The world is evolving, and so are people. They require perfect products and services, but without any effort. Thus, most people turn to online platforms to look for what they need in their lives. However, when searching for products through search engines like Google, more than 75% of people never really go beyond the first page of Google search. Well, that’s a harsh truth for most business owners who depend on traffic influx for boosting their website’s ROIs and conversions. Therefore, if you cannot appear in the top 10 results on Google SERPs, your online existence would be equal to none. Our 10 SEO-friendly website design guidelines are here to help you improve that.

That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. It helps make your website more visible on the search engines to get more genuine traffic on your website. Since  93% of users’ online experiences and buying journeys begin with a search engine, businesses need to come up with more ways to remain on the first page of Google SERPs, if not on top. This is why companies need to improve both their on-site and off-site SEO to perform amazingly on SERPs. Now, you must be wondering how you design a website with SEO. Here are the guidelines for an SEO-friendly website design.

Optimize Your Content To The Search Intent Of Your Clients

If you’re not familiar with the phrase  “search intent”, it means the purpose of searching. People use certain keywords to search for what they are looking for. For example, if your audience is looking for a chocolate cake recipe, they will enter “how to make a chocolate cake” on the search bar. Now, the search engine would sense their intent and show them the recipes for making a chocolate cake, not the online shops to buy one. Thus, it would help if you made your website content oriented towards your audience’s search intent.

There are mainly four kinds of search intents that most businesses in almost all industries capitalize when content marketing for business websites. 

  • Informational: Take the former example as an informational intent. It’s when the user is only looking for information.
  • Navigational: It is when a user is searching for a particular app or website, like Facebook or Instagram.
  • Commercial: The user here is looking for a product, but hasn’t finalized what to buy, e.g., “best hair dryers” or “best blenders for kitchen.”
  • Transactional: This is where a person is ready to buy a product and then searches for it, e.g., “Remington Hair Straightener” or “Panasonic Blenders.”

Write An Attractive Title Tag And Meta Description

When you enter a query in the Google search bar, what does Google show you? It lists the 10 top website links on the first page with short descriptions to let you know what these pages entail. These descriptions are their title tags and Meta descriptions (the description underneath the title tag ). The title tag and Meta descriptions are mainly the center of your attention and based on them, you decide what link to click on. However, if they’re not attractive, you won’t be tempted to visit that website.

Knowing that you already use Metas to determine a website’s content, you wouldn’t want to ignore them. Therefore, if you want to increase site traffic, you must consider Metas essential to grab attention and drive more traffic. Here are a few points to follow when creating title tags:

  1. Google shows only 50-60 characters of a title tag to its audience. Thus, you should keep your tag limited to 60 characters.
  2. Include your keywords to optimize the tag, but do not over-stuff your tag with them.
  3. Always keep the search intent in mind when creating the title. 
  4. Always keep your title brief but descriptive.
  5. Avoid using duplicate title tags to adhere to Google’s guidelines.

For meta-descriptions, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Limit your description to 155-160 characters because that’s the character limit. Google only shows limited content below your title tag to increase your interest in the website.
  2. Include keywords to optimize and consider the search intent of your audience.
  3. Always target the problem before offering the solution when creating your descriptions. 
  4. Give a concise but attractive plot of your page that appeals to users to open it.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

According to Forbes, more than 2 billion people around the globe use only mobile phones to access the internet. By 2025, this population would rise to make around 3/4th of the internet users. That’s huge! This is why Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2019 to tell businesses about the need for mobile-friendly marketing approaches. 

This means whenever a query is entered in the search bar, Google will rank websites based on several different factors, but mobile-friendliness will be one of the primary factors. Thus, Google requires webmasters and businesses to create their mobile versions as well as their desktop versions. Furthermore, given that mobile-friendliness is one of the primary factors for ranking on the SERPs, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, in a way that Google can skim every page of your website in seconds to rank it on the top of the SERPs.

Play With The Images

Most people focus on improving their content for SEO. Still, they often forget their on-site SEO and design play a significant role in forming a user’s experience with their business. Therefore, it is essential to realize that images play a vital part in generating organic traffic for your website. In fact, more than 72% of global users first search for images to buy a product. They often enter their search query and open the images tab of the Google search engine to scan relatable products and credible businesses.  

Moreover, Google also has the option to visit the websites to view a full image or visit the website where the picture is uploaded initially. Thus, even if you’re not on the top of the list, you can still be on top of the SERP through Google’s images section. Here are a few things to consider to upload and optimize the images on your website. 

File Format: You might know how important site speed is to bring you on the top list. Thus, choosing the best file format is necessary as it contributes to your site’s size and speed. Using JPEG, PNG, and WebP formats on different platforms may help limit the size and speed of web pages.

