When was the last time that your website had a design overhaul? In 2016, websites are much more than an online brochure with nice graphics. They are a functional tool that can help generate business and gain exposure, but the benefits don’t always come easily. Although there are do-it-yourself website builders everywhere that you turn, the truth is that the platforms are designed to complement your SEO campaign.
In order to truly launch an effective SEO strategy, you must incorporate your website’s design in the process. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when you’re building a website:
Consider Keyword Placement
While you certainly need keywords to get your SEO campaign off of the ground, you also need to insert those keywords in the correct places throughout your website. While keywords are most commonly found in the body of your web copy, such as a blog post, there are other important places to include your keywords within your design. These locations include:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Your website’s slogan
- Your navigation menu
- Header tags, such as H1, H2, and H3 tags
- Breadcrumb trails
- File folders
It’s important to keep in mind that you do not want to embed keywords into images, such as graphics that you would create in Adobe Photoshop. This is because web crawlers cannot actually see your image and the text that is contained within—it only sees tags that indicate the image is a file.
However, you can work around this by including keywords in the “alt” tags of your images. This is generally best practice for using keywords and images, and it can also help your images to be found within Google’s image search.
SEO Friendly Navigation
When you’re designing an SEO friendly website, you’ll want to pay particular attention to your navigation and its structure. Creating a clear hierarchy of internal linking helps Google to understand the importance of pages in your website.
Furthermore, the use of image button links for your navigation is not recommended. Just as we discussed web crawlers’ inability to see your images, the same concept applies to graphic button navigation. The best way to approach your navigation system is to create text links, whether those text links are in a drop down menu or on a sidebar.
If you have a lot of links and subpages, you might want to consider using a supersized dropdown menu. Many business owners make the mistake of loading up a bunch of links into standard dropdown menus, which appear messy and can be frustrating to navigate. Supersized dropdown menus open in one convenient panel, which will display all of your links in an organized manner.
Images and Graphics: Best Practices for SEO Friendly Web Design
Images and graphics are an important element of SEO, but they are generally overlooked or ignored by business owners. Aside from inserting keywords into your image’s alt tag like we mentioned earlier, there are other ways to use images for SEO benefits.
One of the first steps to consider is the size of your image files. Large images not only take up a lot of space on your server, but they can be difficult for mobile users to view. Try to keep your image file sizes as small as possible without compromising the quality of the image. This will help ensure that all visitors can properly view and enjoy your photos.
From a web design perspective, you’ll want to keep your images as cohesive and relevant as possible. Try to avoid using tacky stock images, and never swipe images from around the web without asking—this is copyright infringement, and it can lead to serious trouble down the road.
Constructing SEO Friendly URLs
Another overlooked aspect of SEO friendly web design is the structure of your URL. When you create new subpages or image files, it’s important to keep these URLs as clean and easy for web crawlers to locate. You’ll want to avoid using file names containing jumbled letters and numbers, as this can make it harder for Google to understand exactly what the page or file is.
There are several approaches that you can use to construct SEO friendly URLs, such as:
- Keep your URL short and sweet. Include your target keywords, but there is no need to go overboard with information
- Think of how the end-user will view your URL. If it looks confusing and jumbled to you, it will probably appear the same to your customer
- Use hyphens to separate words; this avoids making your URLs look sloppy and confusing
Want to Learn More About SEO Friendly Web Design? Contact Bigfoot Media Today
Bigfoot Media is the go-to source for SEO friendly web design in Greenville, South Carolina. Get in touch with us today to maximize your exposure with SEO friendly web design by calling 864-214-5504.
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