How To Implement Website Design Best Practices

Website design is something that makes many people roll their eyes, not because they do not like websites, but because it seems to hold some mystical qualities which only a few will ever understand. Whilst it is true that some technical aspects of designing and building websites require a level of training and experience, for the most part, it is not particularly difficult. Website design does have some basic principles which you should adhere to, and to help you understand them, if you are about to renew your website, here are the top 7. Ensure The SEO Basics Are In Place Being an SEO agency we had to start with this one, and no matter how large or how small a project you are undertaking with regards to your website design, in all cases, you need to have the basic SEO elements in place. This includes the title, the description, and all the other metadata such as H1 tags.  Should you be unsure of this, or if the idea of going behind the scenes and dabbling with some technical SEO aspects of your website fills you with dread, then there are plenty of resources that can help you, including ourselves. Use a Clean Design When we say clean design, we mean have a website that looks uncluttered, welcoming, and inviting to anyone who lands on it for the first time, and indeed every other time after that. Whether there is a next time will vary depending on the first impression any visitor has of your website, so try to avoid neon coloured sections, black backgrounds with coloured text, and other imagery that is likely to have anyone seeing it reeling back from their screen.

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How to optimize your website images for SEO

It should be safe to assume that your business website contains images, and if it doesn’t then the question has to be, ‘Why not?’. Images are a great way to engage with, inform and entertain customers, but what many website owners don’t realize is that images can also play a role in onsite SEO. More importantly, there are some simple steps you can take in relation to the images on your website that can boost your site’s ranking in the eyes of Google. In hindsight using the term ‘eyes of google’ might be a tad misleading because, despite all their top-level programming, and sophisticated algorithm updates, Google is not able to see the images on a website in the same way that human eyes see it. Their spiders which crawl the internet and analyse websites can only recognise text. This means that no matter how colourful, large, exciting, or high quality any image on a website is, Google is not going to see that. This means that for Google to know that your images are relevant to the content and subject matter within your website, you need to add something called ‘alt text’. For example, if you had a website selling sports shoe products, and one of those products was Nike Air Jordan 14 Retro, you would likely have a page for this product along with an image of them. When you upload the image, you would enter alt text such as ‘Air Jordan 14 Retro Sports Shoes’. Now, when Google’s spiders come calling, they will be able to read that text, and therefore the page gets more ranking juice for that keyword phrase.

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How to set up your website’s internal links for effective SEO

If you have ever seen or heard any advice on SEO the subject of backlinks will undoubtedly have been mentioned. While it is true that having backlinks to your website from other sites can play a significant role in boosting your rankings, it is also the case that the linking structure which you have within your website is important too. Creating links within your website has several SEO advantages, and if it is done correctly the benefits can mount because it helps those visiting your website to navigate through it more easily. The advantage of this is that they have a positive experience and are likely visit your site again. More than that they may recommend your website to others which is a premium free traffic source. Being able to navigate your website with ease will also make visitors more likely to take action while they are there, such as subscribe to your email list, or better still, purchase something. You should know by now that Google rewards websites whose visitors stay for longer. Visitors being able to navigate easily through your website is certainly going to help achieve that objective. These reasons are primarily why you should consider how the linking structure you are putting in place improves the navigation of your site, ahead of the specific SEO elements such as improving page ranking. Google’s algorithm will adjust your ranking up or down to a greater degree based on the visitor data it receives more than whether one of your pages has a link to it or not. The best way to start improving your website’s link structure is to plan it properly and doing this visually is preferable. You do not need to be good at drawing, as all you need is to be able to represent the pages of your website with circles or squares and then use lines to represent each link. An even better way is to download free mind map software and use that, as you can edit and save your link structure when changes occur.

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Why branding impacts on SEO, and how you can improve yours

Branding is often regarded as nothing more than having a good logo and a catchy tagline, however, nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to SEO. Effective branding can have a positive impact on your SEO and ranking, just as poor branding can have a negative impact. With Google increasingly seeking to base their search engine results on user experience, it is no longer just enough to focus on the technical elements of SEO. By these, we mean things like anchor text, meta tags and keyword density, which are measured by crawlers and algorithms, and not real people. You also need to think about the way in which your website appeals to those who visit. For example, do they stay on the website for some time, do they click through to other pages, or are they just there fleetingly and clicking away almost immediately? These are important to consider because it is data like this that allows Google to measure how good or bad your website is with regards to user experience. While there are specific actions you can take to improve this such as increasing page load speed, and adding more interesting content, you can also impact them by improving the branding of your website.

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The most important on-page SEO factors which influences your google ranking

Business owners often wonder where most SEO activities take place. Is it on the website or off the website? Whilst much of the SEO work undertaken to improve a websites’ Google rankings happens away from the website such as external link building, internal linking and social citations, a lot is done on the actual website itself. Whilst the off-page optimisation is extremely important and very influential if done correctly, the on-page SEO activity is also vital to a website’s ranking – especially in competitive industries. If you were wondering what the most important on-page factor is, then who better to ask than Google themselves. They are quite clear that the content on a website is the number one element when it comes to rankings. This makes sense when you understand why Google exists, and more importantly how they continue to thrive. Google live or die depending on whether the people using their search engine are satisfied or not, by the results which Google display for any given search term. If the list of websites which appear for any given search term are sites which the user can then visit and find both relevant and interesting content, that user is happy with Google’s service and likely to use them again.

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