Many business owners approach web design as a strictly visual, aesthetic matter. Naturally, you want your digital presence to reflect your core brand identity, its values, and to embody your purpose in that digital world. However, web design is so much more than a brand’s reflection. It needs to be built upon the most recent and relevant user trends and preferences, and it needs to appease search engines in their attempt to rank you according to your relevance and the value you offer your visitors. So, when you’re designing a website, you need to focus on SEO as much as you need to keep your brand in mind.
Once you factor in various elements of optimization, you will put your brand on the map, make sure that more people come across your website, and most of all, that they enjoy the experience when they explore your digital presentation. Among so many vital components of SEO-friendly web design, let’s focus on a few of the most pertinent that can help you improve your ranking as well as your audience’s perception.
Clean and simple always wins
Minimalism in web design has become one of the most effective ways to convey core brand messages across a vast majority of industries. It means doing more with less and enabling people to connect with your business not by pushing excess information, but by trying your best to condense your brand voice and be as concise as possible. The same applies to the visual aspect of your website.
Instead of pushy, annoying pop-ups at every turn, too many elements to distract the visitor from the core purpose of that particular page, clean web design helps you focus your visitor on what matters most. For example, using few, but carefully selected colors will elicit the right emotions and create the right mood. By creating the optimal user experience, you greatly contribute to the overall SEO strategy for your website – because search engines reward websites that provide a wonderful experience to their users.
Make sure navigation is spot-on
Do your users know what to do when they reach your site? Are there too many clickable elements and too few clear CTAs? What about a dozen categories with obscure names they cannot possibly understand? Website navigation, a vital component of web design, is one of the most important SEO factors, as well.
Make sure that you simplify navigation on your site, steer your visitors in the right direction, and keep the process seamless and smooth. While creativity in naming your categories is valued, you must not overdo it, simply because you cannot expect your visitors to decipher your content.
SEO is a matter of ongoing effort
The most vital aspect of tackling SEO through web design is your mindset. Investing in SEO means playing the long game, as opposed to designing a website and just letting it live online without ever going back to add fresh content, redesign certain elements according to the changes in search engine algorithms, and the like.
It’s advisable for many companies to collaborate with a digital marketing agency that can focus on ongoing optimization. From optimizing for voice search, which is becoming increasingly popular, all the way to ensuring your business listings are consistent in terms of NAP, and ongoing SEO performance monitoring, your website and design are evolving aspects that can improve your ranking when done correctly and professionally.
Don’t forget about the images on your site
To make sure that your new website is successful, and that includes your web design efforts, you should maximize the potential of the images you post on your site. For starters, images cannot be “crawled” in the same way the rest of your written content can. That means that you need to introduce clear and unique alt attributes to your images, so that search engines can understand what each image represents.
Also, if visually impaired visitors come to your website, or for whatever reason the image doesn’t load properly (such as the user’s poor internet connection), having access to an appropriate description can help them understand what your site is about.
Responsiveness is essential
Finally, web designers need to remember that responsiveness is vital for your SEO strategy. More people are using mobile devices when browsing and shopping every day, so making sure that your site is easy to use on these devices is crucial. Plus, Google now indexes your site from a mobile-first perspective, meaning that your mobile version is treated as the main version of your site.
This helps you achieve two major goals: appeal to search engines and provide a great experience to all your potential visitors who want to explore your offers with their smartphones or tablets.
From keyword optimization to choosing stellar images and other visuals to support your voice, you need to make sure that your entire approach to web design is user-oriented and created with search engines in mind. Trends might change and new customer preferences might arise, but these SEO essentials will always remain at the very foundation of effective web design – keep them in mind when you create your web presence, and you’ll ensure your brand remains visible and relevant for years on end.
Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com