Getting a website that works well, shows up in search results and brings traffic is about balancing a number of elements.
The two most important are website design and search engine optimisation or SEO. Often you might work with web design companies who don’t know much about SEO or SEO experts who aren’t web designers. This can work but the key is to know what are the most important tips to ensure that both work together. Here are four important examples.
Understand usability factors
Search engines exist to show the best and most relevant results to users for the search they have conducted. This makes for happy users that return to the platform for future searches. It also makes for advertising revenue for advertisers on their platform which makes money for the search engine companies.
This means that if you offer good user experience when a user visits your site, this helps boost the search engine’s credibility with that user. So Google and co will reward websites that offer that good user experience. Hence it is one of the four important tips to website design and SEO – getting your user to stay on your website, making it easy for them to get around the site and share what they find. These are all key to user experience or UX.
Ensure content discoverability
The next point considers how search engines find content on a site. While clever, they essentially need links to lead them to it. This means if your content isn’t properly linked, then this harms its discoverability by those search engine bots. And this could mean your site doesn’t rank at all.
From a design viewpoint, this means creating a site architecture that is easy for users to understand, making it obvious how to get from one piece of content to another and encouraging them to do this. Top-level services or product categories are the most important with subcategories and product or services pages beneath them.
Have high-quality content
Once you have a good structure on your website and search engines can get around it, the next step is to make sure you offer high quality content that will have a better chance at ranking. This means planning the content beforehand and ensuring it is SEO-steady as well as well written and full of information that your audience wants.
Questions to consider asking about each piece of content include:
- What purpose does this content serve?
- What would users want to know about this topic?
- Does it convey the company’s message?
These questions can be a guide to ensure all quality added to the website is high quality, relevant and useful to the user to therefore rank well with search engines.
Watch SEO during a redesign
If you already have a website and are in the course of redesigning it, then it is a crucial time to watch SEO practices. It is easy to concentrate on the design elements of the redesign without watching the SEO aspects that can quickly have a negative impact on the site’ ranking.
Crawl your site before starting the redesign including looking at pages and other current rankings. Are there are any outdated or redundant pages? Do they need to be redirected? What are the high ranking keywords on the site?
Consider all of this to ensure the site continues to have a good, solid SEO profile and will continue to rank solidly after the redesign process has been completed. If you are changing the URL structure, have a redirect map in place before the new site goes live.