How Web Design Can Improve Your Google Ranking

Search Engine Optimization is vital to any business with an online presence. What most people don’t realize is that SEO needs to be built into the web design process. There is no point in adding it in later. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to SEO and web design.

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Basic SEO can be categorized in:

On-Page SEO refers to any or all measures that may be taken directly inside the webpage so as to boost its position within the search rankings.

Off-Page SEO is about everything that doesn’t happen directly on your website, like link building, social media, and local SEO.

When designing a website, your focus should be on On-Page SEO. Below are some ideas on how you can maximize your On-Page SEO.

Developing an SEO-friendly website

An SEO-friendly site is basically one that makes it easy for search engines to explore and read the webpages. The initial step to ensuring your visibility in the search results is to guarantee search engines can easily crawl and understand your webpage.

For this task search engines use a web crawler, and we are trying to work with the search engines rather than against them. There are many ways to build a webpage, and sadly not all technologies are built for search engines. 

To create an SEO-friendly website you need careful planning and a structured approach to portraying your business and the services you provide. Your webpage should be created according to a solid digital marketing plan with a clear business model and value proposition. 

Fundamentals

There exist a few core elements that are crucial for a search engine optimized web design process.

Domain

Be certain that your domain name makes sense and refers to what you do. It is important that all variations and subdomains correctly point on the main site and redirect to a single canonical version of the site.

Our business is called webpage agency. We are a web design based agency. It naturally follows that our domain is https://webpage.agency/. All subdomains 301 redirect back to the main URL https://webpage.agency/. 

Don’t be tricked into thinking that having-my-keywords-in-my-domain.com improves your ranking. It just looks silly. 

Hosting

Your hosting also matters. If your site is slow, the users are unhappy. Your hosting should follow commonsense rules. The server should be located where your audience is located. Be fast and if necessary platform-specific. 

Content Management System

The content management system you use for your website can greatly impact your success. In most cases, WordPress is the right choice, but it’s not the only option. Just be certain that the CMS you choose is the right one for your project, instead of the one your web designer want to work with.

Crawling & accessibility

The first step is to guarantee search engines can crawl your webpage and understand it.

Indexation

In order to understand your webpage, search engines must be allowed to read the content of the page. In other words, the main content of your website should be text-based. No images,  flash or video. Images, videos, PDFs are also essential and can be a source of search engine traffic, but these need to be discoverable and indexable as well.

Link structure

To index your whole website, you need crawlable internal links. Tools like XML-Sitemap, your primary navigation and search engine directives support the search engine to crawl your site and discover new pages. 

Mobile-friendly design

We live in a mobile-first age since the most popular device used to browse websites is the mobile phone. Search Engine optimized Websites should give equal consideration to the necessities of mobile users. There is a huge difference between the behavior of a mobile user and a desktop user. Although your conversions could be on a computer, that crucial first contact may be on a mobile device. It should be noted that mobile-friendliness is a confirmed ranking factor for mobile search, and it is the mobile version of your site that will be used by the search engine to review and rank your site. If you optimize the user experience for mobile, you will benefit in terms of traffic and user engagement.

Page speed

Another main ranking factor is page speed. Google themselves have shown in a study that the bounce rate nearly doubles when the loading time of a page rises over 5 seconds. You can get feedback on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed of your website with Google’s mobile-friendly test. It concludes everything in a report that shows you exactly what you can do to make the site faster.

Usability

Web usability is a combination of factors like device-specific design, page speed, design conventions and an intuitive approach to build the website with the end-user in mind.

The key factors are:

Page layout. Important elements should have more prominence.

Visual hierarchy. Make more important elements bigger!

Home page and site navigation. Clearly signpost directions for users.

Site search. Large sites need a sensibly positioned search option.

Form entry. Make forms as lightweight and easy to fill as possible.

Design. Great design makes everything easier.

This is just superficial here, usability has to be customized to the individual webpage. 

 

HTML title tags

As a matter of fact, the Title-Tag is the only meta tag that can influence your search engine results.

Definition: What is a Title-Tag?

