So you’ve decided it’s time to refresh your website to make it more appealing and user-friendly. Did you know this could be a golden opportunity to optimise your site too? You should always design your website with SEO in mind, as there’s no point building an amazing site if nobody can find it. Here are some top tips for redesigning your site from an SEO perspective.
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to have a responsive website design, but what does that mean? It’s basically referring to a mobile-friendly design, which can respond so it can be viewed on a number of devices. With mobile purchases increasing, it obviously makes sense to have a responsive website – but search engines also favour responsive designs. During the design stage, make sure you carry out testing on all devices.
Clear, easy navigation
Navigation is a key element of website design, and the whole architecture of your site is basically dictated by navigation. Decide how many pages you need and how they should be connected. Users need to be able to find the information they are looking for as quickly as possible, and in terms of SEO all menus and links should work together to create a clear navigation journey. A good site structure equals better crawling for search engines.
There was a time when it was recommended to have as many pages as possible and as much content as possible, as this meant you could use maximum keywords. However marketers have now realised the importance of simplicity and the “less is more” approach. This applies to the number of pages as well as the amount of content. It’s time to start putting user experience first, which means removing what’s not necessary. Rather than keyword stuffing in the copy, focus on accurate subheadings and getting the message across in a way that’s easy to understand.
Another reason for having a simplified site is to speed up loading times. Users and search engines despise websites which take more than a few seconds to load, so make sure the design is instantly viewable. If you take a gamble with a fancy animated site with loads of gifs, then you could be damaging your rankings while sending web users running to your competitors with a speedier site.
An optimised website starts with design – there’s only so many other techniques you can use to try and improve rankings if your web design isn’t SEO-friendly. Find out more about web design for SEO.