People who are involved in online business must have heard about the term Search Engine Optimization. It is actually a process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines naturally. Clients often try different approaches to optimize their website to increase visibility with search engines and to attract more visitors. They ask for a but understand very little about what is involved in search engine optimized websiteSEO.
Search Engine optimization is not a static process but involves much more than the design and coding of the site. One cannot do effective SEO without considering things like keyword research, content development, and link building because these are critical aspects of optimizing a website for search engines, and typically these are all ongoing processes.
Design has always been the integral part of SEO but there are still a lot of things that the designer can do to set the foundation for an optimized website. Laying the foundation of search engine friendly site then any future SEO efforts will have greater impact. In this piece of writing we’ll take an insight in the subject of web designers and SEO and the issues related to the said field.
How Can a Designer Play his Role in SEO?
In order to understand the designer’s role in effective SEO, we need to dig in further and analyze the functioning of a search engine friendly website in SEO. It is quite understandable that a search-friendly site will make it easy for search engines to find the content, determine what the site and pages are really about, and allow the site to rank as high as possible based on the content of the site.
It is not the design who plays role in better search engine ranking but, there are other tactics which are significantly important along with the design itself. Designers need to talk to their clients in order to educate them about the importance of keywords selection which plays imperative role in ranking the website on better position.
Importance of SEO for Designers
It is important to note that designing a website and its optimization is two different things. However, it is equally important to consider the designer’s role in effective SEO. Even for those designers that do not offer specific SEO services, clients hire a designer to get results because what most businesses want is impact which certainly comes with efficient design and immaculate aesthetics. Despite the nature of website, designer should be aware of SEO because, it will help designer to give clients diversity in your task and pick up more referral business.
SEO Restraints of a Designer
Design and development process is critical to laying a solid foundation for search engine optimization. Those designers who are not providing services for content development, link building, and social media marketing, the chances of a site ranking well for highly competitive search phrases based solely on the work of the designer/coder are very slim. In order to get the desired results from SEO it is imperative to have considerable number of quality inbound links that will raise the chances of better ranking, otherwise, building a search-friendly site is just the start.
Designer’s SEO Don’ts
It has been established that coding and design is unavoidable for better ranked website. However, it is equally important not to do anything which can harm the chances of improved page ranking. One of such don’t is Black Hat SEO, it is anything that attempts to deceive the search engines and violates Google’s guidelines. It may help to achieve better rankings in the short-term, but could seriously harm the site in the long run. So, designers have the responsibility of knowing such things which enable them to inform their clients in order to avoid these situations.
Try not to make any promise before taking the task and let your actions speak louder than words. Assurance of ranking the page at first page and failing to do so may harm your credibility, particularly if the designer is providing just design and coding services and not additional SEO services, there is not much that the designer can control and promises.
Tips of Effective SEO for Designers
At this stage of our article we have well understood the role of a designer in SEO which enable us to come up with some useful tips for designers while designing and coding the website with the aim of achieving good page ranking.
1-Keyword Research Magic
It is possible that client has not considered or is not sure what keywords and phrases they want to target.The designer can assist them by doing some basic keyword research to determine which phrases searchers should be used and what are possible related phrases. Research can help designer and client to determine how much competition exists for chosen phrases. There are numerous softwares available which can help you to conduct your efficient research on choosing keywords.
2- Indicating Page Titles Wisely
One cannot ignore the importance of page title in SEO. The best option is to include selected, researched key words in page titles so as to provide the best match when someone searches for the targeted word or phrase. There is no harm in repeating the titles in the body text.
3-Use Headers and Sub-Headers Aptly
Heading tags should be used to indicate headers and sub-headers within pages. It is possible to achieve the desired look by setting font weight, style, or size without using header tags as the header tags indicate importance and structure for search engines. This kind of design will make it easier for search engines to know what is being emphasized on the page, and they can help the designer to be able to target specific phrases.
4- Guide Search Engines and Visitors
Link building and link exchanging with other high ranked websites on your site is one of the most important phenomena in effective SEO. However, it does not mean you can ignore the importance of internal links. Usually, search engines assume that the pages that have the most internal links pointing towards them are most important. Consider the following example in order to understand the point further.If every page on a site includes a link to a particular page that includes detailed information about a product or article it would be logical to assume that the detail page is pretty important.
Internal links usage effectively can make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl through the site and find all of the content/pages, plus effective internal linking will make a site easy to use and navigate for visitors, which is ultimately more important than search engine rankings.
5- Use Sitemap
It is always a wise decision to use site map. There are two different kinds of sitemaps available with their own particular significance. The first sitemap is Google sitemap which is not intended to be used by human visitors, rather they exist to help search engines find all of the important content of a site. The other type is XML sitemap which makes it easier for the search engine spiders to crawl the site and it minimizes the chance of a spider missing a certain page and not including it in the index.
There is another kind of sitemap called HTML sitemap. It is intended to be used by human visitors as a way to find specific content on the site, however, they also have an SEO-related purpose.
6- Do Use Friendly URLs
It is important to use easy and friendly URL. Most of the wed addresses are taken and clients want to have specific URL without taking its impact on SEO in consideration. However, the URL of a page can have some impact on its search engine rankings, so it is best to use keywords or phrases within the URL. It is highly advisable to add important words or phrases in URL that will tell both human visitors and search engines what the page is about without being absurdly long. Hyphens or underscores can be used for separating the words in order to make it easy to remember for its visitors as well as for search engine.
7- Caption the Image
Images on the website enhance the design but giving these images respective captions can also increase the traffic. It is very useful to add images because it gives a chance to add a caption which should include the related key words and phrases for search engine to pick them in search results quickly.
In the end, we are able to conclude that designing an immaculate website is not just important for visitor’s aesthetics but it does has a significant impact on its traffic stats. It would not be wrong to say that design is only a part of the SEO process. On the other hand there are number of on-page factors that a designer can, and should, control in order to build a search-friendly website.