May 12, 2015

Website Design and On Site SEO

Website Design and On Site SEO

How important is the design of your web site to ranking on the first page of Google? To answer that question, we need to understand just what part of the design Google and the other Search Engines actually measure and react to. In this article we take a brief look at what we call On Page SEO and site structure. As you will see, Website Design and On Site SEO go together, and our analysis will show that if we have a website already that’s no doing well, then significant redesign and upgrading will be needed before the site can achieve results through off site SEO.

Must the Landing Pages Be Readable?

Yes – Yes and Yes!!! Remember seeing beautiful looking sites with lots of image and often based on Flash technology that didn’t rank well? Well, unless they’ve got incredible pedigree – they still won’t rank well. To rank your Google needs to be able to read what your site is about. That means:

  • Titles and subtitles must be keyword focused
  • At least eight hundred words of original high quality content
  • Keyword related meta tags
  • Images with relevant alt text
  • Natural pages with no keyword stuffing
  • Those are the most basic requirements for page content. Obviously, the selection of keywords and titles is more complex than simply allocating a product name or activity name and I will write in depth on those subjects in a future article.

    What about technical aspects of site design?

    Good question – these are very important – indeed, critical. But don’t worry – I’m not going to bury you in technical gibberish! However, if you do understand a little about Google Webmaster Tools, then the importance of what I am going to say here will be more readily apparent to you. Here’s a few key metrics that must be built into the site design.

  • Speed – the site should load in two seconds or less
  • This means:

    • Including directives for browser cacheing
    • Not delaying the site loading with Javascript and CSS ‘above the fold’
    • Optimized images
    • Properly compressed html and javascript
  • Coding – there should be no gross errors in the site code – which can damage rankings
  • Meta Tags – there should be no duplicated meta tags – this will also damage rankings
  • If these things sound complicated, don’t worry too much about it as it’s pretty well always a technical person who will sort it out for you unless of course you are either a competent coder or use WordPress and its wonderful plugins (more about that later).

    Must my site be mobile friendly?

    This may well be the most critical pint of all – YES! More than half of all web searches are now made from mobile devices. So not only must your site be readable on a phone or tablet, but simply to be found at all, it must meet mobile friendly guidelines. If your site is based on a content management system such as WordPress, the it’s simply a matter of putting a mobile-friendly ‘skin’ on it. If your site is a smorgasbord of HTML and Javascript, things may well be harder and a lot more expensive. Either way, we can advise you on the best and most economical course to take.