Most businesses have a goal of getting their websites to page one of a Google search engine results page (SERP). After all, Google is where the vast majority of organic searches originate, with 2.3 million searches performed every second.
While your priority should be to design your website for the user experience, it's imperative that you also take your SEO strategy into account. Here are five useful tips for creating a website design that appeals to Google:
1. Establish a business blog.
Google wants to know that your website is alive and well, and the best way to communicate this is to consistently publish fresh content on your website. Maintaining an active business blog on your website that includes weekly postings at a minimum will tell both Google and your visitors that your website is up-to-date and serving your audience relevant content.
Publishing value-added content on your blog will provide you with more opportunities to rank for targeted keywords. Because the blog posts will be relevant to your business and industry, it will be easier for you to naturally incorporate keywords into your content.
2. Ensure that all links on your website are working.
The user experience is a key piece of criteria that Google uses to rank websites. All links on your website need to be working and direct users to quality destinations. Additionally, the alt text should provide users with an accurate representation of the linked content.
3. Don't overuse keywords.
When incorporating an SEO strategy into website design, some businesses are tempted to cram as many relevant keywords into the content as possible. However, it's critical that you keep your keyword use in line as overuse will signal to Google that you're attempting to artificially inflate your content for SEO purposes. This black hat SEO practice will have negative repercussions on your Google search ranking.
4. Create original content.
With so much content floating around on the internet, it's easy to take the content from a competitor's website and repurpose it for your own website. The challenge with repurposing existing content is that it offers little value to readers unless you insert your own opinion or provide your own twist on the subject matter. If the repurposed content is too similar to content that exists in other places on the internet, Google will penalize you. By creating original content that offers value to your audience, Google will reward your website with a higher search ranking.
5. Use responsive website design.
With more than 50 percent of search queries coming from mobile devices, you must have a mobile-friendly website design to get results from your online presence. Google has recently updated its search algorithm to give preference to mobile-friendly websites, and websites with responsive design will best appeal to this algorithm update.
Most people think great website design refers to an aesthetically-pleasing website with high-quality images. While this is part of the equation, it's critical that you also take into account the factors that Google is looking for when ranking a website. By taking into account the five tips outlined above during the website design process, you'll create a website that offers a superior user experience and satisfies Google's preferences.
For more ways to improve your website's organic search ranking, download our free e-book that covers Google's top criteria when ranking websites.