SEO and Website Design: Everything You Need to Know



SEO is important for any business that works online, but most people don't know that search engine optimization needs to be built into the web design process - not added later. Here, columnist Marcus Miller provides a comprehensive guide to SEO and web design.

More often than not, businesses think about SEO until a website is designed (or redesigned), and these sites often don't exist before SEO and digital marketing. They may look shiny, but if you don't cook marketing smart during design, you run a marketing race with wooden legs. Or at least, going back to the drawing board is a waste of time and money.

We've recently published a website design planning guide at Battler Hot to help you understand what SEO and web design connections are and can be a complicated process. This is accompanied by that guide, which actually describes SEO ideas in much greater detail.

In this post, I have looked at how SEO should be an integral part of your website design (or redesign) process. We're going to need you to consider a site built for search marketing and the dominant generation - and focusing on happy customers puts Google gods on your side.

We also consider some common pitfalls that can affect businesses to create a new website that is central to your digital marketing efforts.

In short, I’m going to help you make sure your next site is a thin, average SEO and digital marketing machine.

What usually happens is ...
The phone bowler rushes in the hat headquarters.

Your site needs content to help with these stages of the customer journey. Content and SEO are an important combination here, because you can get in front of a customer because they are already looking for similar services from another company that is considering.

The definitive marketing funnel is a structured way to consider the content you need:

Awareness - On the funnel

Awareness materials are usually your blog and informational articles. We help your potential customer understand the problems they are facing and reflect on your experience and credibility in solving them.

Blog Posts
Information article
Webinars
Comprehensive guide
Questions to ask
Ideas in the middle of the funnel

The content of the idea phase helps you compare your offer with other offerings out there. It is practical content that helps the customer make decisions.

Context consideration
Product or service information
Product Demonstration Video
Consumer guide
Exchange - below the funnel

Funnel-of-the-funnel drives content conversions and should promote slow sales or leads.

Review
Letter of appreciation
Free effort
Free consultation
Keep in mind that customers search across this entire spectrum. Therefore, all of these areas cover the search for AIDS through search engines, ideas, and conversions.

Sio nuts and bolts
As you can see, there are many things that we need to consider before we look at the more familiar aspects of optimizing your site and pages. Whenever we have this solid foundation, then we should only start thinking about keywords and basic on-page optimization. And hopefully, if we build everything properly, the actual customization of pages will be much easier.

Keyword target

When you have a visual structure with no internal duplication, it is easy to avoid your keyword strategy. Considering our previous examples for site hierarchy and structure, it is easy to add keywords (and this is what we often do in spreadsheet pre-design).

- Services
- - SEO
- - - SEO Audit

www.example.com/services/
www.example.com/services/seo/
www.example.com/services/seo/audits/

If I use these pages as an example, we have a natural progression from broad keywords to more advanced search terms. If we are local businesses, we can also consider basic amendments.

House

- Digital Marketing Agency

- Digital Marketing Company

+ Birmingham

+ UK

Services

- Marketing Services

- Digital marketing services

+ Birmingham

+ UK

SEO

- SEO

- Search Engine Optimization

+ Company

+ Agency

+ Birmingham

+ UK

Sio audit

- SEO audit

- Technical SEO Audit

+ Agency

+ Company

+ Birmingham

The point here is that a well-structured site is a good way to determine your keyword strategy. You still need to research and write copy, but you may think you have a solid strategy to target broader and more detailed words.

Html title tag

The <title> tag is the basic trailing tag that affects your search engine results. In fact, it is the only meta tag that directly affects the status quo.

The best practices for title tags are as follows:

Put the keyword at the beginning of the tag.
Keep the length from 50 to 60 characters.
Use keywords and key phrases in a natural way.
Use dividers for specific items such as category and brand.
Notice the click-through and the end-user.
Keep a consistent approach to the site.
Even in 2017, we are still getting many pages. We want our keywords in the title tag, but not at the expense of click-throughs and human readability. A search engine can rank your content, but human clicks on it, so keep that in mind.


The meta description tag

Meta descriptions do not directly affect rankings. We all know that, right? However, this is not entirely the case here. Your meta description is the content of your ad for that page in the search engine results set. Your meta description will win your clicks. And winning those clicks helps improve visibility and is definitely key to getting more users to your pages.

Meta Description:

Explain page content honestly.
Announce the page and improve click-through rates.
Consider the user’s thought process and why they click on this page.
Include keywords.
The search engine highlights the search terms in your page title and meta description, which helps the user scan the page. Don't use this as an excuse to spam the meta description, however, Google ignores it and it doesn't lead to all the important clicks!

There are situations where a meta description cannot be created, and allows search engines to pull content from the page to create more accurate maps for the user's search. Your short meta description may not always have all the options for extensive content, so keep that in mind.

