When designing a website, it is important that you keep your users’ needs in mind. They want to see a website that loads fast and is easy to get around. Offering valuable content is a bonus but you can leave that till after you have created the website. The bottom-line is that your website should be in line with your customers’ expectations. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the search engines would love your website too.
You might find this statement bemusing. It is well known that Google has been paying more attention to the user experience (UX) a website provides than ever. Thus, UX has become a crucial component in getting your website to the top of the search engine rankings. Yet, it is not the only factor that would determine your success in the search engines. You have to make your website user-friendly and SEO friendly at the same time. Else, the search engines might not consider your approach friendly.
The interesting thing here is that the requirements of building an SEO friendly website are quite similar to those for improving the UX. Thus, the two are inherently tied together despite being poles apart in terms of scope and purpose. So, when it is said that you need to have a friendly design for your website, it addresses both concerns. Here are some of the aspects of your website you can improve to make it SEO friendly.
The Content Management System (CMS) for a website is the platform you can use to organize and create content that is posted on the website regularly. Each website has its own CMS and you have to select one for yours too. However, it is imperative that you select SEO friendly CMS. There are certain considerations you have to make when selecting the CMS. The key components of the platform should be:
- Allowing you to customize and change the title tags and headings on the content pages
- Enable you to create an XML-Sitemap for your website
- Should be compatible with breadcrumb navigation
- You can enter meta data easily and change it if required
- Alt tags should be customizable and rel=canonical tags should be permitted
These are the features that are part of an SEO friendly CMS. Keep them in mind when selecting a CMS for your website.
The web design plays a crucial role in determining the SEO success of any website. An SEO friendly design has become a must for every website, regardless of its theme or purpose. Otherwise, it becomes quite difficult to take it to the top of the search engine rankings. First things first, the website has to be easy to get around. Even a first-time visitor should be able to make his/her way through the website without much hassle. Easy navigation is one of the foremost considerations for efficient web design.
More importantly, you need to make sure the website is not heavy and loads quickly. For this, you might have to compromise on rich media content. Flash SEO is difficult to achieve and you need to be technically proficient with flash content to prevent it from affecting your website’s SEO. This is why, it is better to avoid flash content. The content on your website has to appear easy on the eye and go well with the theme rather than obstructing the web design.
Incorporating valuable keywords into the content you post on the website is important as well. Without the keywords, you wouldn’t be able to optimize the website properly. For this purpose, you can use SEMrush. SEMrush is an easy-to-use tool for keyword research and organization. This way, you will find it easier to incorporate high value keywords into the content posted on your website. This will further make your website SEO friendly.
Despite being the king of search, Google has the tendency to confuse URLs. For all its updates and features, the leading search engine in the world finds it difficult to read URLs. This is why webmasters are advised to choose SEO friendly URLs otherwise it becomes difficult to optimize the website. The big question to ponder over here is what makes a URL search engine friendly? There are certain factors you can keep in mind when deciding on a friendly URL for your website or landing page.
- First of all, the URL has to be clear. Each page you assign a URL to should be specific and lead to a certain page on your website. You have to make sure there are no redirects or any other issues which may affect the functioning of the URL.
- More importantly, the URL has to include keywords and be legible, not just a collection of gibberish. You often see long URLs that are nothing more than a random string of numbers and symbols that don’t make any sense.
- Lastly, make sure the pages to which are creating the URL are open to crawling. Search engine crawlers are used to direct the users to a specific URL and it is essential that webpage be open to crawling as well as indexing.
Last, but not the least, you need to think pragmatically about how to include the images in your website. Once again, you have to include SEO friendly images to ensure your website is optimized in the best way possible. The key consideration for the images is that they shouldn’t slow your website down. The loading time is one of the major aspects of UX and Google pays a lot of attention to it. If the images on your website are slowing it down, you are better off without them.
Yet, one cannot deny the fact that pictures speak a thousand words. But here, the point is to make your website SEO friendly so more and more people get to hear those words. Apart from the size of the images, it is important to make sure they are relevant to the content of the page. If you are writing about something and the image represents something else, it would hurt its SEO. Furthermore, choose the best possible place to put an image so that it doesn’t obstruct the website design.
So, these are some of the aspects of your website you can improve to make it search engine friendly. It is even better if you keep these in mind before you actually design the website. That way, your website would be on its way to the top of the search engine rankings from the outset. While the CMS, URL, images and web design are important, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of the website.