Other Names: Titel-Tag, Meta Title, SEO Title, SEO Page Title

Length: around 50 to 60 characters (max. 600 Pixel)

Format: Main Keyword: Secondary Keywords | Brand

Wording: Keyword optimized, sound, unique, attractive

Avoid: Keyword Stuffing, too long or too short Titel-Tags

Tools: Google Search Console Performance Report, Sistrix SERP Snippet Generator, Yoast SEO

Try: Brackets, Emojis, and special characters

Even in 2019, there are still a lot of over-optimized page titles. The keywords should be included in the title tag, but not at the expense of click-through and human readability. A search engine may rank your content, but keep in mind that a human clicks on it.

Meta description tags

Meta descriptions don’t directly influence rankings, however, your meta description is what wins you the click. Your meta description is the content of your advertisement for that page in a set of search engine results. Winning those clicks can help improve visibility and is absolutely vital in driving more users to your pages.

Definition: What is a Meta-Description?

Other Names: Meta-Beschreibung, SEO Description, Meta Description Tag

Length: ca. 50-160 Zeichen

Wording: Keyword optimized, sound, unique, attractive

Aim: We want to achieve the best possible click-through rate, but no false promises should be made.

Use: It is a Teaser for the Content and not the content itself.

Avoid: Keyword Stuffing, a Description without the main keyword, too many special characters.

Tools: Google Search Console Performance Report, Sistrix SERP Snippet Generator, Yoast SEO

Try: Special Characters like checkmarks for example.

Heading tags

Heading tags are HTML tags used to determine headings and subheadings within your website content from paragraphs and other types of texts. The heading elements are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 with H1 being the most important level and H6 the least. H1 is the main heading of a page, telling what the page is about. The other Tags are used to organize the content in order to navigate is easy.

Using the heading tags clearly builds the architecture of the content. Well-organized content is easier to read and understand for search engines than to crawl through structural issues. For users, The heading tags function as anchors for users, navigating them through the page and making it easier to digest. 

Following the best SEO practices, you should:

Give each page a unique H1 reflecting on the content topic, containing your primary keywords.

Use H2-H6 tags where suitable, using secondary keywords relevant to each paragraph. In most cases, there’s no need to go further than H3. 

Don’t overuse the tags and also the keywords in them. Keep it clear for users.

 

Page content

The most important part of the webpage is the content. Nevertheless, we still see outdated SEO practices like overt keyword density and search terms with a lack of connective words used in the copy. These practices surely do not help with your Google Ranking and it makes the user experience really bad. Make certain the context of your page is obvious. Navigation, URLs, page titles, headers and so on should all help here. Write naturally, use synonyms and natural language.

Your main focus should be on creating good content that engages the user. 

Factors for page content:

Reasonable amount of Keywords in content

Structure of the page

Positioning of keywords (earlier can be better)

Synonyms and alternatives

Co-occurrence of keywords — what further keywords would top sources include

Rich snippets

To increase your click-through rate you can take advantage of rich snippets. People are naturally drawn to your website if you stand out in the search engine results. If you improve the click-through rate it drives more users and makes your search engine listings more effectively. The snippets have the biggest importance to you depend on your business. Schema.org is a great place to start.

 

Image optimization

Under the appropriate conditions image SEO can lead to a substantial amount of traffic. The Googlebot can’t recognize the content of the images yet, so context within the site and the page and basic optimization are essential here. Optimizing your images expanses your eminence in the image search results.

Factors for image optimization:

Image name: give the image a descriptive name.

Alt text: Provide an alt text in order to help those who can’t see the images to reinforce the image content.

Add OpenGraph and Twitter Cards, therefore, the image is included in social shares.

Use the right physical size of the image to guarantee fast downloads.

To improve loading times optimize the image’s file size.

Add images to your XML sitemap.

Image optimization is relatively easy. Instead of spamming the filenames and alt text with keywords be descriptive.

How may I help you?

What’s the biggest SEO problem you are struggling with right now that I can help you with? Let me know if I can help you via email at wolf@webpage.agency

More To Explore

Are you facing these 10 common SEO problems?

Our SEO projects at webpage agency start with an SEO audit. We can’t cover every eventuality, however here are the 10 most common SEO mistakes we’ve seen, as well as advice on how to correct them:

How Web Design Can Improve Your Google Ranking

Search Engine Optimization is vital to any business with an online presence. What most people don’t realize is that SEO needs to be built into the web design process. There is no point in adding it in later. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to SEO and web design.