How to Achieve Search Engine Visibility with Web Design
Whether you are looking for great web design in Dallas, or great web design anywhere else in the world, it is imperative that you select a professional that has all of your best interests in mind. The truth is that it takes much more than just a pretty website to create a successful web endeavor.
If you are one of the adventurous types that love to create and implement on your own, keep in mind that there are two sides to the website that are important when it comes to human eyes and the eyes of the search engines. Want to know how to create a website that looks good and appears in the search engines? Keep reading.
Web Design in General
There are countless platforms and apps that help to make web design easy and stress-free. Some creators favor apps like Adobe Dreamweaver and Coffee Cup. Others enjoy a more robust environment such as WordPress or Joomla. Oh, and don’t forget the die-hard coders who code their own sites out of nothing but sheer skill.
Some of the basic rules that apply to web design are:
- Attractive graphics
- Clear headings and titles
- A sensible layout
- Ease of navigation
- Obvious purpose of website
Web design does not have to be complicated or difficult. However, if the person designing the site wants it to appear in the search engines, they need to keep some important factors in mind.
Designing for SEO
Where a good-looking website may help with conversion rates when the time comes, it takes much more than a good layout for search engine results to happen. Some of the most important factors to keep in mind during the time of design are keywords.
- Alt text
Knowing the proper keywords for a website is crucial. Knowing where to place the keywords is even more important.
You can’t simply stuff a bunch of keywords together on one page and expect it to work. You have to understand how to use keywords and where they can be most effective.
If the keywords have already been established, then a lot of the hard work is already done. When analyzing these words it is important to understand what keywords have a better chance of doing well than others.
You could find the keywords that have the highest search volume, then stuff them into pages wherever you see fit, or you could research each keyword and find out which keywords are less difficult to achieve visibility and use them to start out with.
Some of the things to keep in mind when choosing the proper keywords are:
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
- Keyword relevance
In the beginning stages of web design for SEO, the best practice is to start with higher search volume terms that have a lower keyword difficulty rating.
Once you have your keywords established you can move forward with the plan to design the site.
Properly structured web pages will have one page title, one page heading, and various subheadings. The headings will be H1, H2, H3, and so on. The title will be a standalone title in the code of the page with the title tag, <title. The header will be the H1 heading.
These are important factors in the SEO spectrum. Once you have identified your keywords, you can use your pillar keywords in the titles, headings, content, and subtitles of your pages.
The title of the page will tell search engines and readers what the page is about. The headings will tell search engines there is more about the topic as the reader continues.
The best practice for page titles is to not go over 60 or 70 characters. The reason for this is that if you go beyond the width of the browser viewpoint, the title will be cut off and the readers will not be able to see the whole thing.
However, for SEO purposes, it is OK to go beyond the best practice length to make sure that you include pertinent information regarding SEO information such as the keyword and the location of the business.
There is an ongoing argument that keeps finding itself amongst SEO professionals. Some say that the meta description plays no part in search results. Some say they do. Whether or not it makes a difference in search results does not matter. What matters is that the words that are in the description are the words that people see when they find search results.
Under the title of the page in the search results, you will find the meta description. When you search for key terms in the search engines, the keywords that you used in your search…if they are in the meta description…will be in bold.
This description will be the first thing people see about your site. Make it count. The best way is to keep the description under 160 characters so that the search engine does not cut it off.
Headings and Content
The most important part of the SEO game is to make sure that your pages talk about the keywords that you are trying to rank for. If your page does not have keywords, the odds of them showing up in search results are pretty slim.
You can’t go overboard with this. Yes, use keywords in the title, the meta description, the headings, and the content, but do not repeat the keywords over and over again.
You can use variants of the keywords, or use phrases that mean the same thing as the keywords, but use well-written content to express interesting details about the keywords that you use.
Although it is tempting to try and direct every keyword that your site will try to rank for into the index, or home, page…don‘t do it. Building landing pages for pillar keywords is a great way to both build the authority of your site and direct traffic for specific keywords to pages of the site.
Each landing page will have its own URL with pillar keywords, its own title, its own headings, and its own content that specifically describes the keyword.
Examples of when to use landing pages are:
- Websites that promote services
- Websites that sell itemized merchandise
- Websites that have multiple locations
Say you have a business that provides clerical services for businesses. Your company caters to different types of businesses in various ways. You may offer printing services for one company, and you may offer phone answering services for another.
For every specific service that you offer you should build a landing page that is geared for the keywords that it wants to rank for. You would not want to try to dominate search engines for printing services and answering services on one page. However, since the business is clerical services you would want to focus on clerical services for the home page.
Images and Alt Text
Another little SEO trick that many designers fail to take advantage of is the power of the alt text in images. The alternative text is in place so that if the image fails to load there is some text there to describe it. This text also helps blind people experience the website through audio software that reads the pages to them.
In any event, place photographs of items that have the keywords in them that you are trying to get visibility for. Use every alt text opportunity to insert text that is relevant to the photograph, and relent to the desired keywords.
It is bad practice to try and stuff keywords in all spaces that allow them. When you are optimizing a site for SEO remember that humans will be visiting the site as well. It is crucial to use keywords where you can when it is practical to do so, but overdoing it is not wise.
Use the look of the site, the images, the titles, the headings, and the content to blend your business message together in an attractive, sensible way that promotes healthy, organic search results.