Well developed websites could earn up to 85% of their web traffic from organic search. The right development team will allow your website to have the right foundation to start gaining visibility across income-generating keywords from organic search. Australian SEO experts Online Marketing Gurus advise the following tips that developers should implement when they are building a website.

Create a sitemap

HTML sitemaps can be useful for web users that are searching for specific pages on the website. These also help search engines as well, although dynamic XML sitemaps can provide search engines with up-to-date information about the location of web pages on the website. It is recommended that HTML sitemaps contain fewer than 100 links on the web page. The sitemap can be broken down further into micro-sitemaps that can appear on the site.

Search engine friendly URLs

You want to make it as easy as possible for search engine crawlers to find, understand and index your website’s content. To improve the search engine relevancy for a web page, the target keyword should appear within the website’s URL. For example, http://www.mydomain.com/car-insurance/ has the target keyword is car insurance. This tells the search engine that the web page content is related to car insurance rather than a URL that displays as http://www.mydomain.com/p=1234/.

Image optimisation.

Search engines collect and evaluate data to determine how to rank web content. Keyword optimisation on the website’s images can help search engine crawlers understand what the web page’s content is about.

Develop a compelling web design.

You want a website that will interest web visitors to the site. The web design has a huge impact on the perception of the web business, brand and product. A compelling web design will give the web user more confidence when going through the decision-making process to purchase the product or service offering. Poor web design will create distrust with the website. This can lead to increased bounce rates that could negatively impact the SEO performance of the site. Additionally, great web design can create link bait opportunities by submitting the design for awards or showcasing the design on related designer websites.

Commit to fast loading times.

Web design should be creative and innovative, but not at the expense of a web user’s experience. Heavy files such as web page template themes, videos and large images should be minimised so they are light and can load quickly. Ideally, the web page loading time should be less than two seconds. You can use page-loading tools such as Pingdom to see which files are loading and how quickly it takes for those files to download.

Google has confirmed that page-loading times are a part of its ranking algorithm. Google actually starts pre-loading web pages that appear in the first position on Google.

Develop a mobile friendly design

The influence of mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets are growing at a phenomenal pace. Google has realised the importance of mobile friendly designs for the web user’s experience and has included this as a ranking factor. Google has provided a developers tool that will allow the search engine to index mobile content effectively to improve web users experience. Any web designs should also include mobile designs as well.

Consider how you will connect your web content.

This is still an issue that occurs and leads many website managers to wonder why their web content isn’t ranking. The navigational structure of a website is important. Avoid creating orphan or doorway pages. Also avoid creating any CMS (content management system) scripts that will automatically create doorway pages for the website.

Keep in mind the HTML mark-up during the website’s design.

The site needs to be built for users, but it also needs to be friendly to search engine spiders to understand the content. Consider how to use CSS to style the important HTML elements on the site. This is important for headings, links and text font designs.

It is important that web designers factor in SEO during the web design process. The web design should serve as a strong foundation to build an SEO campaign. By following the 8 steps provided, it will give web designers and SEOs the head start they need to secure page 1 rankings.

About the author

Vlad Georgescu

I'm a graphic designer/web developer from Romania and I'm the founder and co-owner of icanbecreative.

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