Whether you are launching a brand new website, or giving your existing site a facelift, there are always important decisions to make. We will be looking at some of the common issues that we often find need refining in order to improve a website’s Search Engine Optimisation. Here are 8 Essential tips to build a Search Engine Optimised website.
Tip 1: Responsive web design
According to UX Design Trends 2015 & 2016, responsive Web design is a must to support multiple screen sizes and devices. Responsive design may have started out as a technology development, but it has rapidly become an essential aspect of website design and development that has completely changed the way that websites are been built.
In today’s fast paced world, having a website that is designed to work on with mobile and tablet devices is vital. In last few years, mobile usage has already overtaken desktop usage, so make sure that visitors can use your site on their smart phones and tablets. While selecting a web developer, make sure they are up-to-the-minute with developments in responsive design, and that they are able to make a website which meet the needs of mobile device users.
Tip 2: Scalability of website
Even though you are happy with your newly developed website, always consider it as an ongoing project. As your business grows, you may wish to add more pages to promote a new service or product. Furthermore, you may also choose to add more content as a result of your ongoing detailed keyword research. Choose a flexible platform for you website to accommodate the future changes.
Tip 3: Practical on site elements
Before launching a new website it is essential to check the key elements of Search Engine Optimisation such as, page URL, page headings, page titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags and navigation item titles. Also make sure they are unique to each page. You should be able to edit the key elements of your web pages to keep them up to date as per the ever changing search engine algorithm. If your website has limited functionality, it consistently leads to problems with on-page optimisation. For optimum on-page performance, you should be able to edit the key elements listed above.
Tip 4: Goal and conversion tracking
Make sure that your website is equipped with goal and conversion tracking tools. Check all contact forms on your website work properly and function in a manner which allows to you to keep track of goals and conversions precisely. To achieve this ensure that when visitors compete the forms, they get directed to a “thank you” or confirmation page. These pages can be tracked with analytic tools, and can provide a vital data for SEO and digital marketing campaigns.
Tip 5: Readable text for Search engine
While developing your website, ensure that the search engine can read all the text on your website. Especially any text incorporated within images such as banners and calls to action. Avoid using text as a design element, rather design the banners without text and add the relevant text from the backend, as relevant text often contain valuable keywords relating to your business and services. It is very important to have ‘readable’ text for the search engines to move upward in the search where millions of websites compete with each-other.
Tip 6: No broken URLs
Before making your business website live, you must check that all the links on your website are working correctly. The last thing you wish is to put your website live, only to realise several weeks or months down the line that you are losing traffic due to broken or wrong page URL links. There are numerous free popular tools available to check for broken links, such as Xenu’s Link Sleuth and Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Make good use of them before people start visiting you website.
Tip 7: 301 redirect pages
If for some reason you decide to restructure or redesign your website, work with your web developers and SEO providers to ensure that any pages that have reformed in terms of URL structure are redirected to the new or most appropriate version of that particular page. This will not only help to retain traffic but also to improve the user experience. These will pass on valuable links to your newly developed pages and bring them up in the search engines.
Another option is to consider designing a custom 404 pages which a friendly message to inform your visitors, and providing useful links to redirect them into helpful areas of the site, to improve the user experience.
Tip 8: Favicons (short for favourite icon)
A favicon is a small image file that you see in the browser on opening the website. It is unique to the particular website or web page. Your web solution provider will be able to implement this file onto your website so that web browsers can make use of it, and the icon will be shown in a user’s bookmarks bar. However the lack of a favicon will not affect to your search visibility, it could be a visual element to support your brand and improve the user experience of visitors who often bookmark the sites to visit again.
That said, your website need to look good and work correctly, but it also needs to be easy for potential visitors to find you on search engines. From time to time there are elements of a website’s functionality and optimisation needs to be checked to avoid costly development work being required to fix areas of a website.
As an experienced web design consultancy we can help you to put things right from the start. If you are considering to launch a new website and are looking for an agency to support your project, give us a call on 01772 508117 to see how we can help.