How to use SEO in your Web Design
How to use SEO in your Web Design
The term SEO holds a lot of weight. We understand how important it is to the success of our website but many make the mistake of leaving it until the end. Or, even worse, it’s left out of our website design all together. SEO should be the quarter back of your online presence, not something to be taken lightly. In this article I will share with you how to use SEO in your web design.
As a web designer, it has always been a struggle to create highly optimized SEO while maintaining a beautiful user interface. We must create messages to our visitors to take action all while keeping the content educational and engaging all at the same time.
The web design process and SEO must be created in harmony in order to produce a successful website that converts traffic to sales. Web Design client expect to see big results, high conversion and organic traffic. SEO must be a main focal point in the web design process. Anyone who has ever tried to add SEO to a website that has already been build knows how much harder it is to add later on.
Googles search engine has such a massive impact on the success of our websites that it’s imperative we understand how it works. We must feed the beast.
If we take a well rounded approach to simultaneously building the website and SEO at the same time, we can be sure that it is optimized for googles algo.
“The success of every websites now depends on search engine optimisation and digital marketing strategy. If you are on first page of all major search engines then you are ahead among your competitors in terms of online sales.”
How to use SEO in your Web Design?
When design a website, SEO should be something your thinking about at all times, from the sitemap to the launch.
SEO starts at the proposal phase
During the first briefing with a client it’s important to focus on how the website and seo strategy can be designed together. Typically clients center the focus on only the design aspects (Products, servides and visuals etc…) but pay no attention to the SEO and content.
This of coarse is not actually what their goals are. What they really want is to use the website to grow their business through traffic and leads. This requires something much more complicated than just building a pretty website.
We know that the website needs to be highly optimized for googles search engine in order to deliver on what the intentions are. This is why you must spend the time to really focus in on mapping out a layout that incorporates search engine optimization in to the design.
Explaining all this to your client can be a bit of a challenge
“The time spent building a solid foundation will pay for itself ten-fold.”
SEO during the planning phase
Once the web design project has been approved it’s time to start planning out how you will construct the SEO and design. It’s a good idea to make a detailed site map as a foundation that the site will be built on.
In this phase you will be working with your client to choose colors, logo, how many pages and features the site will require. If the client provides images, color combos or content that really sucks, don’t be shy to let them know. If visitors stumble on to your ugly site, they will leave immediately and the bounce rate will damage the rankings. It can be tough to break the news to an excited client that their images are crap but the outcome will be far worse if the site looks bad.
If you’re design the site but no the content, be sure to work closely with the copywriter. By establishing some guidelines from the start, you can avoid many of the pitfalls they might happen from miscommunication.
Here are a few things that can help you create better SEO Websites
- Create actionable messages and CTAs
- Write alt tags for images
- Build internal links from directing users to important pages
- Learn to write in HTML, so that you can customize
- Naturally thread target keywords into the copy
- Write with user intent in mind
- Create meta tags and optimize URLs for search
SEO during the Design and Development Phase
Now that we’ve planned out our sitemap and everyone involved is on the same page, we can begin the labor intensive stage. It’s easy to get overly focus on the designs visuals but make sure you don’t lose focus on the the SEO. You can create an SEO checklist that will keep you focused on optimizing during every part of the the sites construction. This strategy will also enable you to be more efficient while you create the site.
Here’s a sample checklists that you can use:
- Technical SEO
- Quality Web hosting with 100% uptime
- Google Analytics goal tracking
- SSL certificate
- Connect to Google Analytics
- Firewall implemented
- Image compression and resizing
- Automated backup implemented
- Caching enabled
- XML sitemap submitted to Google
- Indexing on Google Search Console
- SEO Design
- Test all links, buttons and forms
- Info architecture mapped out
- Custom 404 page
- Responsive web design
- On-page SEO
- unique keyword per page
- Focus keyword density
- Check for Plagiarism
- Header tags with keywords
- Featured image for pages
- Slug includes the focus keyword
- Headers appears in content for each page
- Meta title including the focus keyword with 50-70 words
- Meta description with 130-160 words
- 2 relevant internal link per page
- Alt text for each image
- Duplicate content analysis
The importance of learning proper SEO cannot cannot cannot be overstated. It truly has the power to turn a business in to a success.
Here is a few stats that will get your interest
- In 2019 (to date), Google accounted for just over 75% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo at 2.77%.
- Google has received nearly 2.3 trillion searches this year.
- Of the billions of searches that happen on a given day, 15% of daily searches are new to Google.
- On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks.
- Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.
- High-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search.
- 57% of marketing executives say on-page content development was the most effective SEO tactic.
- The average content length of the top position Google article contains 2,416 words.
- The average word count of a voice search result page is 2,312 words.
To wrap this up, backlinking and keyword optimization is an integral part of the SEO enigma. As a website designer it is your duty to emerge yourself in to the SEO world and learn as much as possible. It can be frustrating at times but the fruits of your labor can be highly enjoyable. There’s something about the gamified nature of growing a websites ranking that makes it fun in a weird way. It takes a great deal of patience and determination to continually keep up with the ever changing algorithm. But it can become a highly lucrative career and one that is sure to grow with our fast growing digital world.