Do you know the key to improving your business’ online presence while also catering to consumers? No? It’s website design-centric SEO.
Let us introduce search engine optimization or SEO. Chances are you’ve probably heard the term before. SEO has been around since Google’s beginnings, but continues to evolve and remains as important as ever.
Website design encompasses many aspects of traditional SEO, and some newer design aspects that Google only recently decided should count towards the SERPs rankings.
Optimizing your website SEO now not only boosts your ranking thanks to off-page metrics but on-page elements as well.
On-page SEO refers to elements of your website that are literally on-page. That means anything that yourself or the user can actually see.
And when we mean see, we mean elements that are visible on the page and not something like HTML that makes up the visible elements.
So maximizing on-page success means understanding what specific elements can help improve your web design.
While not exactly a design element, keywords can help improve your SEO because they’re representative of user searches. In other words, the closer your keywords to what someone types into Google, the better chance your website shows up.
Website design using keywords means researching what keywords get the most search traffic and how much competition those keywords have.
SEO professionals use keyword research to help plan website design based on what content can work with what keywords. For instance, you could have headings specifically made to incorporate long-tail keywords.
While the algorithm handles the specific keywords, your headings and titles are still on-page. And because strong Google SEO means keywords on your landing pages inevitably your web design revolves around keywords.
Visually Appealing Elements
Google takes into account “readability,” or how well a web page displays its content to users. Readability can mean anything from your web layout to your on-page content’s structure.
So maximizing readability means defining what Google uses to determine “readability.” In other words, what site metrics does Google use to decide that your website is easy to read?
Bounce Rate and Time on Site
First, Google looks at something called time on site. The longer a user spends on your website, the better your navigational layout (in Google’s eyes). But the average time on site isn’t too impressive, clocking in at less than a minute.
So how can you increase time on site and beat the average? The best way is through an easy to navigate website backed by compelling content. People need an easy way to find what they’re looking for.
This is where another metric called bounce rate comes into play. Bounce rate focuses on a specific web page rather than the entire time spent on your website.
Decreasing bounce rate means improving the content on your web pages. Or making it “readable.” The better the content and its layout, the more likely people are to stick around.
And the more likely people are to stick around, the more likely they’ll link to your other pages.
Couple a low bounce rate with an easy to navigate/visually appealing link structure and you have “readable” web design. Google sees this as useful to customers and improves your ranking.
In addition to link structure and strong content, time on site and bounce rate are also affected by traditional design elements. Unorganized, cluttered visually unattractive websites drive away users.
Your site needs not only needs strong content and navigation, but also a cohesive, clean overall web design.
Off-page SEO refers to everything that happens behind the scenes. If on-page refers to what users see, off-page refers to what Google “sees.”
Yes, Google takes into account your on-page metrics. But Google “looks at” on-page SEO, meaning it takes its cues from user behavior. With off-page SEO, Google instead listens to what your website has to say.
HTML is the most important off-page Google SEO metric for website design. It’s what signals to Google what your page is “all about.”
When most people think HTML and SEO, they think meta descriptions. While metas are important, they’re not a part of website design. Rather, they appear on the Google results page.
Instead, it’s HTML tags that combine with website design to bring that Google SEO love.
HTML tags refer to your header tags, and can also refer to internal links. While web design delves much deeper into HTML, we’ll keep it simple.
The best header tags catch users’ eyes, use keywords, and fit naturally with your traditional design elements.
Internal links are the off-page “road map” to your website. An experienced designer uses these links to redirect people to your landing pages, and to show Google your navigation structure.
When Google “crawls your page,” it needs directions. And in addition to directions, it needs something to list on the results page.
For example let’s say Google starts crawling your page and sees links A, C, D, E, and F. “A” links to both C and D, but not E or F.
The problem being, E and F contain great content with strong keywords. That’s the stuff Google displays in the results page, and how customers find your website.
A strong internal linking structure means linking “A” to E and F, as well as C and D. That way Google has access to all of your content.
Choosing Your Google SEO Designers
Web design, both on and off-page is a major component to boosting your Google SEO. And when more eyes mean more sales, it’s practically essential.
Consumers love a simple, clean layout, and Google loves strong HTML. If you’re ready to start developing both, get in touch with us.
We specialize in website dies with SEO in mind, and would love to show you why our websites convert.