our list of priorities but when it comes to user experience, every one appears to be on the same wavelength. That’s because, there is enough evidence to support the fact that the usability of your website in terms of design and development is strongly tied to the success of your SEO campaign.
Over the years, the accepted rules of design and development have taken a 360 degree turn. Websites that refuse to evolve with the ever-changing industry trends are watching their online image taking a nosedive. On the other hand, those who are smartly revamping the different areas of their websites are raking in profits higher than ever before. This is because these websites are not only exceptional in terms of functionality but are also second to none in terms of what we can call crawl-ability.
Many people are under the assumption that a SEO-friendly design means a set of good-for-nothing restrictions that web developers and designers are forced to abide by. They believe that the idea of being SEO-friendly translates into a website that can easily manipulate search engines. That is certainly not the case.
When we talk about creating an SEO-friendly website, the intention is to incorporate all those elements that can help a business boost its online visibility. After all, no matter how amazing, beautifully designed, well-written or aesthetically-appealing your website is, if search engines are unable to find and index it, it won’t get you anywhere.
Anatomy Of Search Engines- How They Work?
In order to understand the elements that can help a website stand out of the crowd, it is important to understand the way things work with the search engines. Search engines employ automated robots responsible for retrieving content and creating a search engine index. Also known as crawlers or spiders, these automated robots are extremely important to a website’s success. Why? Because if they are unable to access or index your website, chances are slim the website will survive even a few months after it’s up and running.
It is advised to keep tabs on how search engines crawl your website because it not only offers you an insight into your website’s performance but also allow you to diagnose and remedy any problems that rear their ugly heads. This is also your chance of finding whether or not you are up for those challenges that the web world is most likely to throw your way.
SEO-Friendly Website Structure- The Blueprint for Success
Wondering what you can do to make your website the apple of Google’s eyes? Create your very own map for success by following the guidelines listed below. While there are always workarounds to rectify any mistakes you make, building up your website with focus on the right rules not only helps you avoid inconvenience but also allows your website to earn that unfair advantage.
- Placing valuable content in HTML text is a must. Using images, non-text content, flash files or other similar content can bring the effectiveness of an otherwise useful website down on its knees.
- If you allow users access to content after requesting them for submission forms and want the search engine to still access this content, think of what you can do to accomplish it. Our recommendation is the use of static links.
- Using i-frames or frames is a bad idea.
- If your website is visually-rich and has several videos and images, it is advised you supplement all such content with descriptive and relevant text.
- Don’t forget to use Alt attribute with your image.
- Do not ever place your links in flash files or images. Instead, your focus should be on ensuring that all the links are competently formatted in HTML.
- An HTML sitemap on your website can double or even triple ease of use because this is where all the important pages on your website will be listed.
- Another tip is to ensure the user is not expected to perform an endless string of clicks. As a rule of thumb, make sure that every important page on your website is no more than three clicks away from the site’s homepage.
There are other meaningful tips that can aid a website rule the search engine rankings and keep incoming traffic happy. These recommendations to help any website soothe the savage beast of competition and stay ahead of others are outlined below.
Meta Tags- Make the Most Out Of Them
In layman terms, Meta tags are brief descriptions of the content on an individual page. While this description has no weigh in rankings, it is important as it is displayed as a snippet under search engine’s result listing. Meta tags can be thought of as an advertisement for your website. Potentially influencing the click-through rate, it is crucial to ensure that it’s not only relevant and easy to read but catchy as well. When you plan to set up a new website, make sure you incorporate Meta descriptions, meta keywords and the right meta robots.
Page Titles- Earn Some Search Engine Love
Title tags or page titles, as the name implies, are used to describe a page. They are displayed at the top of the browser bar and since they show up in search engine results, relevancy is something you just cannot afford to ignore. It is a good idea to keep the page title under 70 characters. Try to incorporate your site name as well as the most important keywords in the page title.
URL Structure- Elevate Ease of Use to New Heights
In the SEO world, the URL structure can be the difference between starting off on the right foot and pushing your website down the ranking slope. Your URL structure not only influences the number of visitors you attract or the social shares you perform but also your links to particular pages. Some points to remember in this regard are listed below as follows.
- Make sure the URL is short and precise.
- URL should be user-friendly and crafted creatively.
- Ensure that it is not bundled with non-alphanumeric characters or parameters. Keep it static.
- It is a good practice to use hyphens in URL to separate words. Hyphens have a higher readability than underscores or other characters.
- Use keywords strategically but do not stuff a URL with it.
Duplicate Content- A Big No-No!
Speaking from the search engine’s perspective, duplicate content is any content on your website that exists on any other website or content that is similar across different pages of the same website. Keep duplicate content at arm’s length if you don’t want to get into any trouble with the search engine.
Speed and Performance- Factors You Cannot Afford To Ignore
Recently, speed and performance are two factors that have taken center stage in the SEO world. With users having an attention span of a goldfish, it is more important than ever before for websites to reduce their response time and deliver optimal performance.
So, the next time you get down to designing your website, make sure you incorporate all the tips and recommendations listed above to outshine, outpace and outsmart your competitors.