Website Design and On-Site SEO

How important is the design of your website to rank on the first page of Google? To answer that question, we need to understand just what part of the design Google and the other Search Engines actually measure and react to. In this article, we take a brief look at what we call On-Page SEO and site structure. As you will see, Website Design and On-Site SEO go together, and our analysis will show that if we have a website already that’s not doing well, then significant redesign and upgrading will be needed before the site can achieve results through off-site SEO.

Must the Landing Pages Be Readable

Yes – Yes and Yes!!! Remember seeing beautiful-looking sites with lots of images and often based on Flash technology that didn’t rank well? Well, unless they’ve got incredible pedigree – they still won’t rank well.

To Rank, Your Google Needs to Be Able to Read What Your Site Is About

Titles and subtitles must be keyword focused
At least eight hundred words of original high-quality content
Keyword-related meta tags
Images with relevant alt text
Natural pages with no keyword stuffing
Those are the most basic requirements for page content. Obviously, the selection of keywords and titles is more complex than simply allocating a product name or activity name and I will write in-depth on those subjects in a future article.

What About the Technical Aspects of Site Design

Good question these are very important – indeed, critical. But don’t worry I’m not going to bury you in technical gibberish! However, if you do understand a little about Google Webmaster Tools, then the importance of what I am going to say here will be more readily apparent to you. Here are a few key metrics that must be built into the site design. Speed the site should load in two seconds or less
This means:

Including Directives for Browser

Not delaying the site loading with Javascript and CSS ‘above the fold’Optimized images properly compressed HTML and javascript coding – there should be no gross errors in the site code – which can damage rankings met Tags – there should be no duplicated meta tags – this will also damage rankings If these things sound complicated, don’t worry too much about it as it’s pretty well always a technical person who will sort it out for you unless of course you are either a competent coder or use WordPress and its wonderful plugins (more about that later).

Must My Site Be Mobile-Friendly

This may well be the most critical point of all – YES! More than half of all web searches are now made from mobile devices. So not only must your site be readable on a phone or tablet, but simply to be found at all, it must meet mobile-friendly guidelines. If your site is based on a content management system such as WordPress, it’s simply a matter of putting a mobile-friendly ‘skin’ on it. If your site is a smorgasbord of HTML and Javascript, things may well be harder and a lot more expensive. Either way, we can advise you on the best and most economical course to take.

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