What Does Web Design for SEO Mean Anymore?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed significantly since search engines began cataloging websites and web designers saw the advantages of being on the first page of search engines. It is no longer enough to stuff the pages with keywords and the site will move up in search engine rankings. Website design that works for search engines is a sophisticated endeavor today.
Web design for SEO now requires a holistic web design strategy because the entire website is carefully analyzed by the search engines and ranked by how well the site meets each engines’ analysis criteria. Even then, rankings go beyond the website; Google analyzes customer interaction as well. Google can measure how many visitors leave the site without exploring (called “bounce rate”) and how long they stay on each page. So, a site must be well-designed to attract and keep visitors in order to have it rank highly in the search engines.
In addition, in 2015 Google launched an artificial intelligence program called RankBrain to analyze websites to determine their search engine results. RankBrain evaluates the searcher’s question to determine the intent of the search and then selects appropriate pages. RankBrain also learns. It will analyze sites like yours to determine how visitors interact with them to determine which is “best” for the searcher.
So, what does all of this mean? It means that SEO for a website cannot consist of just stuffing it with keywords. Web design for SEO means making the entire site user-friendly as well as easy for the search engines to find, evaluate and index. With that thought in mind, here are some criteria that Google directly measures to determine rankings.
Mobile-responsive design. If your website cannot be easily viewed by a mobile device, it will be ranked poorly by Google.
Images and video. Web pages with images and video to help tell the story of the page tend to rank better than those without them.
Website speed. If your site is slow then Google is likely to downgrade it. The faster your site is, the better the user-experience will be, which means the better the SEO will be.
A user-friendly link structure. When Google crawls your website, it evaluates the entire site as a user would. Building user-friendly navigation will help rank your site higher.
To summarize, web design for SEO in 2017 requires that the design team consider the entire experience from a visitor’s point of view. The site must be built so that it loads easily, delivers information quickly and provides a helpful user experience for the visitor.
These are just a few of the components that can affect SEO. To learn more, download KEO Marketing’s free Marketer’s Guide titled “Four Keys to Website Design in 2017”.
If you would like to discuss how you can improve your web design for SEO immediately, talk with one of KEO Marketing’s experts. Contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.