When businesses, bloggers and organisations approach a web design company, they often think that communicating their point, projecting a sales pitch and the aesthetics of the website design are the fundamental factors of web success.
Whilst each of hold a significance in the web design process, does any of this matter if users aren’t landing on your website to begin with?
Search engine optimisation, SEO, is more important than ever in todays saturated internet. A credible SEO strategy is there to optimise your website for the purpose of a search engine, the better it is implemented the better you fare in search engine rankings.
A superior ranking is essential for two reasons. The first being that users are more likely to click on one of top five results, so YOU need to appear to guarantee an optimum influx of website visitors. The second reason is quality; an outstanding SEO web design will be furiously fast, easy to navigate and extremely user friendly.
But what does web design have to do with SEO?
SEO marketing is so much more than stuffing a lot of keywords onto a page and hoping for the best, it’s about forming and moulding an entire campaign. A website is at the heart of all digital marketing campaigns so SEO starts at web design and everything else merely slots into place around the SEO friendly website for ultimate impact.
Neglecting on-page SEO at the design stage is a costly mistake, therefore you should always carry out research to ensure your chosen agency for web design services is well educated on SEO best practices.
Quite often, people will approach an SEO agency because they have a pretty website but it does not rank. This is usually due to their initial lack of awareness on the importance of SEO and thus chosen the best website design based on aesthetics alone, but this is sometimes the worst regarding search engine optimisation. In these instances, structural changes to your website are usually needed, an expense that could have been avoided by choosing a designer and website developer that are well versed in SEO.
SEO Web Usability
A key ingredient to be considered in the design of your SEO website is its usability, this is also the most important.
Usability concerning SEO is a website with an obvious site navigation, a menu with a straightforward structure, a secondary menu if necessary, easy homepage access and breadcrumbs on all pages.
Strong SEO web designs have prominent call-to-actions scattered tactically across the home page and throughout the site, ensuring they are both bold and obvious, yet non-demanding and simple to complete.
You must create a website with a systematic hierarchy, preferably with no more than seven categories and its important to try and maintain a harmonious balance, with a comparable number of sub-categories under each top-level category.
Your website design should have a methodical URL structure that coincides with your organised hierarchy. Your site navigation should be a clear and simple menu with the primary categories on display at all times and subcategories only appearing when necessary and required, i.e. a user hovering over its parent category, for example.
Do you have a responsive web design?
Any good SEO website is also a responsive website.
In 2016, mobile accelerated ahead of desktop for internet browsing for the very first time and in the time that has since passed, mobile has only gone from strength-to-strength.
Google has a plan in place to make their search engine a mobile-first initiative, something that has never been done before. This is to be reinforced in phased-out stages to give everybody ample opportunities to switch to a responsive site… and if you don’t, you could be on the receiving end of a detrimental Google penalty, thus affecting your SEO rankings and hindering your successes.
Google aside, responsive SEO websites are crucial for usability and retaining users after landing on your website. Responsive designs guarantee that users will have a supreme experience on any device or screen resolution.
If your website is difficult to navigate, tricky to read or sluggishly slow on a mobile, it is almost guaranteed that the user will leave your website almost instantly and head to your competitors legible, mobile-friendly, user-friendly website. A website design company will put this effort into desktop, but an SEO agency will also put this effort into mobile and since its clear the future is mobile – make the investment now!
SEO Websites and Page Speed
In an age where website visitors are often running of mobile data than Wi-Fi or a speedy desktop internet connection, SEO elements such as page speed and mobile-friendliness need to be a top consideration when designing a website.
Some ways to achieve peak page speeds are, to ensure your responsive web design is concise, the build and images well-optimised, enabling compression, avoid landing page redirects and use browser caching. Basically, you must merge website and SEO at the first possible instance to achieve the optimal page speeds without inconvenience down the line.
Having a speedy functionality is key to success as us users tend to have little patience. In fact, Google found that 53% of all mobile users would abandon a webpage, your website, if the page fails to load within three seconds.
At SEM Consultants, our SEO experts, web designers and website developers work hand-in-hand to ensure all client’s websites are fully SEO optimised, responsive and ready to storm ahead in search engine rankings. If you are need a new responsive website or a refresher of your existing SEO website, we have the skills to help. If you are unsure of what you are looking for, contact us today on 0121 552 6500 and we will be happy to help, advise and get to work!