Top Ways to an SEO-friendly Web Design
- Jul 07, 2014
- Dipanjan Mukherjee
With every passing day, the importance of web design is increasing significantly. It’s no more the same as the yesteryears when you could see your site rank high on the search engine results without having a proper design. In fact, the designs of the websites hardly played any part in deciding the rankings those days. The concept has changed completely. Yet a question pops up now and then: which is more important, web design or SEO? It is important to get it straight: both these are important for the search engine rankings of a website. And it is essential for you to get SEO-friendly designs for your website.
Are you wondering how to make your web design SEO-friendly? Here are a few tips to ensure that it is able to rank high in the search engine results.
Design a Properly Indexed Website
Want the content in your website to be indexed by the search engines? It is not that difficult as you are thinking. All you need to do is ensure that the most important contents of your website are in HTML text formats. This format is best crawled and noticed by the search engine spiders. The images, flash files, java applets and similar other components, on the other hand, are often ignored by the search engines. Hence, supplement them with some text on the web page, if possible. This will surely help you
Make It Easy to Navigate
No matter how you are planning to design your website, it has to be made keeping in mind the usability factor. If you are able to design the site in a way to make it user-friendly, it will surely attract more and more visitors. Besides, a site, which can be navigated properly will surely help to inspire more conversions. Thus, it will also perform well in terms of SEO. Hence, the website will be able to provide you with more conversions, which will translate into more revenues. The result: the website will be able to perform in a successful manner. In fact, breadcrumb navigation is regarded as one of the most SEO-friendly forms of navigation. It helps the users keep a track of their location inside the website. Besides, it also ensures that the search engines are able to understand the structure of the websites properly, which translates into enhanced SEO performance.
Important to Set the Menu at the Right Place
Where are you planning to set the menu of your website? Yes, it also plays an important role in ensuring whether the site is SEO-friendly or not. Always try to avoid including the menu on the left-hand side of the web page. However, there might be situations when you just cannot avoid it and you will have to place it right at that position. The only way you can avoid the debacle in spite of this is by ensuring that there is some text at the top of the page. This text will be crawled first by the search engines, thus helping the website to rank high in search engine results.
Do Away with Horizontal Scrolling
How will the visitors of your website navigate through a page? What options are there for scrolling in the website? Are you planning to add a horizontal scroll bar in it? Wait a moment. This can be one of the major mistakes you are making. The buzzword now is: eliminate horizontal scrolling. It is not user friendly and can be one of the most difficult things to manage for the users who land on your website.
Responsive the Call of the Day
In line with the concept of eliminating horizontal scrolling comes the idea of responsive design. And it, no doubt, is the call of the day. By the end of 2014, the number of internet users surfing through desktop devices is going to be surpassed by those using mobile devices to explore the World Wide Web. Here’s a sneak peek at some interesting responsive design statistics:
- 16% of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices
- 85% users expect responsive designs to be as good as or better than their desktop counterparts
- 67% of the eCommerce website visitors are likely to purchase with mobile devices
When you are planning to build a website and go for an online business, it is better to listen to someone who has a whopping 67% share of the search engine market. And that’s Google! The company openly recommends responsive web design as an industry best practice. So, that’s reason enough to go for a responsive design for your website.
Place the Social Media Plugins Correctly
Social media plays an important role in the field of marketing these days. Hence, keep an eye on the social media field when you are planning the design of your website. You need to place the major social media sharing plug-ins on the website. They help to maximize the number of shares and also help the website go viral on these social media platforms. This is likely to play an important role when it comes to spreading the word about your website. Hence, it will also help to increase the number of visitors to the site. This, in turn, is going to play a major role in making your website more SEO friendly.
Alt Tags a Must for Images
Images in a web page are also crawled by the search engines. Hence, it is important to include the right images for the content. Always make sure that the images are completely relevant to the content that you are offering. Besides, it is also important to include the alt tags to the images. This will help to add the description of the image. Thus, when the search engine is crawling the page, it will be able to understand what the image is showing. Hence, if you have different images of the same product, it is always advisable to change the description accordingly.
XML Sitemap can Help It Rank High
When you are designing a website, have you ever thought of including something, which is readable only by the search engines? Most probably you haven’t. But this is extremely necessary to ensure that your website is easily crawled by the search engines, which will play a major role in helping it rank high in the search results. So, what is it? Actually it is important to include an XML sitemap. This is different from any HTML sitemap, which is present in most of the sites. An XML sitemap usually involves a structured list of all the URLs, which are meant for the search engines. This helps these search engines to find all the pages of your website and your posts. Besides, it can also index them properly.
Avoid Flash Videos
Planning to add a flash introduction to your site to make it more attractive? Wait a moment. This can result in a major setback, as search engines and flash still don’t mix. With the presence of flash videos, the web pages take more time to load. This results in an increase in bounce rate for your website, which has a negative impact from the SEO perspective. Moreover, the search engines do not find it easy to crawl the flash videos. Hence, it is a good idea to use HTML5 for this purpose to help the website rank better in search engine results.
It is always an important thing to enhance the appearance of a website. It helps to attracts more visitors, which reflects in an improved SEO performance. However, it involves a number of steps and a well-planned web design is one of them. It surely helps to take the performance of the website a step forward and play a major role in ensuring that it ranks high in search engine results.
Dipanjan Mukherjee, a content writer and editor by profession, and a web enthusiast by choice, takes special interest in various subjects, including social media, web design, online marketing, and others. A post graduate diploma in Mass Communication and Masters in English, he started his career as a content writer and has over 7 years of experience in content writing and editing. He has worked in a number of industries, including IT, market research, SEO and others. He contributes blogs for Softz Solutions, The Perfect Blender, and a number of other popular sites.
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