Title tag

Title tags help build the page and indicate the hierarchy in the document: H1, H2, H3, and so on. The text in the headings is associated with improved rankings (albeit a little), but what's really important is the backstage optimization between the site's architecture, behind page titles and meta descriptions, and content. Everything before, and things make more sense to users, and we help search engines categorize our content, but we can complete every simple, on-page optimization.

Remember to align header tags with the view hierarchy. The most important heading on the page (usually <h1>) should be the largest text element on the page. You need to make sure that the document here is easy to understand and that the design and content work together for the best result.

Page content

Content should generally be the most important part of the page. However, we are still seeing outdated SEO practices such as open keyword density and search terms with a shortage of linked words used in the copy. It doesn't work. It certainly doesn't help with your SEO. And this can lead to poor user experience.

We want to make sure the context of our page is clear. Our navigation, URL, page title, heading, etc. should help here. However we want to write naturally using synonyms and natural language.

Focus on creating great content that will attract the user. Be careful with keywords, but don't overdo it for sure.

Ideas for page content:

Keywords in content (but don't overdo it)
Page structure
Keyword position in content - may be better than before
Synonyms and substitutions
Keyword co-occurrence - what other high-quality documents are there?
Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are a powerful tool to increase click-through rates. We are naturally attracted to lists that stand out in search engine results. All you can do to improve the click-through rate is driving more customers and making your search engine listings more difficult. Factors of potential ranking improvement from increased business and you may have a low-input, high-output SEO strategy.

Most relevant snippets for your business depend on what you do, but schema.org is a great place to start.

Image Optimization
Image SEO can drive a significant amount of traffic under the right conditions. Again, our thoughts about the context are important here. Google doesn't use images content (yet), so context and basic optimization of the site and page are important here.

As an example, I am looking for a Hobbit Hole Playhouse for my five-year-old children and the search image yields:

I enter the picture results and find several options, and then use the image to take me to the site that the playhouse sold. Optimizing your images will significantly improve image search results.

Image optimization is technically straightforward:

Image Name - Provide a name that clearly describes what the image is.
Alt Text - Use detailed alt text to help people who can't see images to reinforce image content.
Add Opengraph and Twitter cards so the image can be used on social shares.
Use the correct physical size of the image to make it faster to download.
Optimize the image's file size to improve loading time.
Consider adding a picture to your XML sitemap.
Image optimization is very simple. Keep the images relevant. Do not spam file names and entire text with keywords. Be detailed.

Common problems
Bowler Hot's SEO projects often include SEO audit as the first port of call. We cannot cover every incident here, but the following are common suspects and web designers to remember.

Dummy Content

There are two types of duplicate content: duplicate and near-duplicate. Real duplicates are where most of the content is located (different pages, sites, sub-domains, and so on). Think of a business that has shoes that are listed on multiple pages or on a separate page in different sizes - be it near-fake thin material or more similar material.

The keyword is cannibalism

Keyword cannibalism refers to the situation in which multiple pages target similar keywords. This affects your site's ability to have a page that strongly targets a given word.

Where the site structure and hierarchy is carefully planned, you should remove it during the planning and design stages.

Domains, Subdomains, and Protocols

Another potential problem with repetitive cropping is that the site is available in multiple domains, subdomains, and protocols.

Consider trading with two domains:

Example.com
Example.co.uk
With the www and non-www versions:

Example.com
Example.co.uk
www.example.com
www.example.co.uk
And the site runs on HTTP and HTTPS:

http://example.com
http://example.co.uk
http://www.example.com
http://www.example.co.uk
https://example.com
https://example.co.uk
https://www.example.com
https://www.example.co.uk
Before long, we may come to a situation where the site has eight variants. To fix any subdomain and some duff internal links is a factor on the site and we can often add something like "ww.example.com" to the list above.

These types of problems can only be solved with URL redirection, but again, it is worth taking into consideration any web design agency that takes care of hosting and takes seriously the SEO of their clients' websites.

Bonnet Canonical URL

Another common problem we see is the misuse of canonical URLs. What usually happens here is that the creator of the site sees the canonical URL as a kind of SEO checklist. They are executed by dynamically inserting the URL into the canonical URL in the address bar.

It is fundamentally flawed that we end up with a site that runs multiple URLs, each claiming the canonical URL is the official version. Therefore, the canonical implementation is more likely to intensify the problem.

Canon URLs are a powerful tool when used wisely, however, they must be used correctly or they can make things worse.


Marcus: "Hey, here's the bowler hat. How can we help you?"

Caller: "Hi, we just got the website and we think we've lost a lot of traffic." Or "We don't rank for keywords we use." Or "... We're not doing anything right now." Or "... we want to see what we can do to improve our SEO."

