While designing your website, or having someone else do it for you, it is important to make it part of the bigger picture that includes marketing and SEO. You could have the prettiest website around, but that will do you no good if it is poorly optimised and gets ranked too low in the major search engines. The following is a list of issues to think about while you’re in the process of designing or re-designing your website.
Photo by Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
Top to Bottom
In general, more importance is given to the elements that appear toward the top of your website as opposed to text and images that appear further down the page. Because your visitors will also be viewing your website from top to bottom, the challenge is being able to optimise the top of the site without making it appear too unnatural or ugly for the human eye.
Images vs. Text
The text on your website is incredibly important for SEO purposes. In the past, images were basically ignored for the most part by major search engines and while that has changed over the years it is still the text that is more important. If your design is loaded down with images, particularly at the top of the page, then you are probably sabotaging your optimisation efforts. Images can look great, and most people don’t want to visit a website that is all text with no pictures, so as always it is a matter of balancing these elements and taking steps to optimise your images for search engines.
Now that Google has determined more than half of its traffic comes from mobile devices such as phones and tablets, they have started to reward websites that cater to these different screen sizes with better rankings. This new mobile-friendly algorithm means that it is more important than ever to have a responsive design for your website – a design that responds to the device each visitor is using and displays your website in a way that is appropriate for them. This type of design also stops you from needing to make a separate mobile-friendly website, which can result in a penalty for duplicate content.
Proper Use of HTML
If your website is using old, incorrect, or simply overused HTML then you can’t expect to get good rankings. The standards have changed over the years, so if you are not up to date on how a website should be coded then that should be your top priority to research. In the case of overusing HTML, you should avoid having too much unnecessary bold or italic text and also avoid long lists of links with no other content in between.
If you are serious about making your site look better while also getting better rankings then you should consider hiring a website design SEO company that can work on all aspects of your online presence at once. Although it is still possible to do all of this yourself, it will take you much longer to learn the process and employ these strategies and your results probably won’t be as good as you hoped.