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SEO techniques can be divided into categories: white hat techniques, those that are acceptable by the search engines and are the recommended ways of improving rankings, and black hat techniques, which are deceptive and result in Google penalties or being banned by the search engines.
There is a running joke in the Google SEO community that goes, “Where is the best place to hide a dead body? On the second page of search results.”
Off-page optimization refers to managing the execution of the marketing and amplification of a website. This management results in earning links and social media mentions that can increase your website’s authority, resulting in an increase in SEO rankings and traffic.
The strategies mentioned above are considered White Hat and add value to a website’s SEO, providing a great website design experience. In addition, they can increase rankings, traffic, and sales from Google and other search engines.
Since, of the billions of people who use search engines every day, less than 5% navigate past the first page of the Google SERPS, it is crucial that you design and develop an SEO-friendly website to increase organic traffic and earn first page rankings in Google.
SEO Web Design Part 2: SEO-Friendly Off-Page Optimization.
These Black Hat techniques were used in the past to achieve high rankings quickly. However, the search engines have updated their algorithms to detect such techniques and are constantly using machine learning to uncover additional spam techniques intended to manipulate the SERPs.
Black Hat Techniques.
Below is a basic outline to help you optimize your new website for the search engines. There are two primary parts to Google SEO web design strategies: on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
White Hat Techniques.
SEO web design is designing and developing websites to make them search-engine friendly. Making a website SEO-friendly means that Google and other search engines can crawl each page on the website efficiently, interpret the content effectively, and index it in their database. Once indexed, they can then serve the most relevant and valuable web pages to their users based on the topics they search for. The better the SEO strategies and the more an SEO team is integrated into the web design process, the better the chance of indexation and ranking on the first page of the search results.
On-page optimization includes web SEO strategies that the website owner controls. These strategies play a crucial role in searching engines crawl and understanding your content.
When SEO is done correctly and built into the web design process, SEO services will add value to the website experience by making the website search-engine friendly, a better user experience, and considerably helping businesses achieve their online marketing goals. If you need help creating an SEO-friendly professional website design, redesign, or a complete overhaul, please reach out.
SEO Web Design Part 1: SEO-Friendly On-Page Optimization.
Off-Page Techniques Include:
Google’s original system for grading web pages was based on the hyperlinks that connected them. Decades later, the company’s algorithm has become far more sophisticated, but links are still an important metric for rankings.
A logical content hierarchy is as important for search engines as it is for the sanity of your users. Content should be organized in a manner that suits the subject matter and makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for.
Google made page speed a ranking factor in 2010, meaning that the company’s algorithm will favor sites with pages that load faster over those with pages that load more slowly. Google’s data shows that users are significantly more likely to abandon a search result if the page does not load quickly enough. The surge in mobile device use has also made page load speed a greater priority as devices with less powerful processors are consuming web pages at much higher rates.
Search engine optimization is almost always an afterthought for businesses when re-designing a website. Tasks like reviewing mockups, organizing content, getting photography done and completing the hundreds of other tasks necessary to make a website come alive are enough to deal with on their own.
That’s true outside of a website, but it’s also true within a website. When designing a website, it’s important to have all pages internally linked to one another so that link authority from the outside can flow freely through a site. Orphaning pages or creating cumbersome, deep navigation can make it harder for important pages to rank well in search.
Programmers buried in the minutiae of building out a site’s architecture aren’t thinking about a search engine’s ability to crawl URLs. They certainly aren’t thinking that a person needs to be able to read them.
Applying schema markup to information such as addresses, business names, people, phone numbers, emails, web addresses, reviews, and star ratings can help Google display that information in search results. This, in turn, can improve click-through rates in search results pages.
Site owners who generate leads or conduct all of their business on the internet and don’t have a mobile responsive site should seriously consider converting. New websites should be built as responsive sites from the beginning. A responsive site is simply one that changes styling and dimensions based on the device viewing it.
Search engines have gotten better at handling obscure characters and long, ugly URLs, but they still aren’t perfect. These are also prime opportunities to take advantage of keyword placement and marketing for users. URLs should be short, descriptive and easy to read. Avoid using special characters like underscores, ampersands or percentage symbols. The easier they are to read, the better — both for people and for search engines.
Google is moving to a mobile-first index, meaning that the web pages it serves in its results will be tailored to mobile devices. Google has also made mobile friendliness — in terms of the design and programming of a site — a ranking factor in its algorithm.
Yet laying the groundwork for good performance in search will pay dividends long into the future. Starting out with an SEO friendly website design can prevent duplication of efforts in the long run and make it faster for a future SEO company to come in and improve rankings.
Schema, or structured data, is code that makes content machine-understandable. It does not influence search rankings, but it does influence how search engines display content from the pages in their search results.
Search Engine Friendly URLs.
For example, a search engine knows that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a string of alphanumeric characters. Applying schema to that string would enable a search engine to understand that it is an address to a building with significant historical meaning to the American people.
Each page on the site should have a purpose and focus on a singular topic area.
The following are several key elements for making a website that is designed to rank well in search.
Site owners can use Google’s page speed analysis tool to see how they shape up in the speed department. Google also provides a report after the analysis that shows you exactly what needs to be fixed.
Be methodical in your planning. Choose one main theme for your site, then build out pages that are subtopics of that theme. For example, a personal injury lawyer would have personal injury law as her main website theme. Subtopics of that theme (i.e., the pages that comprise the site) would be car accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, and so on.
Web designers and coders aren’t always SEO people. If you’re lucky, they may be somewhat aware of best practices. If you’re thinking of a redesign or a brand new site, make sure the people building it are at least leaving room to grow with SEO. Think of it in terms of building a house: If the contractor’s only job is to do the rough framing, he has to make sure he builds things in a way that makes it easy for the electrician and the plumber to come in and do their jobs, too.