A great website is a powerful combination of quality content, appropriate web design, ample SEO efforts, and marketing. Web design and SEO go hand-in-hand, and both play a part in developing an SEO-optimized website.
This further lays emphasis on the major role played by web designers in building the entire website and its online reputation as well. To get better at SEO, web designers need to get a deeper understanding of the commercial aspects of websites. Apart from creating killer designs, web designers should always be aware of some of the basic SEO insights that can implement positive change in their entire web design approach.
In this post, we’ll discuss the basics of SEO for web design, whether you’re building a new website or revamping an existing one.
The structure of your website is essentially how your audience gets around. There is always a peculiar way for the information to flow on a website. This path is taken by every visitor to reach their destination i.e. the information they are looking for. Every web designer must keep the fact in mind that if the site visitors are having a hard time going around the website or reaching their point of destination, the site’s traffic will always be affected.
To put simply, the structure of the site is the casual flow of navigation for new and experienced website visitors alike. The web design should be approached in such a manner that all visitors can seamlessly experience the site’s navigation and get around it with utmost ease.
As a general rule, pages should be no deeper than 4 clicks from the homepage. This will help your site’s SEO by allowing search engines and users to find content in as few clicks as possible. Make sure the navigation isn’t complex for the user nor confusing for search engines.
The compulsion of a responsive, mobile-friendly web design
Mobile traffic as a share of total global online traffic in 2017 was 52.64%. Well, that means that every web designer needs to get the fact that a mobile-friendly website will help them get better at the traction of the traffic. A responsive website is highly favored by search engines and it can only happen when the web designers approach it in the correct manner.
Having a responsive web design will help your website adjust to the pixel-width of the screen upon which they are being viewed. This will work to equate and enhance the user experience on every device. Less work for the audience means that they spend more time on your website. So, don’t be that website that 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend because of a poorly designed website on mobile.
Image optimization is crucial
Web designers play a very crucial role in deciding the aesthetic appeal of the website they are working on. Right from the typography, the use of colors, patterns, geometric shapes, symmetry etc., they also handle the choice of images that would make it to the website.
Hence, optimizing the chosen images is a must because large images slow down your web pages, creating a roadblock for optimal user experience. Depending on the website builder in use, web designers can optimize images by decreasing their file size by either a plugin or script. This also happens to be a core instruction in the blogging tips furnished by reputed bloggers.
Speed optimized web design
Web developers and designers have to be at the beck and call of the client and the team, owing to revisions and bug fixes. In this haste, they often avoid optimizing their web design for a fast loading web speed. Did you know that a website that takes more than 2-3 seconds to load can face a higher abandonment rate as compared to others?
Roping in the importance of page speed from the very beginning is just as important as laying the building blocks of the website. If the project manager or client is inexperienced, web designers must guide them through the importance of investing in a reliable web hosting service as well because that definitely affects the loading speed of the website and other server-side issues.
Using the right tools
Web designers aren’t expected to be the best at taking care of a site’s SEO, but they should at least have a surface-level understanding of how their SEO tip-offs can help the website function improve immensely.
There are a few tools that should be at the disposal of every web designer such as the GTmetrix. This tool can help them analyze their site’s speed and make it faster. It will also provide them with insights on how well their site loads along with actionable recommendations on how to optimize it. Tools like Responsive Web Design Testing can help them test their website’s responsiveness across multiple devices with different screen sizes instantly in just simple steps. To top it off, the very popular Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool can help these web designers with a website crawler, that allows them to crawl websites‘ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyze onsite SEO.
The design of the website and its SEO are the two moving parts of the same entity. Hence, it should be the aim of every web designer to furnish their knowledge of web designing with the key SEO elements that are a must to be considered before, during and after a website design task. They must understand that they are the ones that will set the SEO fireball rolling. In an attempt to embed the site’s SEO into the design process, we hope that our basic SEO insights for web designers will be of huge help to experienced and new web designers, alike.