SEO practices keep changing with every Google’s update, but some of their elements have remained the same for the entirety of its existence. However, if you’re not aware of these changes you might be doing things that are no longer viable when it comes to website design.
The fact is that it’s of great importance for SEO to be integrated into website design itself because you’ll never be able to rank well without it. I’ll try to cover some of the red flags you should be looking out for to warn you about your web design not being in line with today’s SEO tactics.
1. You’re not using responsive website design
In 2015 Google updated its algorithms to penalize websites for not being mobile optimized. This only applies to SERPs for mobile users though, so if someone runs a search on their mobile device and your website isn’t mobile friendly – you’re very unlikely to be visible. You can easily check how mobile friendly your website is.
By using responsive website design, you’ll no longer have to link to two separate URLs, because you’ll be able to get better traction from a single URL through it. Today, when almost 70% of all web searches are made through mobile devices, it’s incredibly important to be as mobile friendly as possible.
2. You have too much content
While many consider that more content means better SEO, this isn’t always the case. Today SEO is all about user experience, so every choice you make when it comes to SEO should be made towards improving that. By providing fewer choices on your website you’ll make it easier for your customers to make decisions and stop them from just abandoning it.
Having too many categories and subcategories on your website can easily impact your audience to be overwhelmed, which is bad for business. Always keep in mind that the more users are satisfied with your website, the better chance you’ll stand for ranking better in search results.
3. You’re not using heading tags
Without the heading tags, the user won’t know what the page/post is about once they’re on it. There are two heading tags that you need to be using – H1 as a page heading and H2 (H3, H4) for section headings. H1 is the most important one, as a heading for your main page.
Not only are these tags useful for your readers to catch glance over the page until something catches their eye, but they’re also crucial for search engines who use heading tags to know what your site is about. Also, always remember to use the right keywords in your heading tags to help out your rankings.
4. You’re not using meta descriptors
Meta descriptors are small descriptions of about 160 characters that show up under the title when your website appears in the search results. While they carry no significance for your ranking in the SERPs, they do directly affect your click through rate – which means more traffic for you.
This is why best web design and SEO practices include writing up great Meta Descriptors. It’s not enough for your website to show up in the search results, you need people to actually click on it too.
5. You’re not optimizing title tags
Title tags used to appear in the top bar of the browser, but with all popular browsers using tabs now – the title tags no longer appear there. However, they’re still shown as titles in the search engine results, thus making them very important.
They also signal to the search engines what the page is about, so your SEO is directly influenced by them. By investing some time to use the right keywords and write these well you’ll not only influence your rankings but click through rate as well.
Decisions you make about your website design can either help your on-page SEO efforts or affect it negatively as listed in our Learn SEO guide. If you’re doing it right you’ll benefit both from your users having greater experience and by search engines recognizing your efforts and ranking you better because of it.
The structure of your website should be extremely user-friendly if you don’t want your customers to be overwhelmed by it. Always make sure that the content you’re hosting is written with the users in mind, and not the search engines because algorithms have changed since those practices were viable.
By creating user-friendly web pages and using best web design practices for SEO you’ll make sure you’re on top of your game and that your website has a steady rise in traffic.