A decade ago, web design and SEO were two completely different disciplines. SEOs simply took over after a website was already developed. In many instances, web designers and SEOs often differed to what was important. The web designer believed that aesthetics and navigation were the most important features of any professional website. SEOs on the other hand believed that search engines ranking was the most important factor.
But that was the case years ago. Today, the job descriptions of web designers and SEOs might still be different. However, their skill sets are becoming similar each day. Every professional designer worth their salt must have an idea about SEO basics. The same is true about every SEO provider. But how has this come about?
Over recent years, changes in technology, search engines and internet user behavior have forced web design to take SEO into account. With more websites and blogs being uploaded online each day, competition for better ranking in search engines has risen. Website owners are now looking for talented individuals and companies that offer a mix of web design and SEO expertise.
Initially, SEO was applied to websites after the design process was complete. Today, SEO is being incorporated into the web design process. This makes it easier for a website to rank high in search results almost immediately it’s indexed. But how does web design help with a website’s SEO?
How web design helps a site’s SEO
Web development services usually involve the use of codes to build a website. It can also involve use of a content management system such as WordPress. Search engine bots will crawl through the code to “understand” what the particular website is all about.
The best site design incorporates this knowledge to optimize the code in such a way that search engines will easily identify crucial elements within the webpage for proper indexing. Here are some of the ways optimizations are done.
Although search engines claim not to use Meta tags to rank websites, a proper Meta description created during the design stage can help a site get indexed and ranked for the right keywords and audience. The Meta description provides a summary about the specific page and can incorporate keywords you want to rank for in search results. It’s one of the commonly used on site SEO strategies. Besides the Meta tags, other important tags within the code include the title and heading tags.
If you want your website’s pages indexed and ranked, search engine bots must be able to access them. Your website’s structure must therefore be clean and easily accessible to bots. This means that the web pages design must include clean code and proper use of links. The design must also include easy navigation and a sitemap. If the website structure is good, search engines will reward you by indexing and ranking it.
Page load speed
Slow page load times will negatively affect your website. For one, visitors are likely to abandon your website if its pages load slowly. This means a lot opportunity to generate a lead or new client. Also, Google favors fast loading websites by ranking them higher in search results.
In many cases, a slow loading webpage is the result of using the wrong website design techniques. Some of the techniques professional web design service providers use to ensure that their clients websites load fast include the following:
- Using as little code as possible
- Minimizing HTTP requests
Responsive website design is a fast growing trend that focuses on creating mobile friendly websites. Since April 2015, Google considers mobile friendliness as a ranking factor. Besides this, having a responsive website built also helps you reach the huge market that consists of internet users accessing websites through their mobile devices.
If you’re looking for a website development and design company and want to save on time and money, it’s advisable to find one that clearly understands the link between design and SEO. It’s not necessary that you hire two companies to handle web design and SEO solution separately. As you’ve seen in this article, SEO can be incorporated into your website design even before search engine submission.