Former SEO guru Jill Whalen said, “Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.”
While breaking the secret Google code can boost your ranking, nothing can replace quality when it comes to engaging visitors. SEO is more than just a few tricks to beat the latest algorithm. It is a commitment to quality that is reflected throughout your website.
Follow along to learn how to improve your SEO with optimized content and web design.
Integrating SEO into the Web Design Process
Because SEO and web design are closely intertwined, it makes sense to incorporate best SEO practices into the design process. A flashy website won’t mean much if people can’t find you in the search engines.
To make your site search engine friendly, include the following elements in your design:
- Consider speed: Users aren’t the only ones who don’t want to wait for your content to load. Search engines also rank according to navigation. If your site can’t be crawled quickly, it won’t show up as high in the rankings and every second of delay will result in lost customers.
- Implement SEO basics: Get your site up with the basics in place. No site can thrive without effective keywords, title tags, and content. When you incorporate these elements from the start, your site starts working for you from the minute it goes live.
- Don’t limit content to words: Quality content is about more than brilliant writing. Supplement your message with video and images that are loved by search engines and boost user experience.
How to Kill SEO with Your Website Design
At the same time you are adding search engine friendly elements to your design, avoid features that can turn off potential users before they start to explore your site:
1. Not Mobile-Friendly
It’s hard to believe that in today’s digital age there are still websites that do not integrate well with mobile devices. Since most users today consider their phones their primary source for information, your ability to adapt to mobile is essential.
2. Unreadable Text
What your words look like on the page is just as important as what they say. If you use a font that is uncomfortably small or otherwise difficult to read, users will be likely to give up and move on without putting forth the extra effort to understand your business.
3. Too Many Pop-Ups
When a pop-up is the first thing a user is greeted with when they click on your website, it can be a major turn-off. Use pop-ups wisely to encourage action without detracting from your message. Your first goal should be to establish a trusting relationship with a potential customer before going in for the sale.
4. Auto-Play Video or Audio
Loud sounds when a user clicks on your website can be even more irritating than a pop-up. If you are going to play a video automatically when someone clicks on your site, mute the sound to prevent users from exiting your site as soon as they find you.
Let’s Talk High-Quality Content
Once you have scored with both the search engines and the user experience, keep your visitors wanting more with high-quality content. You can produce the content potential customers want by focusing on these three key elements:
- Know your audience: Content isn’t just about educating your customers – it’s about connecting with them. In order to make those valuable connections, you need to know who your customers are. Beyond basic demographics, focus on the problems your customers have that your product or service can address.
- Relate to your audience: Don’t rely on Google to direct your customers to you. Know the questions they ask and the solutions they are seeking. Form your content around the language they use to make the connections more readily available.
- Focus on your customer: It’s easy to look at your content as a selling tool, but this is not where high-quality content starts. Instead, think about creating a relationship with your customer that builds trust and loyalty. When you do this successfully, the sales will follow.