The usefulness of a website is directly proportional to how easy it is for an audience to come across it. If the consumer has to jump through hoops to reach your website, the odds of him getting there are slim at best. This is where search engines come into play. The purpose of these services is to interpret consumer online search quires, in order to guide them to websites which might provide the answers they are looking for.
What decides which websites get presented as top search engine results is dependent upon how search engine algorithms rank them. The ranking is done based on a number of implicit and explicit criteria, which among others include specific web-design guidelines. Search engine optimization is the process of creating and modifying websites so that they conform to these criteria more closely, which increases the odds of them ranking higher on search engine result pages and can be further facilitated with the use of helpful SEO tools.
Designing with SEO in mind is something all modern websites can benefit from. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion online about which methods of optimization actually work. So in the rest of this article, we will try clear things up bit by providing a list of well established ways on how to design websites for SEO.
To counteract this, non-textual content should be supplemented with descriptions and tags to give search engines some form of information about what they are. As for the textual content of your site, it should be encapsulated in HTML markup for easier crawling and indexing. Various SEO tools can also be used to help you determine which parts of your website content are available for indexing.
Equally important to the kind of content your website is hosting, is how it is structured and organized. At the basic level, a website is a collection of pages which are connected together through hyperlinks. When a search engine crawls a website for indexing purposes, it will proceed along these links in order to reach all available pages. However, if the link structure of your website is convoluted or broken, chances are high that large portions of your content won’t be available for indexing.
The two main platforms for displaying websites are desktop computers and mobile devices. The latter recently became the dominant means of accessing online content, which prompted search engine providers to use mobile-optimization as a new ranking criteria. This means that websites now have to be designed with mobile browsing in mind, which brought with it a share of new design considerations to take into account.
Responsive design is the catch-all term for standards and practices that ensure a website will display equally well on smaller screens, as it does on desktop computers. Responsive design also involves adapting websites for different input methods, for example touch-screen interfaces. Another thing to consider when designing for mobile is the issue of speed. According to experts at GWM, mobile users have a high bounce rate if a website doesn’t respond quickly enough, so measures have to be taken to reduce page load speeds below the 5 second threshold,
Usage of Keywords, Headings and Meta-Descriptions
Making sure that the content of your site is indexable and that its links are crawlable, are the necessary prerequisites for getting it cataloged by search engines. To determine its rank however, search engines will have to analyze each individual page in greater detail. This analysis can be made easier by following specific design guidelines when creating web pages. At a minimum, these include rules for using keywords, headings and meta-descriptions within a page.
Keywords are terms according to which search engines determine the relevance of a page for a given search query. They should be used sparingly, i.e. only when it relevant to topic in question. Headings help break up textual content into manageable wholes, both for end-users and search engines. Finally, meta-descriptions are used for describing particular elements of page content, providing additional info for determining their relevance. Of course, if all of this info is not enough for you, you can head on to Monetize and find out everything you need and more on creating the perfect SEO strategy for your website.
Web design and SEO work hand in hand to address the main issue many websites face today – that of online visibility. Failing to take into account the principles of SEO while designing websites drastically reduces its odds of appearing near the top SERPs, which is something few sites can afford in today competitive online environment. Therefore, websites owners should make sure that their sites conform to guidelines which we have outlined above as much as possible, even the seeming minutia of designing a landing page.