As web designers, are we diametrically opposed to search
engine optimization? We know that, at its center, web design is
about elevating bland information on a screen into something
aesthetically delightful and intuitively recognizable. It’s also
about communicating an idea with other humans. Cave men had
cave paintings, Ancient Egyptians had hieroglyphs, modern man
has web design. Yes, it’s just that important.
This is precisely why many designers have given up trying to
please the robot called SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine
It’s the strategy of developing and
improving your website so that it ranks highly
on search engine result pages, preferably on
the first page of results. We know that at
least 75% of searchers never scroll past page
1 on Google.
This means that we must make it to the
first page in order to be considered by the
vast majority of searchers.
Why is SEO Important to Web Designers?
The quick answer? Because it’s
important to your clients.
The longer answer? According to
this research, over 571 websites
are created every second. Every
second. With all of those websites,
your own website has the high
probability of being lost forever in
the abyss known as “Beyond Page 1
Top 9 Best Practices
Let’s take a look at the top 9 best SEO practices for web designers.
1. Site Structure
When it comes to SEO, the structure of your website is one of the most
important factors. Site structure is all about how your web pages link together.
Search engine crawlers judge your site’s value based on the way it’s set up. File
hierarchy and site maps play crucial roles in whether or not you get a high ranking
3. Meta Description
Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re definitely aware of what it is. A meta description
is the little snippet on the search page that provides an overview for what your page is about.
These descriptions are 160 characters or less.
The meta description is your perfect opportunity to entice visitors to click your link. It’s also a
way to get noticed for your keyword, because Google scans and highlights user-searched keywords
in your meta description.
2. Easy Navigation
Along with logical flow, navigation must be a top priority for any web designer who’s
interested in search engine optimization.
For navigation, shallow is better. With a shallow architecture, users are able to
access any page in as few links as possible. This also refers back to site architecture.
I cannot bear to choke out that tired phrase about content being royalty, but we all know
content is increasing in importance. Gone are the days of content stuffing and invisible text.
These days, robots are smart enough to know what sounds right.
Search engines reward longer posts. If you have a blog (which I strongly recommend), it’s
important to take the time to craft content that will bring value to your site. If you’re more of
a designer than a writer, hire someone who can help you.
5. Optimized Images
Ever come across DCIM34292.jpg? Yeah, me too. When you don’t take the time to
name your images, you’re losing valuable SEO. for example smithers-web-design-mock-
up.jpg. Not only are you clearly explaining what the image shows, you’re also maximizing
Another important way to optimize your images is by including Alt Tags. These tags
show up on the browser when an image can’t load. It can also appear when you hover over
6. Optimized URL
Speaking of hyphens, make sure that you’re optimizing your URLs with hyphenated keywords. If
your blog post is about white hat SEO, your URL should be www.yoursite.com/white-hat-seo.
Keep in mind what your target keywords are, and use that in the title of your blog post, as well as
in your blog post URL. It’s another way to optimize your site for search engines.
Also, avoid joining all the words together. And, avoid underscores (_). Instead, separate the words
with hyphens (-).
7. Absolute URLs for Internal Linking
This practice is simple but powerful. There are two types of links:
Absolute, ex. <a href=”www.yoursite.com”>
Relative, ex. <a href=”/home.html”>
If you’re using relative linking, consider this: absolute links cut down on confusion and reduces
server response time.
8. Site Speed
Research shows that 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes 3 seconds to load.
That’s the time it took for you to read this sentence. I know that you want to impress users with
your too-cool-for-school designs, but if almost half of new visitors don’t stick around to see it,
does it even matter?
In considering site speed, definitely look at compressing your images, caching static
compact as possible.
9. Rich Snippets
Similar to meta descriptions, rich snippets are shown in the search results page, and
generally provide additional about that particular result.
Google is doing away with author avatars but (for now, at least) you can still harness
visual marketing by spicing up your meta descriptions with rich snippets.
A Word About Parallax and SEO
A topic about SEO and Web Design wouldn’t be complete without
mentioning the hottest trend in the industry right now — parallax. Yes, we all
love parallax scrolling, it’s so fun to have a one page website. There’s so many
fantastic benefits about parallax. It’s pretty. It’s perfect for guiding visitors
through a chronological series of information. It’s storytelling at it’s finest.
Visit : www.themangomedia.com
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