SEO continues to be one of the best ways of targeting and attracting potential customers. There are numerous factors that impact the effectiveness of a site’s SEO, and web design and development variables are some of the most element of factors that influence SEO and search engine visibility.
Designing and developing a website to be SEO-friendly is one of the most crucial components to any SEO program. This because a site that is built with SEO in mind will ultimately boost performance of SEO by ensuring specific variables are met. To highlight those specific variables, below we share critical web design strategies that can dramatically impact SEO and overall search engine visibility of a site.
1. Using Structured Data Markup
Structured data markup, or Schema microdata, helps search engines understand the content and structure of a website. While HTML5 introduces new elements to facilitate this communication with search engines, they are not enough to give a clear description of all the content that is on the website. Schema helps to define and structure the content in a variety of ways, and this helps the search engines identify different elements of the website. From a website development perspective, using structured data markup with Schema.org can help a website rank better over time.
2. Creating Faster Loading Pages
Today, web designers are focusing on creating fast loading web pages as most users hate slow loading pages, and if the page load too slow the users will not wait for the site to load, they get the same services from the competitors. Stripping the HTML of unnecessary and/or clunky code, like Flash media, can help improve the site’s load speed.
In short, search engines like Google favor sites with pages that load faster. For this reason, it is imperative for web designers to create sites that are fast loading by eliminating unnecessary markup and also using optimized media files.
3. Respecting the UI of Web Design
In many cases, users will immediately leave a website if the design is not appealing or easy to navigate. When a user leaves the website immediately, search engines will give less preference to the site because certain metrics (like average time on site and bounce rate) will define the site with poor user interface (UI).
Take the time to develop an intuitive navigation as well as use sitemaps and other forms of cohesive linking for better crawling and indexing. These usability factors can greatly impact SEO and search engine visibility a site, especially when it starts to rank well and generate traffic.
4. Integrating Rich Media
To increase customer engagement, it is essential to integrate rich media embeds using video, graphics, etc., to increase engagement and average time on site metrics. Similar to the UI strategy mentioned above, the time the users spend on the site help improve the visibility of the website on search engines.
5. Including Strategic Calls-to-Action
Developing calls-to-action are essential as the help drive action as well as generation leads. This has an impact on business performance. Again, increasing engagement and time on site will help with SEO, however, good calls-to-action will make a site more successful in the long-run.