How To: Search Engine Optimisation and Website Design

Guest post by – Zac Grace

Search engine optimisation is on everyone’s mind when building a website; the same can be said for website design. After all, we all want our websites to look great and to be found in the search engines at the same time. But one of the mistakes that keep happening over and over again is that these two important parts of building a website are often done separately. Website design and SEO should go hand to hand.

Now there are parts of SEO that are intended for off-page optimisation, they are to be done once the website is complete and all the on-page factors have been met. So let’s talk about things you need to keep in mind regarding on-page SEO when designing a website.

Important On-page SEO factors for Web Design

You first have to understand the most important factors of on-page optimisation that go hand to hand with website design and implement them on the spot.

The basic things you should keep in mind are:

  • Keeping the code clean and try to use HTML, JavaScript can been implemented here and there, but too much of it can hurt your website regarding crawling issues
  • Make sure that your URL structure is also clean, in other words use descriptive keywords in your URLs
  • Don’t forget to add ALT tags to the images on your website, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem
  • Make sure that you have one H1 tag on each page and try to use at least one H2 and H3 tag if possible
  • Use XML and HTML sitemaps to your website. XML sitemaps makes it easier for Google bots to crawl your website in full
  • Make sure your navigation is easy to understand and follow
  • Keep the design consistent on all pages

These are the basics that should never be skipped. When you look at the list above you will probably notice that you already do some or most of these things, but making sure that all of them are in place is the only way to maximize the optimisation of your website. Remember, once these things are implemented from the very start your website will be completely functional and easy for bots to crawl, as well as easy for your visitors to go through your website and find everything they need. But to make sure you have everything covered here are some more things you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t forget to add a search function on your website
  • Proper internal linking and spreading of link juice, especially important for your landing pages. This part can be a bit tricky if you are working on a rather large site or if you are building an e-commerce website, so you should read up more on this particular topic.
  • Make sure all redirects are in place and are working as you want them. Don’t forget about canonical URL’s; this is one of the most important advancements in SEO.
  • There is probably no need to say this, but make sure you remove all duplicate content if any. That also goes for duplicate Meta tags, titles, description and keywords as well.

Keeping SEO in mind while designing a website is not only about pleasing the search engines. All of these aspects are also very important for your visitors, search function will help them find anything if the navigation gets them confused by some chance. Internal linking will help you with that as well; descriptive URLs are easy to remember; and consistent design makes it easier to navigate.

All of these things add to the usability of your website. If you implement all of these aspects when building a website, you will be sure to please the search engines as well as your loyal visitors.

Author Bio: Zac Grace is Advanced SEO Consultant at Australian SEO Company specializing in link building, viral marketing and all other aspects of search engine optimization.