Marcus: "Ah, okay. If you can tell me your URL and the number you can call back, I can check and make some suggestions."

There is a problem here. SEO is not some band-aid, you can plaster it on an existing site. Website SEO is fundamental for most businesses to succeed online. Similar elements that help solid SEO with paid search, social, and other inbound marketing efforts. Make a mistake and you will definitely fail to meet your digital marketing goals.

Developing an SEO friendly website
At the most basic level, an SEO-friendly site enables search engines to identify and read pages on the site. Ensuring search engines can easily crawl and understand that your content is the first step to ensure your visibility in the search engine result pages.

The search engine uses a web crawler for this purpose and we try to work with search engines instead. Unfortunately, there are many ways to create a website, and not all methods are designed for search engine optimization.

Creating an SEO-friendly site requires a carefully planned and structured approach to representing your business and the services you offer. For most businesses, this is complicated - it is not easy to know what you are doing.

As a marketing tool, your website should be built on a solid digital marketing plan with a clear business model and value proposition. If it's unclear, you should revisit it first.

Tell me everything is good for you

Fundamentals
There are a few key elements that set the stage for a well-optimized website design process.


Domain

Your business can use example.com as the primary domain. But you may have others. It is important to confirm your domain and what you do. It is important that all variations and sub-domains are correctly pointed to the main site and redirected to a single canonized version of the site.

Our business is called a bowler hat. We operate in the UK. We are a web-based business. This naturally follows that our domain is www.bowlerhat.co.uk. All subdomains redirect 301 to the main URL www.bowlerhat.co.uk. We have some domain variants that redirect to the 301 main URL. All this makes sense.

Don't be fooled into thinking that having -a-keywords-in-my-domain.com helps. It looks like an office. This may help local businesses a little bit, but make sure you are mapping in the real world. Be sober.

Hosting

Your hosting is also important. A slow site makes unhappy customers. Your hosting common sense rules must be followed. Be where your audience is. Quickly. If necessary, be platform-specific. WP Engine is a great example because it provides a platform for WordPress websites.

CMS

The CMS (content management system) you choose for your business will affect how successful you are. WordPress is a great option in many cases, but it's not the only one. It is definitely wired at a basic level so that Google can understand it. While this cannot be said to be the best option for all situations, it is a good starting point for most businesses. Rather than working with the web company you choose, make sure the CMS you choose is right for your situation.

Crawl and access
The first step is that the search engine can crawl your site and understand what you are doing (and where you are).

List

To understand their site, they must be able to read the content of the page. The main content of your site should be the text behind the screen. Not the movie. No flash or video. Even in this everlasting world, your core content should still be text-based. There are some great tools like web fonts, which means you can still see the part and your images have a place but don't forget to speak in clear language what search engines are doing to read your offer. And understand.

Images, videos, pdfs, and content are also important and can be a source of search engine traffic. Then, they must be searchable and indexed.

Link structure

To index your content beyond the home page, you need internal links, which are crawled by the search engine. Tools like your basic navigation, search engine suggestions, and XML sitemaps can help search engines crawl your site and find new pages. Tools like Frogging Frog can help you make your site more easily crawled by search engines.

Information structure and structure of your site
I always prefer the similarity of a filing cabinet for website construction. Your site filing cabinet. The main categories are drawers. The subcategory drawer contains folders. The page folder contains the documents.

Cabinet: Your website
Drawer: High-Level Range
Folder: Subcategory
File: Personal document / page
The context is represented not only by the site it is in but also by the condition of that site. Our own site services have a drawer and each service contains sub-services in folders. Your site is very similar.

If we take the following structure of the bowler cap site as an example:

House

- Services

- - service area

- - - Personal service

House

- Services

- - SEO

- - - SEO Audit

So, there is a page for this information structure/audit/.

There is a / audit/page in the SEO folder in the Services Drawer. Nice and organized. This can be followed by other SEO elements that clearly point to the context, which can only be represented by the document.

It's about blog posts, articles, FAQs, services, locations, and anything else that is a unit of your business. You want to make information about your business understandable.

Some sites may take a deeper approach to structured content. Others may have a broader perspective. The important thing here is that things should be organized in a way that makes navigation and search easier.

Thus three to four-tier systems ensure that most clicks are easily navigated in four clicks, and site navigation (for users and search engines) works better with deeper approaches.

URL

The context is further represented by the URL. A sensitive naming convention helps to provide more context for humans and search engines.

