SEO and Website Design

In the old days before the Internet, storekeepers and business owners would spend a lot of time and effort making sure their establishments were neat and clean.
It wasn’t unusual to see the proprietor out in front of his business sweeping the sidewalk or spending hours arranging products on shelves until they were just right.

The same type of attention to detail is important to web-based businesses as well. Not only does a neat, orderly, and great-looking website attract more customers, but it keeps them on your web pages longer once they arrive there.

Here are some helpful SEO and website design tips that will help maximize the look and feel of your business’s web pages.

Use a URL that is Web-Friendly
The URL is the address people type in when they want to visit your site. It’s important that your URL is easy to remember, uncomplicated, and related to your website or business.
The words you use in your URL should be relevant to your business. For example, if you own a pet shop in Cincinnati, you could use something like CincinnatiPets.com if it’s not already taken. You wouldn’t want to use a URL that was confusing or unclear, such as QueenCityCreatures.com.

You also should stay away from overly long URLs, even if those are the only ones available. Nobody is going to want to type in CincinnatiDogsCatsBirdsReptiles
andOtherLivingThings.com.

It’s never a good idea to separate words within your URL if you don’t have to. But if you must, use hyphens not underline signs. Cincinnati-Pets.com is better than Cincinnati_Pets.

seo and website design
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

A Picture Says a Thousand Words
The images you use on your website are also very important. They need to be relevant to your content, but also attractive and engaging.

To improve your site rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others, optimize your images along with the text on your web pages. When creating an alt image text, be sure to use keywords in graphics, header images, logo images, and buttons on every page.

Don’t use images that are too big. Keep them between 30 KB and 100 KB with a resolution of 72 dpi. The reason for this is that larger images make your site load more slowly on the viewing device, especially if your customer is using a mobile phone.

Responsive Design

When you are designing your website, remember that it’s going to be viewed on many different type of devices, including laptops, tablets and smart phone. Responsive design is when you allow your website to perform optimally regardless of where or how it’s viewed.

You should use the same URL for both your mobile-optimized website and your main site. That means you will need to drive links to a single URL rather than two. While this is a bit more complicated, at least it increases your external backlink count, which can improve your site rankings.

Using Quick Navigation

As you design your website, pay attention to the way the visitor will navigate it once they arrive there. Keep it as simple and instinctual as possible. If your visitor can’t figure out how to use your website, becomes confused, or gets frustrated, they are simply going to click off.

Do everything you can so visitors experience the easiest possible navigation and can get to precisely what they are looking for with the fewest possible clicks.

Place the navigation bar along the page’s left margin or at the top. Anywhere else will be disconcerting to the visitor.

JavaScript Dangers
It’s not usually a good idea to use JavaScripts for your entire website design. That’s because search engines crawl through websites in order to index them. When they find too much JavaScript, it can interfere with this crawling process and they may not be able to efficiently scan and index your page.
That means it won’t be ranked as high as it should, or not at all in some cases.

Another drawback to JavaScript is that it doesn’t always work well on mobile devices. And because most people today are using their smart phones and tablets to access the web, this is a real problem.

Just be sure your website is simple and easy to read for both search engines and visitors and you can improve your rankings and number of site visits.

How Fast Does Your Page Load

People who have a web page are always borrowing other people’s devices and going to their web page. This is so they can test how fast their pages load on different types of platforms.

From the visitor’s perspective, page load time is critically important. If your page creeps as it loads, freezes up, or is just plain slow, they are going to click somewhere else. People have a short attention span to begin with, and it’s even shorter when it comes to digital media.
You can improve your load time by minimizing JavaScripts, enabling compression, caching your browser, and using smaller images.

This article is written by Aaron Hurlburt on behalf of Tampa Web Designer specializing in building accessible and attractive websites to strengthen online presence.



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2 thoughts on “SEO and Website Design

  1. Olen York says:

    These are interesting tips for search engine optimization. The URL naming/selection strategy seems to be an overlooked and under appreciated element. For someone like myself, with a short first and last name, the URL selection option is relatively easy, so I sympathize with those that have longer first and last names. I am considering the future with additions of hyphens, formal business name uses, and alternative domain extensions (like dot net). That presents a considerable number of options, and decisions, for the website owner to make and utilize.

  2. Renee says:

    I’m constantly learning everything that goes into SEO. I recently learned about the new Google mobile friendly update. Thankfully, my son is a web designer and he said that our site uses bootstrap which is responsive and will work across a wider range of devices. Thanks for the great tips.

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