7 Key SEO Principles Every Web Designer Should Know

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Web Development

Total SEO-related spending will reach $80 billion by next year.

Compare that 2010, when a mere $22 billion was spent on it, and you can see how SEO has become such a priority for US companies over the last decade.

Such hefty sums of money demonstrate the importance organizations now place on their SEO efforts. There’s no way their budgets would allow such spending if the ROI wasn’t worth it.

Web design is one department where SEO is essential to success.

Having a fully SEO optimized website helps in all aspects of content marketing. It impacts the entire marketing funnel, from lead capture to conversion.

New web designers must guarantee solid SEO if they’re to satisfy client demands. But how do they do it? What are the most important considerations to take into account?

Keep reading to learn 7 key SEO principles every web designer must know.

7 Essential SEO Principles to Know as a Web Designer

SEO is a crucial skill to master as a web designer. A website will never be able to reach its full potential without effective SEO. Check out these 7 key principles to help you nail the SEO in your websites.

1. Get the Basics Right

You need to build your site on solid SEO foundations.

Get the basics right and the rest will follow far more smoothly. What do we mean by the basics? Well, there are a few considerations here. Domains, CMS and hosting are three important ones to master from the off.

Make sure the domain makes sense for your business, location and primary purpose. A content US-based marketing business called Content Kings should have a related .com domain (like www.contentkings.com). Redirects should all go to their main page. It’s tempting to put keywords in your domain name. Don’t do it.

Use a content management system (CMS) that works. WordPress and Squarespace are two good examples. These are generally set up to be optimized for Google anyway. Get hosting that’s fit for purpose, fast, and in your country.

2. Enable Indexing with Text

Search engines rely on text to index and rank your site.

Make your key content on your site text-based. HTML text is the best way for your site to get indexed. Images, videos, Flash and so on can all be dismissed by search engines. Having HTML text on the page will ensure that your content is visible and gets ranked.

Remember, no indexing means the site will never be found. And what’s the point in having a website if no-one’s able to visit it?  

3. Simplify the Site Structure

Your site structure is important for two reasons.

First, a simple, common-sense route from point A to point B will help enhance the user experience. Second, search engines will be able to crawl your site more easily too.

Web traffic and search engines are generally two primary concerns for any site owner. You want both to be happy in order to sustain the success of the site.

Simplifying a site-structure is a great way to do it. A good heuristic is to keep content within 4 clicks from the homepage at all times. Any more and it gets frustrating and/or confusing.

4. Nail the Link Structure

The link structure of a website is essential for search engine success.

You have to ensure your content is interconnected via an internal linking system. In essence, make sure the pages of your website are all interconnected via links. No links, no crawl. The bots are unable to connect one page to another without a link between them. They won’t be found.

The links are the bridges between pages. No link and the search engine can’t get from A to B.

5. Ensure Mobile Optimization

Mobile is now most people’s first choice gateway to the internet.

That’s why marketers and developers should prioritize mobile content above all others.

Moreover, Google’s mobile-first initiative means it’s more important than ever to operate on mobile. Face punishment in search if you fail here.

However, in reality, your site should be optimized across all devices. It should work just as well on desktops, tablets, and mobiles.

6. Keep Things Fast

A fast-running site is central to SEO.

It’s an essential component of lead-capture. 53% of mobile visitors click away from a website after a wait of just 3 seconds. Long waits lose leads. With them goes your chance to convert. The quicker the site, the better.

Develop a website with speed in mind. Complex code, 301 redirects, site structure, and so on, all contribute to slower load times.

7. Nail Keyword Usage On-Site

Keywords are the building blocks of SEO.

This is how search engines understand your content and rank them according to user queries. In sum, the use of keywords determines who finds the site.

Your relevant keywords need to be placed in all the right places for search engines to discover them. Don’t overstuff though. That’s an old-school black hat SEO strategy that’ll get the site in trouble. Place keywords in title tags, near the top of the page, in the copy, URL, in meta-descriptions, and image alt text.

Time to Get Optimizing

There you have it: 7 key SEO principles to master for your websites.

Companies are spending billions of dollars on their SEO efforts these days. That’s because it’s so important. Optimizing your sites for SEO is essential if they’re to be a success in search.

Hopefully, all you brand new developers now have a much better idea of core SEO competencies.

It all starts with mastering the basics of the domain names, hosting and CMS services. Build from there. Focus on text-based content to guarantee your indexing in search results. Simplify the site structure and prioritize the link structure.

It’s also essential that websites function on mobile, load at the speed of light, and incorporate keywords in the right places.

Nail all of the above and your site will be set for SEO success. Otherwise, you can learn more about it by clicking that link.

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