Image compression: Compressing your images before uploading them on Google is vital because the more significant size, the slower the speed. You can use several free tools for that or ask a professional graphic designer to do the job for you.

Alt-Text: Adding concise, informative, and relevant “Alt text” to your image helps the browser understand your image better. However, make sure to use keywords appropriately in that, without overusing them.

Improve Your Page Speed

Nobody has the patience to tolerate a loading website nowadays. With so many options available at our fingertips, people swiftly switch from one site to another to look for the desired products or services. Thus, you’ll lose the potential rankings and leads if your site’s speed is low. 

Several tools and extensions help you check your site’s pace, loading speed, and the bugs slowing them down. Some tools like SemRush and GTMetrix also recommend improvement strategies for flawless performance based on your site’s evaluation. Here are a few things to aid you:

  • Allow browser caching
  • Remove unessential plugins
  • Decrease server response time
  • Lower the redirects
  • Minimize CSS and JavaScript files

Increase Internal Linking On Your Website

Internal linking can boost the rankings of your website when used correctly. It helps Google understand your content better and also sets an informational hierarchy for your website. Websites with information are consistently correlated with each other. It is very helpful for people and search engine bots when relevant information leads them to further information on the subject.  

Thus, the pages that need a boost should have an internal link to the top-rated pages of your website. An excellent strategy to include internal linking is to incorporate blog posts into your website. Then, you can optimize your blogs and learn to interlink them with other blogs and service pages to distribute the traffic evenly to your website’s web pages. However, it is important to follow the strategies and trends for content marketing to keep your website updated when blogging.

Enhance The User Experience

You might not know it already, but Google keeps an eye on how users behave with your website. For example, if a user clicks on your link and goes back without staying for even a minute, Google would take your website down on rankings. On the contrary, if a person clicks on your link and lasts for a while, spends more time on your website, then Google would consider your helpful website and bring it up on the SERPs. Thus, working on user experience and your web design will play a crucial role in this regard. Therefore here are a few things to consider: 

  1. Improve the page speed.
  2. Use subheadings. It would make your text more understandable for Google and more accessible for your audience.
  3. The use of images, videos, and other visuals makes your content more appealing for the users.
  4. Pop-ups are a big no when you want your users to stay. They make people annoyed, and your website may even be penalized by Google. Thus, use them only when necessary, and bring them up when the users have stayed for at least a few minutes.
  5. White space grabs more attention. Thus, leave some space between the paragraphs and from the sides to make the content more comprehensive. 
  6. Make your website accessible.

Work On Your Page URLs

Don’t overlook the website’s URL, as they help you understand what information a page bears. It can make your website more comprehensible for the search engine as well as the users. You can use these tips to make your URL more user and SEO-friendly.

  1. Keep your URL as short as possible.
  2. Use your target keywords in the URL, but don’t over-stuff them as stated before.
  3. Avoid using stop words to make your URL cleaner.
  4. Readable words work better than long ID numbers, so use them instead to improve your Google ranking.

Get More Backlinks

Apart from the web design, on-site SEO, and content marketing essentials, the story’s hero is always the backlinks. However, SEO’s the most challenging part to get high-quality and niche-related backlinks to your website. Nevertheless, if you get referred by more websites, your site would be more trustworthy and authoritative for the search engine. However, not all backlinks would get your ranking high. Only those given by reputable websites would work for you better than those with lesser DA (Domain Authority). Others might even get your rank low. Besides, it would help if you focused not only on getting backlinks but getting quality ones. You can also do that by implementing the strategies used by your competitors.

 Include Blog Posts To Your Website

An entirely promotional and sales-centric website often seems dull and unattractive with little to no information about the industry or customer. However, blogs can fill your website with energetic content to fuel your customer’s needs and interests. 

Blog posts are a great strategy to improve your ranking for many reasons. Even though having a blog isn’t a factor for ranking itself, it contributes to enhancing other factors.

The Final Takeaway

The competition for staying on the top page of Google is quite intense. Following these basic approaches is necessary for a higher ranking on SERPS and reaching your audience through the search engine without any barrier. 

Therefore, it is smart to focus on website design that is aligned with SEO and follows SEO-friendly website design guidelines. All in all, make your content aligned with search intent, play with the title tag, meta-description, images, and URL. Also, make your website more user-friendly, mobile-friendly and improve its speed. 

Besides that, add some blogs, including internal links, and earn some backlinks to improve your authority. Moreover, also keep yourself updated about the latest SEO trends and practices. That way, you’ll be able to generate more clients for your company’s website.

Are you ready to take the first step toward improving SEO on your website? Learn more about our SEO Report Card to see how your site is doing, or schedule a free digital marketing strategy session with us today to get started!