Posted at Mar 13, 2019 2:16:00 PM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share
Often when we design a new website SEO doesn't get much attention until the end of the process. Incorporating SEO into the entire website design process will of course help your SEO but it can also be a great help to your design process itself as well as to your end-users.
Fundamentally, a site that is SEO optimized and friendly is one that makes it easy for search engines to crawl its pages and understand the structure of the site as well as the content. If you make this job easy for the search engines, it will also naturally make your site easier for your users to use and understand.
Think about how Google crawls and sees your site, videos and images are aesthetically pleasing but you also need text on your site for your users and for search engine that explains your business, services and offerings clearly and succinctly.
Here are some SEO tips to think about while you are in the design phase of your website project.
1. Link Structure & Naming
You want to be sure that your site architecture is clear and easy to understand. This will benefit both your users as well as the search engines. Related to this, it's important to think about your URL naming structure. You want to make your URL naming convention consistent and friendly. A search engine (and also a user) should be able to easily tell what a page is about from looking at the URL.
This is related a bit to the link structure. It is important to think carefully about your navigation from the very beginning of the project. Think about what users might be looking for when they are visiting your site, also think about what actions you want them to take on your site - do you want them to fill out a contact form? Learn about your products? Sign up for a newsletter? Make sure it's easy for users to navigate to the content that they need on your site. If it's easy for users to navigate it will also be helpful from an SEO perspective.
3. Mobile Friendly Design
When you are thinking about your website design, take into consideration how your users may use your site on a mobile device. Are there things they might be looking for or things they are trying to do that would differ between desktop and mobile? Making sure that your mobile site design is in tip top shape and has been given careful consideration is also important from an SEO perspective. Google has shifted to a mobile first index, so the mobile version of your website will be the one that Google indexes first.
4. Visual Hierarchy
Search engines (and users) will use the hierarchy and layout of your page to determine what information is most important. This is important to keep in mind while you are in the design phase. Make sure that your design flows in a hierarchical fashion and takes into account the various heading tags you will be using appropriately. For example, Google uses these heading tags to help it understand what is important on a page so you want to have some thought and logic behind what words use what headings tags and why.