How to Improve SEO by Changing Web Design
The industry of digital marketing is a very competitive one as techniques are being discovered every day. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, things get really hairy. Most of your competitors will be using optimized content for their website with a considerable number of backlinks. That is why you must look beyond content optimization to beat your competitors and get a better search engine ranking. You can do this by optimizing your website design. Here are a few methods you can use to improve SEO by changing web design today.
Increasing the Page Speed
Create a simple navigation
One of the main factors to consider while optimizing your website is the dwell time or the time that an average user spends on your website. This can be increased with a lot of media or extremely long content. However, you can do this easily by improving the navigation bar on your website. This allows the user to easily search for what they need and read relevant content, making them spend more time on your website. A professional web design company can help you get the optimum navigational menu.
Floating social media icons
Search engines also use social media to see how useful and popular your content is. This means that having a high number of shares for your posts, gives you higher search engine ranking. Typical websites tend to have the share button for social media at the bottom of the post or in some stationary corner of the website. This discourages people from sharing the content as they might be too lazy to go to the button again to the share. Hence, floating social media buttons that move with your screen and always stay in a convenient location are imperative to boost the number of social media shares. However, it is also important to ensure that this does not slow down the website.
Relevant URL titles
A common practice for on-page SEO is to include the targeted keyword for a post in the URL. But sometimes, people only follow this for their posts and not for the full website. The URLS should be more organized and clear to understand by both – the users and the search engines. Instead of naming the page URLs as ‘page one’ or ‘page two’, they should have more relevant names related to their functionality. For example, a page about product reviews should have ‘product reviews’ mentioned in the URL. Shorter URLs have also been shown to outperform longer ones. That way, the users will find your content more relevant in the search results and search engines will be able to index your content easily.
Create a mobile friendly design
Nowadays, most of the internet is browsed on mobile devices rather than computers. That is why search engines give a little extra credit to websites that are mobile friendly. Making a mobile-friendly website is harder than it seems. The responsiveness to various screen sizes needs to be taken into account along with ensuring that it loads considerably faster on mobile data. Depending on the kind of website you run, your web designer can help you come up with the perfect mobile website to boost your SEO score.
Optimize graphic placement
Google has revealed that it gives a lot of importance to the content that is immediately available on the screen without the need for scrolling. This means that the more keyword and link-rich content you have in this part of your content, the better it is. However, we all know that images make the content look better and advertisements keep the site running. That is why space needs to be properly used on every page to maximize the content while ensuring that the beauty of it stays put. Sidebars are a great location to help you manage your space efficiently.
Reconsider using flash
Flash lets us show the users some animations to help them get a better understanding of the content or to make the site look better. However, flash doesn’t always work on apple devices and some search engines have a problem indexing this. Instead, you could use GIFs or HTML5 to create a similar effect without losing out on any SEO points.
Give public access to the full website
Many websites run a business model that gives the public access to only some part of the content. This means that the rest of the information can only be accessed by some people who pay for it. Because of this, search engines can’t view a major part of the website and its content. This affects the SEO rankings of the website quite a lot, especially if the paid content was already optimized. Consider giving the public access to your whole site to improve your rankings and switch to a different business model. Otherwise, you will have to ensure that the rest of your content is so highly optimized, it makes up for the blocked content.
The world of SEO intertwined with web design is a complicated one. There are so many things that you can do to alter your website – some might help with SEO while others might just increase the aesthetic appeal of it. It is important to find a balance between the two. There is no single way to get it right, especially if you are just starting out. That is why you should concentrate on the content of your website and let professionals like us handle everything else for you.
Meredith Clawson is a blogger, designer and SEO specialist working with Cymax Media, a web design agency in the Denver area. You can find her on Twitter or Google +.
I agree, the design of you site can play a huge role in SEO. A good design can also help you gain page load speed by avoiding mistakes. For example, using outdated technologies such as flash. Good read!