Web design and SEO are two sides of the same coin.
In fact, they're often used together by businesses to create a powerful marketing strategy. This is because, from Google's perspective, a website is essentially a huge jigsaw puzzle. Each piece has its own role to play in helping your content rank well on the search engine results page (SERP).
In this guide, we'll be covering the full spectrum of SEO optimization for web design, from the code on a website all the way up to the architecture of the site itself.
This means if your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load, you’re losing almost half of your potential customers.
Luckily, with some simple web design and SEO strategies, you can increase the speed of your website.
Minify Your Code
Chances are, your code includes spaces, notes and comments. While this helps other humans read and understand your code better, a server doesn’t need all the extra information.
Below is an example of minimized CSS.
Use The Trailing Slash In Your URL
A trailing slash lets the server know that it is at the last stop and there are no more files to search. This is usually indicated as a forward slash at the end of the URL.
For example: www.choquercreative.com/blogs/
Adjusting image dimensions before uploading them to the site will help your web page load faster.
For example, if you use a 200 x 200 px picture for a 50 x 50 px thumbnail, the server will need to download the original image first and then scale it down to the thumbnail size. This takes unnecessary time that’s easily preventable.
How Do I Make My HTML SEO-Friendly?
When it comes to web design and SEO, HTML is the building block of your website. It’s how search engines are able to read the content of your web page and categorize it properly on the search engine results page. This ensures that when potential customers search for certain keywords, they come across your website.
If you have a product or service that you want people to find online, you need to give it the best chance to be properly crawled and indexed by Google. The following are a few strategies you can use to optimize HTML.
The title tag labels your content and appears on the SERP for your web page.
The title tag is not the title of the article (the H1). In fact, it can be completely different from the title of your article (they should be similar because you don’t want to confuse your readers).
To optimize title tags for web design and SEO:
- Include SEO keywords in the first 3 words or last 3 words of the title
- The title should be 50-60 characters long
- Write an intriguing title that encourages people to click the link so they can read more
Meta descriptions don’t directly affect SEO rankings.
However, they directly influence people to click on your web page.
The meta description appears under the title tag on the SERP. It’s the short description that people read when deciding if they want to click on your web page or not.
In other words, the meta-description is like an “advertisement” for your page.
Headings (H1 → H6)
Heading tags are essential for both web design and SEO.
Not only do they add structure to your page and increase readability (more on this later), but they also help search engine crawlers understand the meaning of your content and how to rank it higher in search queries.
In terms of web design and SEO, ensure your headings:
- Are 70 characters or less
- Incorporate keywords you are trying to target
Anchor tags are the bits of code that link from one page to another on your site, and they're a great place to use those keywords you're trying to rank for.
For example, if you have an article about how to make a sandwich, you could add keywords like "sandwich recipe" and "quick lunch ideas" as anchor tags for links that lead somewhere else on your site. This ensures that when Google crawls your webpage, it sees these anchor tags and knows what the other pages are about.
In contrast, if you simply have an anchor tag titled “contact us,” this gives no additional information to Google. Instead, opt for something more descriptive such as: contact us for web design and development.
When it comes to web design and SEO, the more keyword-rich anchor tags you have on your site, the higher your site will rank in search results!
Image Alt Text
When it comes to images, they add value to your web design but you should also use them to add value to SEO.
If you write HTML code, chances are you’ve come across the “alt” feature in an image tag. This feature displays a text description to a user when the image fails to load.
The alt text can also be used to increase SEO.
When Google crawls your web page, it isn’t able to process what an image is about. However, if you add an “alt” text to the image HTML code, Google is able to read it and understand the context of the image.
Regarding web design and SEO, page architecture is an important factor in how well your website performs. Not only does it increase accuracy when your web page is crawled, but it also increases user readability which directly increases your SEO ranking.
Let’s dive into what makes an effective web page.
Page Layout and Visual Hierarchy
When a user comes across your web page, you have the power to influence what they see and what stands out to them.
So, how do you create an effective web page?
Readers usually scan a web page in a “Z” pattern. The key here is to place the most important elements on your page at these locations. The example below shows this technique implemented effectively.
In addition to the Z pattern, ensure your page has good readability. Since Google prioritizes websites that are functional and have a good user experience, this directly increases your SEO ranking.
First, make sure your space isn’t too cluttered by adding white space between elements. There is nothing worse than having a text-heavy, cluttered web page where readers can’t find what they need.
Lastly, use headings to create a structure for the page. Think of headings like chapters in a book. They help readers see what your web page is about and find content easily.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is a powerful tool for your web design and SEO strategy.
Google's search algorithm favours websites that are optimized for mobile phones. So, if your site isn't responsive, there's an increased chance that Google will send a lot of people to your competitors instead of yours.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. To start with, what is responsive web design?
Responsive design allows you to optimize your content so that it can be easily read and understood by users on mobile devices, tablets, and desktops. This way, you're meeting your users wherever they are and making sure they can get the information they need without having to navigate through a cluttered and hard-to-use website.
We’re Here To Help
The best way to ensure that your web design and SEO work together is by partnering with an agency that understands both sides of the equation.
At Choquer Creative, we have a talented team of web developers, designers, copywriters, and SEO strategists. Our team works together to create beautiful websites that are seamlessly optimized for SEO. If you have any questions about web design and SEO, or if you want to get started optimizing your site, contact us today!