A question that we frequently hear from prospective clients is how to design a website that is SEO friendly.
We strongly believe that good website design isn't simply built to appeal to search engines. There are a number of factors that should go into website design and development, and taking into account both the search engine perspective and the human perspective will go a long way.
However, for the sake of SEO, we wanted to share 4 critical ways to make your website design more SEO friendly.
1. Use of SSL to Create Secure Websites
If you haven't already heard, Google has just made another change to its search algorithm, and this time the search engine giant is giving preference to HTTPS websites in search results.
So what in the world is an HTTPS website? HTTPS refers to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. In other words, all communication between your browser and an HTTPS website are encrypted. This is accomplished using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
We commonly see this with online banking and any other type of websites where highly confidential online transactions are carried out. However, with an increasing number of consumers turning to the internet to make purchases and upload confidential information, the movement towards HTTPS websites only makes sense.
2. Mobile Friendly Website Design
When researching ways to make your website more SEO friendly, you'll immediately see a lot of information about mobile friendly website design.
In April of 2015, Google updated its search engine algorithm to give preference to websites that have been optimized for mobile friendly website design. This was a significant update as the websites for 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were not mobile friendly at the time that this algorithm update was released.
If you think your website design is mobile friendly, be sure to use Google's mobile friendly test to confirm that it meets the algorithm's requirements.
For those of you that have yet to make your website design mobile friendly, this absolutely needs to be a priority for 2016.
3. Keyword Optimization
Do you know which keywords your target audience is typing into search queries to arrive at your website?
Keyword research is a must for making your website more SEO friendly. However, what matters even more than the keywords themselves is taking a long-tail approach to keywords. Long-tail keywords consist of three to four word phrases that are very specific to the products and services that your business offers. Long-tail keywords are typically what customers type into search engines when looking for something to purchase.
If you regularly create high quality content for your target audience that touches on relevant issues and topics that matter to your audience, you will naturally optimize your website for SEO.
4. Load Speed
Not only will a slow-loading website cause your website to significantly fall in search rankings, but it will also turn off your visitors. With so much content to compete with on the internet, your visitors will quickly click away from your slow-loading website. In fact, 40 percent of consumers said they would abandon a website if it took longer than 3 seconds to load.
Not sure of your website's load speed? Use a tool like Pingdom for a detailed breakdown of each element on your website and how long it took to load.
In summary, these are 4 ways that you can take immediate action in making your website more SEO friendly in the new year. With the majority of consumers now turning to the internet to research products and services before purchasing, it's imperative that you optimize for SEO.