As a website owner, you want strong SEO, and to get it, you should work closely with your website designer, but no website designer can guarantee top Google results. Designs impact SEO, but SEO is a marketing strategy and plan executed over months and years. (If you’re looking for quick leads, start running paid ads.)
Ultimately, web design needs to support your SEO strategy from the beginning, and eventually, your website will become your best salesman.
Focus Your Design on a Plan That You Will Follow
Limited time and limited budgets prevent many companies from achieving the website vision they start with, so stop now and align your expectations with what you’re willing to pay for. Many small business owners think that they have time to post a blog or post to social media, but without a plan, these ambitions die quickly.
Focus on 1 or 2 key marketing activities that you will do yourself or pay someone to do. Only then are you ready to start designing.
- Will you post to Instagram every week? Great! Make sure your designer is pulling that fresh content into your site.
- Will you commit to 2 blog posts per month? Great, ask your designer to build you a blog that supports the topics you will write about.
The key here is to think about what you will do, plan it, then create a design that supports your plan.
Include Analytics Trackers
There is no improving what you cannot track.
Google Analytics makes it incredibly easy to track users on your site. You need to implement an analytics solution like Google Analytics.
Think of your website as a legitimate storefront. At this store, people walk in and out all the time, and every one of those people provides insight into how your store performs. Le’s say you notice customers walking around confused when looking for your entrance. From direct observation, you now know that you need to make your entry clearer. Since your website doesn’t have a register to sit at and watch your customers interact, you need analytics – otherwise, you’re operating with your eyes closed.
Ensure Key Features like an XML Sitemap are Included
When your designer or developer builds your site, they are building for your customers and for search engine bots that crawl your website. Your designer can implement specific features to ensure that these bots can easily crawl your website. Including an XML sitemap is one thing your designer can do.
There is more too. They can ensure meta tags are set up correctly or that HTML markup is proper.
Leave Room for Written Content
Google typically ranks pages with more keywords higher. But finding the balance between too much written content and not enough is a battle. Good search marketing requires lots of text, but good copywriting and UX requires less text. Your designer must balance good UI/UX, strong copy, and search engine crawlability.
More words provide more opportunities to insert various category-specific words that align with your user’s search intent. Most of the time, you want a minimum of 300 words on standard pages and over 1000-2000 on blog posts. But don’t just stuff keywords. Try to align the content with what your customer is legitimately looking for.
Design for Mobile Devices
As with every design, your site designer should consider or take a mobile-first approach. We’ve seen clients with mobile driving over 60% of their traffic! If a lot or most of your traffic comes from mobile, then you must build for mobile first! Designing mobile first means deciding how your website will look on the mobile screen and considering how design choices will impact the page speed or functionality of the mobile site.
There are some specific things a designer could do to improve the mobile experience, like: – eliminating slow loading pictures, making above-the-fold content load fast, removing things like auto-play videos, considering touch interactions, making sure font sizes are readable on mobile, and optimizing meta descriptions for mobile searches.
When it comes to building a solid digital presence and reaching the top of Google, it requires planning from the start and a sustained marketing effort. So if you’re considering website design to rank at the top of Google, talk about these things with your designer.
Oh, and one more thing: let your website designer evaluate your analytics, marketing strategy, and budget before you even begin designing – this will help them understand what you can accomplish!