The following are two of the harmful URLs that can be mapped to the Service> SEO> SEO Audit Path - one makes sense above, and the other does nothing to help.

www.example.com
www.example.com/services/
www.example.com/services/seo/
www.example.com/services/seo/audits/

www.example.com
www.example.com/s123/
www.example.com/s123/s1/
www.example.com/s123/s1/75/

Of course, the second set of URLs is a deliberate fleeting example, but it works in one step - the first URL naming convention helps search engines and users, and the second is an obstacle.

Navigation

Your navigation is equally important. When a site is well-structured, it works with other components, such as navigation structures, URLs, and XML sitemaps to help concrete each page or content piece.

Navigation is more than the menus at the top of your website. This way you sign customers into the most relevant part of your site. Navigation can be a tool to raise awareness of additional services and not only text links, but also content on all pages and temporary design elements of your site.

I’ve always liked the signpost analogy. I walk into a supermarket and look for signs to find everything I need. Your website is no different. If a user points to your brand name and searches, they will come to your home page. Signpost is required to bring it to the relevant service. And it's easy to find!

It is easy to get this wrong, and before creating a site - it must carefully consider the needs and desires of its users. The website is the digital part of executing a strategy from your marketing plan. It is important to understand the customers here so that you can make sure their needs are met.

Navigation requires no real knowledge - it should not make the user think. The following image is a sign from my local home improvement store. Which direction will take you to the car park and which direction will take you to the delivery gate?

My brain follows the “customer car park” line from left to right, so I can definitely turn right. However, the customer car park is on the left. There is nothing to clarify what is right or wrong.

I have to think. Or in practice, I go in the wrong direction sometime before learning. However, if users can't find what they are looking for on a website, they will be back in a sea of ​​great competition that represents Google search results.

Make sure your navigation is crystal-clear - if the user can make a mistake, so can many others.

Common problems

There are many potential problems with content that cannot be found or understood by search engines that work against you. For example:

An orphan material that cannot be found
Content is only available through site search
Flash files, Java programs, audio files, video files
Ajax * and attractive site effects
Frame - Embedded content from another site can be problematic.
Subdomains - Content that is divided into subdomains instead of subfolders
* Google has made Ajax pages readable, but it is still possible to blur content with meaningless effects.


Ensure that important content is easily searchable, understandable, and understandable to the overall structure of the site.

Summary

If all goes well, the human and the search engine should have a good idea of ​​what the page is before they see it. Your specific SEO then builds on this solid foundation that is determined by your information structure and site structure.

Mobile friendly design
The mobile phone is the most popular tool for Internet search and browsing websites. We live in the mobile first era. Sites optimized for search engines should treat the mobile layout of their websites equally (rather than bowling over the usual responsive website design).

However, in 2017, responsive design is not enough. In 2012 we talked about the importance of responsive website design. Five years later, with huge technological advances and significant improvements in the mobile data networks, your prospective customers are using mobile-first and using only devices to communicate with your business.

To create a truly mobile-friendly design and get maximum results from mobile search, you need to think about the needs and desires of mobile users. What users do on the phone is different from what they do on the computer. This important first touch is on mobile, even if your conversions are on the desktop.

A few months ago, I looked at 28 key elements in creating a mobile SEO-friendly website that will help you go beyond the simple mobile-friendly responsive design.

From an SEO perspective, it should be noted that mobile-friendly is a certified ranking factor for mobile search, and is the mobile version of your site that is used by search engines to review and rank your site. Most important, however, is how mobile your potential customers are searching and browsing your site.

Strive to optimize the user experience for mobile users and you will be rewarded for your efforts in terms of traffic and user engagement.

Page speed
Another important thing about the mobile age is page speed. Users may be impatient or they may not always have a great mobile data connection. One of the most important aspects of a modern friendly website design is to make sure your pages are slim and modern.

Google's mobile-friendly test is a great starting point. This device gives you feedback on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. It wraps everything up in a simple report that describes what you can really do to speed things up.

In a recent column on Mobile Optimization, I went into some detail on how to optimize speed. Suffice it to say that page speed is another important thing that explains how your site is built and the quality and compatibility of hosting.

Applicable
Web usability is a combination of other factors: device-specific design, page speed, design meetings, and a seamless approach to keeping the site user together.

Key Factors:

Page layout. There should be more emphasis on important issues.
Visual hierarchy. Spread more important stuff!
Home page and site navigation. Clear signpost directions for users.
Large sites require a cleverly implemented search option to find space.
Fill in the form entry forms as easy and easy as possible.
Design. Great design makes everything easy.
This is scratching the surface here, and the usability really needs to be optimized for the individual site. A pair of resources I reviewed by Steve Krug and my Mobile Optimization Checklist is "Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability," the book.

Content marketing funnel
There is a hell of a job on your website: it helps get your business in front of potential customers in search engines, and then it needs to engage those customers.





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