What SEO Rules to Keep in Mind When Developing a Website?

SEO Rules to Know

Your website is the basis on which you're building your online presence. Other significant aspects of your digital strategy, including your social networks, email marketing, business directories, and paid ads all run toward your site. Still, the major source of your website traffic is organic search. And, to get the most out of it, you need to optimize your site for it.

Unfortunately, many businesses don't consider SEO when building their sites. And, no matter how gorgeous your site is, if you don't optimize it for Google at design time, you will miss out on a great opportunity to boost its exposure in the SERPs.

To avoid that, here are a few steps SEO rules you need to follow when designing your site.

Choose an Effective Domain Name

One of the first and the most important steps you need to take is to choose the domain your site will sit on. Domain name represents your business in the cyberspace and it is a cornerstone of your online brand identity. Here are a few rules of choosing a perfect domain name:

  • Make it brandable
  • Make it pronounceable and easy to type
  • Keep it short and memorable
  • Register the same name on your major social networks
  • Use the reliable ".com"
  • Make it logical. People want to know what your site is about before clicking on it.

Boost Your Site's Usability

Pay special attention to your site's usability. This means providing a seamless user experience across all devices your visitors may use, boosting page speed, and tailoring your approach to the end user's needs.

Make it responsive.

The number of mobile users is constantly rising and it has finally surpassed desktop users. Precisely because of that, Google introduced mobile-first indexing, meaning that it now assesses the mobile version of your site when ranking it.

Page layout.

Use the same layout for all your site's pages. Add your navigation menu to all pages, use the F-pattern to display your website content, while your headline should be in a horizontal stripe. Mind your site's visual hierarchy. Remove irrelevant information and make significant elements prominent. Namely, website users spend 80% of their time looking at the information above the fold.

Website navigation.

Make your navigation menu simple and create specific and informative categories. You should also add internal links and CTAs (Calls To Action) to help them move from one page to another. You should also add a search bar to help users find the desired information effortlessly.

Boost your website speed.

Your users expect your site to load in 2 seconds or even fewer. Therefore, even if it's not an official ranking factor, your page load times impact user experience. When ranking you, Google will look at how long people stay on your site, how many pages they visit, and whether they interact with your content.

Invest in your site's safety.

Apart from numerous Google's algorithm updates and the latest SEO and web design trends they need to follow, there is another curveball sent to digital marketers recently - GDPR. Namely, the General Data Protection Regulation came into force this year and it applies to all sites targeting EU citizens. It is created to ensure that online users' personal data is collected ethically and to help them understand that their sensitive data is their personal asset.

Here are a few actionable tips on GDPR compliance:

  • Review your current terms and conditions to see whether they're compliant with GDPR.
  • Switch to HTTPS and invest in pseudonymization to protect your customers' data.
  • Give your customers autonomy. Let them choose whether to accept or reject data capture.
  • Assess your data collection relationships with third-party services.
  • Conduct an information flow audit regularly.

Get the most of your Content Marketing

The purpose of your site is clear- to help you get in front of your target audience and then engaging them and inspiring them to convert. Here are the types of content you should include in different stages of your sales funnel:

  • The awareness stage: your blog posts, informational articles, FAQs, and comprehensive guides may help your users learn more about you.
  • The consideration stage: reputable case studies, product information, product demonstration videos, and user guides will engage people and give you a competitive advantage.
  • The conversion stage: reviews, testimonials, free trials, and consultations will prove your authority and inspire customers to make a purchase.

Optimize Images

Visual content is important to SEO, but only if it's optimized properly. Namely, Google is still not able to use the image content to see what it is about. Instead, it reads its name and description. Here are a few crucial image optimization rules:

  • Image name- it should clearly state what the image is about
  • Alt text- it should be descriptive to help visitors (and search engines) that don't see the content of the image to understand what it's about.
  • Integrate the Open Graph protocol and Twitter Cards so the image can appear on social networks.
  • Minimize the image file size to make it faster to load.

Wrapping it Up

Implementing SEO with web design may be a tedious task, as there are lots of moving parts you need to keep in mind. Still, it will improve your user experience and catapult you to Google's page #1. Keep in mind that optimizing your site for search engines from the very beginning is always simpler than making such changes additionally.

Guest Author

David Webb

David Webb is a Sydney based business consultant and online marketing analyst. With six years of experience and a degree in online business strategy, he is driven to help the people in better understanding of this new digital age. In free time, David enjoys writing, travelling and occasional night out with his friends.