Design, as we explained earlier, plays a major role in making a great website. A design which is simply visually appealing, however, doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good rank in a search engine. The internet is peppered with beautiful websites which do poorly on search engines. Websites need to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure great optimization for search engines.
We have talked about the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in our earlier blog. Here are 4 ways Web Design can improve your Search Rankings:
1. Easy navigation
A good design means offering a great user experience. When creating a website, concentrate on ensuring an easy navigation. Make sure your visitors spend more time on your website by making it easy for them to find what they were looking for.
An easy way to do this is by creating targeted pages for each user category. Guide them to those pages by putting in buttons (Call-to-action) which would direct them there.
You can also try using a site map and using breadcrumb navigation. A site map is the structured page hierarchy that is crawled by search engines. Zoho Sites does that automatically by creating the sitemap.xml file, without any effort from you. Breadcrumb navigation is any aid that helps users keep track of where they are in the website, at any point of time.
2. Crawlable Visual Content
Some web elements like banners, flash images, slideshows, or Call-to-action (CTA) buttons, are often indexed as images. This means that the text on the image is not crawled by search engines. In these cases, you need to provide meaningful alternative text, to help search engines index them properly. For example, displaying the text in web fonts, CSS and HTML will make the content even more search friendly. Additionally, use descriptive names for images, like leather-wallet.jpg instead of DSC0001.jpg.
3. Create SEO Friendly URL Structure
Your URLs are part of your website’s design too. Keep your URL structure clean and relevant. Rather than using generic terms like page1, page2, use names that will easily convey your page’s contents. For example, a URL like https://www.zoho.com/sites/mobile-website.html will be easily crawled and indexed by search engines to throw relevant results for mobile website keyword. Also, a cleaner URL makes it easy to remember and share for your customers.
4. Well Placed Social Sharing
Website with a good number of shares, tweets, +1s are also ranked up by search engines. However, having an invasive sharing button would annoy your visitors. Try to walk the fine line by putting in share buttons close to your best content. Also, create content that are timely, informative and encourage actions by visitors. Make it easy for them to share your content on social networks.
By implementing these few design elements into your website, you will be well on your way to create a high ranking website.