In today’s segmented world, it seems like there are more and more companies offering one, specific service they claim will revolutionize your business. SEO, graphic design, web design, content writers are all out there ready and waiting to help you take your business to the next level.
The problem is that, at some point, you will find yourself working with three or four different businesses all trying to optimize your website.
Will they work well together? How many times will their wires get crossed? And how will your website suffer as a result?
A web design agency that practices the principles of SEO web design can eliminate all of that trouble and the hassle that comes with wrangling different vendors and agencies.
SEO web design refers to designing and developing SEO-friendly websites. This means designing your website using SEO best practices, not designing a website, and then applying SEO on top of the existing site.
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Five SEO Principles Crucial to Web Design
Despite what many people seem to believe, SEO and web design need to go hand in hand. You can’t do one well if you are not paying attention to the other.
When your site is designed with these principles in mind, you are guaranteed to keep your customers, and search engines, happy.
1. User Engagement
Search engines, especially Google, want to keep their users happy by suggesting the best websites for their search queries. One of the ways that Google measures how happy users are with your site, also known as user engagement, is by measuring the average time spent on your page.
Good design, and good content, are vital to ensuring a positive user experience. Traditional web design firms only really concern themselves with the first part of that equation. A web designer that is also fluent in SEO principles will design your business a website that ensures an overall positive user experience, not just one that looks pretty.
2. Backlinking & Interlinking
Backlinking and interlinking refer to ways that links are used to direct users to your content.
Backlinking is when links to your website and content are featured on other websites and articles. This shows search engines that people view your website as a source of credible information. A good digital marketing strategy can help increase the number of backlinks to your site.
There are several ways to increase the number of backlinks to your site. You can partner with other local businesses to have them link to your site and, in return, you link to their site. You can partner with influencers in your field. You can also do a simple search for people that are writing about your field and pitch them your content to see if they will link out to your content.
This is an SEO strategy that can take some time to build. Interlinking, however, is an SEO strategy that can be built in from day one, if you have a web designer that knows how.
Interlinking is ensuring that your website’s content includes links to other parts of your website with content that users interested in that topic may find helpful.
There are a few reasons that interlinking is important in your web design.
- Highlights web pages that may not have been as accessible to search engine spiders.
- Helps organize web pages based on the keyword used in the link’s URL and anchor text.
- Improves user experience by providing further ways to interact with your site.
- Another way to use anchor text keywords.
- Organizes site architecture and communicates to search engines your most important web pages.
For example, on our last blog on the importance of copywriting, we linked to our copywriting services page. That signals to search engines, and users, that these two topics are linked and helps guide visitors towards services they could be interested in.
3. Easily Shareable
If you currently have a content marketing plan, odds are you know the importance of encouraging social sharing. Even if you don’t have a content marketing plan, you probably know how important it is to have your site shared on social media sites.
There are definitely instances where social links and shared content on social media sites have shown up before the official website in searches because those links can be more relevant to specific searches.
Web designers that know their SEO stuff know that it’s important to include social sharing links prominently and consistently throughout your website in order to encourage this kind of sharing. You want to ensure that these sharing buttons are not just on your blog posts, but also on landing pages, lead magnets, and any other content that you want to be shared.
I love talking about website speed. Having a website that loads as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do to ensure your visitors have the best experience possible. A fast website is also a crucial element in SEO success.
Web designers that understand the importance of speed in SEO are more likely to make design decisions that will ensure a speedy experience for your visitors.
Navigation is another area of site design that pairs SEO and web design principles. An intuitive navigation setup is a key element to both a usable website design and SEO success.
Simply put, the easier it is to navigate your site to find the information needed, the longer a visitor will stay on your website. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the better your SEO rankings since time on site is a key ranking factor for Google and other search engines.
In 2021, we are all well aware of how interconnected things are, especially online. Web designers should be no exception to this rule. Knowledge of SEO principles and techniques applied to established web design principles and techniques can take a good website to a great website. You and your business deserve nothing less.