Top 10 SEO Tips for Web Design

Websites need to pay attention to the basics to appeal to users and search engines. The design, the code, the internal SEO, and many different aspects will make an impact. Here we will describe ten ways to improve SEO when a site is built.

Wooden SEO sign
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SEO considers keyword density, word count, internal coding, and visual appearance. All major search engines – think Google, Bing, and Yahoo – consider these aspects and many more when ranking their search engine.

The World Wide Web is the busiest advertising space in today's hyper-connected world. Almost everyone on earth will spend a few minutes, if not hours, on the Internet per day. This global communication platform is home to billion-dollar websites, and doing everything to improve visibility is vital. Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is key to climbing the ladder and letting people notice you.

But what things are SEO looking at? How can you make your website more appealing? There are a few things to consider. For example, first-time visitors will always look for a website's overall performance and web design. If users leave the site too quickly, search engines will see this as a sign that the site is old, inactive, poorly designed, or has inaccurate search terms. In this case, they will rank it lower, giving less visibility to the site.

#1 Keep the Layout Simple

Simplicity in design is equal to beauty and a great first impression. Users who find a clean and straightforward layout will feel better about the website, brand, and company image.

One piece of advice to keep things simple but effective is following the latest trends. For example, right now, the one-page layout is a crowd favorite. This allows for an excellent simple design that gives a great showcase of everything the page communicates.

#2 Mobile-Friendly Design is a Must

Just about everyone in the world nowadays has a mobile device. With millions of active mobile website users globally, designing a website only made for desktops would be a waste. Satisfying this large number of users who engage through mobile devices is essential to stay alive in the business world. It is so important that having a mobile-friendly layout is now one of the top SEO-ranking aspects of the year.

People working on mobile app prototypes
Photo by Amélie Mourichon on Unsplash

What should your site have to be mobile-friendly? The following suggestions are the most important ones:

  • Large font size: on a mobile device, the whole web page will look smaller than it is. The font needs to be larger than the average size to maintain its readability.
  • Viewport tag: without this tag, a website will not be displayed in a mobile layout but on its standard desktop design.
  • Responsiveness: today's different screen sizes demand layouts that can adapt to whichever device they are accessing. Responsiveness lets designs adapt and resize for every breakpoint of each device.

#3 Color Palette Matters

Brand identity is now so crucial that the most significant fortune 500 brands have a detailed and precise one. Colors are part of this identity. They are not just a part of the visual aspect of any design. They are also powerful emotional triggers that will help the user feel one way or another with each brand. However, as always, less is more. Keeping the shades in the palette to around two or three is ideal for having a clear message and a non-cluttered look.

A lot of color palettes on a table

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

#4 Get Rid of the Double Sidebar

The double sidebar could have been a better idea. It has finally gone out of style but has always weighed down on SEO. Not only does it increase both the links and media files on a website, but it also needs to be mobile-friendly. The best thing you can do is reduce its content or remove it altogether.

#5 Welcome Minimalism in Design

SEO knows that website visitors prefer a moderately-sized space. That's why sticking to a minimalist web design that is clean and easy to understand is a proven way to appeal to visitors–and improve SEO.

#6 Compress CSS

Like with people, it is with websites: the exterior is just as important as the interior. CSS compression is a must to increase loading speed, remove any duplicates inside the file and reduce the line count of the code. This improves SEO because it can read the site better, and fast loading speeds will always increase user experience–no one wants to wait around!

CSS books
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

#7 Go Easy on JavaScript

One of the advantages of using JavaScript is that it is lightweight, so it won't impact loading speed when adding interactive website effects. However, if you use less, it will counter these benefits and become a problem. Avoid using more than necessary.

#8 Always Run a W3C Code Validation

Problems in website code are detrimental not just to the website itself but also to SEO. Using a tool like the W3C validator helps you catch any errors in your code. Unclosed DIV tags are some of the most common mistakes in the script; these can mess with your entire web layout. Thankfully W3C can detect them.

Doing a broken link check after launching your website to the server is the safest way to avoid the redirection requests created by these links. These redirections will lead to diminished visibility due to SEO. The most repeated mistake that creates broken links is misspelled words, so make sure you proofread everything on your site and your code.

#10 Make the URL Structure Readable

Making sure that your URL structure is readable boosts on-page SEO. But what exactly does a readable URL look like? First, it will be understandable. Secondly, it won't have too many deep directory links or numbers.

Gaining online visibility is not nice but an essential requirement for today's business world. To achieve it, you need to have a clear and clean code, a simple yet functional layout, and a brand identity through it all–and don't forget fast loading speeds. Both visitors and search engine crawlers are looking for the same things. Follow the tips above to ensure you appeal to both and increase your overall visibility.