Gone are the days when all web designers needed to know about SEO was just putting keywords into text and meta tags, instead it is important search engine optimisation becomes part of the technical audit of a website.
Here we highlight the key areas web designers need to pay attention to.
Responsive V Mobile Friendly
What we mean here is that a separate mobile version of a website may not enough, especially with Google’s new mobile first index. What this means is that if your mobile site lacks the functionality of a desktop site (i.e plenty of content, mobile navigation, fast response times etc.) the site may suffer in Google’s search rankings. Instead of being judged on how the desktop version of the site works, you will be judged on the mobile version of your site.
This applies to all sites but especially eCommerce sites and larger sites with a lot of pages. You are going to need to pay attention to separate meta title, meta description, open site graph tags, twitter cards and more to the sites most important pages. Duplication will weaken the sites chance of ranking effectively.
Whilst as a web designer, user experience should be a priority, it can help search engines rankings in Google if the user stays on a site longer and lowers the bounce rate of the site. Always impress on the customer or client the importance of fresh content and user interaction on the site through a blog or fresh news feed and social media share buttons.
With Google’s hummingbird and knowledge graph updates, web designers need to pay attention to the client’s content. As well as highlighting problems, giving solutions, and resonating with buying persona(s) content also needs to enough of signal to Google to show what the site does or should be found for. As well as main keyword phrases, related terms should also be used. Content however, should always be written for humans and not search engines. Satisfy your visitors and you will satisfy Google.
Text to Code Ratio
Also in line with content issues is keeping the text to code radio as high as possible. Again, keeping the code as clean as possible and making sure you have at least 300 words of content on each page of your site should keep the balance. You are looking for around 25%-30% as a good text-code ratio.
Broken links on a page are a hassle for both users and search engines. Search engines crawl pages from link to link, if they come across a broken link to a page you could be missing the opportunity of that page being indexed.
This is a guest post from web design company Impelling Solutions Ltd based in Sheffield.