Looks matter when it comes to building a successful website. As superficial as it may seem, the truth is that no matter how good your content or products and services are, it won’t matter if your site is unappealing and lack website visibility. If they’re not enthralled and engaged within a few seconds of entering, they’ll leave. How can SEO help website visibility?
How Can Proper SEO Reinforce Website Visual Appearance?
With so many other sources to choose from, customers will have no hesitation when judging your business by its appearance. When it comes to attracting potential customers and keeping them interested, the key is to balance both artistry and functionally, starting with having good (Search Engine Optimization) SEO techniques.
With best practices like those outlined below in your back pocket, you’ll be able to make a visually stunning and incredibly engaging site that will naturally draw in visitors.
Make Your Website Navigable
When you design a website, you should seek to appeal to two ‘audiences;’ your customers and search engines in order to get your website noticed. While it’s essential to cater to your users, having an engaging site will all be in vain if your customers can’t find it.
Therefore, ensuring that your website is SEO-friendly to show up in search results is just as important as making it user-friendly. Luckily, many of the aspects search engines like to see on websites will also benefit your users.
For example, having a short and to-the-point URL will be simpler for users to remember and better for SEO purposes. Likewise, strategically placed navigation (ideally in the top margin and left side) will be easier for users and search engines to find.
Make Your Website Responsive
Today’s users use various devices, from multiple types of tablets to mobile phones and desktop computers. Yet, no matter where they are and what devices they’re using, they expect to be able to navigate your site without feeling like they’re missing out on features or having a second-rate experience.
It doesn’t matter how fun and exciting your site may be in one form if it ends up messy and dysfunctional in another. Relying on users only accessing your site with one device will only lead to a high bounce rate and missing out on a large pool of potential customers.
Fortunately, just a few minor website visibility changes can help a design be more responsive and adaptable. A web design agency can help you with such changes, from minimizing animations to focusing on using legible and readable text.
Optimize Image Loading Time
When it comes to search engine marketing strategies, having quick-loading pages is also a good idea; the longer your site takes to load, the more opportunities you give both search engines and potential customers to click away and find somewhere else to spend their time and money, so having a good host server is a worthy investment.
When it comes to site loading speed, images are often the culprit. Use smaller pictures on your pages for better quality and faster speeds. Ideally, you want photos between 30-100 kb and 72 dpi resolution, which is suitable for all devices.
Use Image Alt Attributes
Ever clicked on an image you wanted to get a closer look at and been met with an everlasting loading circle? This is something you never want your users to experience.
Often, this issue occurs because a user has something else running, like a screen reader, or because they have slow internet. These are factors that are entirely out of your hands. All you can do is ensure you’ve done your due diligence by testing all your image URLs.
You’ll also want to set an alt attribute in case your user runs into an image issue. This directs the user or search engine to select keywords in the page’s text when an image is unable to load. Although this isn’t ideal, it’s a better solution than having nothing at all and will help search engines find your site.
Remove Cluttered Code
It can be tempting to build a website to get experimental and make it as fun and engaging as possible. Although keeping your customers’ attention is essential, making the site easy to use should be the top website visibility priority, usurping aesthetics.
Glitchy code and features will quickly send customers packing, inevitably leading to high bounce rates and frustrated users, and could even result in loss of revenue. It’s okay to be simple and plain for functionality if standing out means risking a terrible user experience.
Make Your Content Crawlable
Search engines find online content by sending out crawlers, which analyze content to see whether it meets particular standards and what audience it would be best for. These little bots decide whether your pages will rank or not, so it’s essential to cater to their preferences.
Every time you post new content on your website or blog, you alert these crawlers that you have something new for them to look over. It also lets them know that your site is still relevant and active. Therefore, posting more frequent updates will give you more chances of ranking.
You’ll also want to make sure your pages are accessible for crawlers to read by giving them easy access to the links you want them to see and having well-structured content with paragraphs and neat heading structures. Sitemaps are also a great idea to help crawlers navigate your web pages.
Hide Secret Pages from Search Engines
When you create a site, you’ll have a lot of pages you want users to see… but also some you don’t. Unfortunately, search engines don’t understand this distinction, which means these pages can end up showing up in search results for users to see. The last thing you want is someone’s first experience with your website to be some backend page meant for your eyes only.
You can block inappropriate pages using a robots.txt file to prevent the search engines from indexing them. You can also password protect certain pages, such as those used for testing purposes, to keep them away from unwanted eyes. This is part of the process where a professional can come in handy, as they often have tips and tricks for ensuring a good user experience.
Optimize Meta Descriptions and Titles
You’ll want to ensure that your SEO keywords appear in your meta tags, titles, and descriptions to rank well. These serve as little flags to search engines that your site is reputable and comprehensive. Long-tail keywords are beneficial, as they are more specific, narrowing down the intended audience, and usually less competitive.
However, if you want to rank your website higher, be cautious of copying what works well for others. Search engines are eagle-eyed for copycats and duplicates and don’t appreciate unoriginal content. So, make sure your titles and descriptions are unique and relevant to fit what they’re looking for.
SEO Helps Website Visibility
Although SEO basics and good web design have been outlined to improve your website visibility, this is truly only the tip of the iceberg. Hiring a capable and professional web designer can be an excellent investment to optimize SEO for your website. For example. if you’re looking to boost your law firm’s online presence, On The Map’s SEO guide dives deeper on SEO best practices for lawyers.
The right designer will know exactly how to ensure that your pages are appealing, engaging, and functional, optimizing them for your customers and search engines, which can be a huge benefit and give you a leg up on your competition. They will be your guide to SEO and supply the tools necessary to bring your website to the next level, breathing new life into a plain design or starting from scratch and developing something amazing.