Designing for SEO: How to Get Started

With the majority of today’s internet traffic coming from search engines, SEO is still considered the number one internet marketing instrument to use. For a website to appear in search results and attract the maximum amount of traffic, every element of the site needs to be optimized for SEO.

Many site owners and designers focus on their articles and keyword placement when optimizing a site for SEO. What many don’t realize is that design elements have the potential to boost SEO performance when implemented correctly. So, how do we design for SEO? Here are some getting-started tips you can follow right away.

HTML and CSS Elements

There is a reason why websites that look great tend to have low SEO performance: the design elements are not always geared for SEO purposes. Sure, you can use vector images and other design elements – including animations, photos, and videos– to create a site that truly shines, but there is no point in doing so if the site will lose SEO traffic.

We’re seeing a lot of interesting advancements from the HTML and CSS languages. It is now possible to create animated elements using nothing but HTML5 and CSS3. You can also substitute a lot of the design elements using HTML and CSS.

This approach can be applied to more than just blank spaces and solid elements. CSS now supports shadows, gradients, and even transparent elements. It is not difficult to replace design elements with the combination of CSS and HTML codes, along with things such as Canvas elements and web fonts. The combination will be even friendlier for SEO purposes, simply because crawlers can read through them effectively.

Images and Videos

Another common problem still found in many top websites is the lack of optimization on images and videos. It is a particularly sad issue to come across, especially since these elements are very easy to optimize.

It is important to remember that search engine crawlers can’t really understand the content of images and videos. They need descriptions and tags to help them index these elements properly. All you need to do is add the right tag to the elements you embed and the images and videos on your page will be SEO-friendly.

The same approach can be applied to other embedded elements, too. When you use Twitter or Instagram embed, for instance, it is actually easy to optimize them for better SEO performance.

Focus on User Experience

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to optimize user experience on both desktop and mobile devices. According to experts from Power Digital an SEO agency, search engines now prioritize user experience more than ever. The time required to load a page, along with metrics such as time on site and bounce rate, are used to measure how satisfied users are with the page.

Review these tips we just covered in this article and you will quickly realize how much good, SEO-friendly design can help boost a site’s SEO performance. It is indeed more than just about articles and content; the design you make to deliver those content matters just as much.

Featured image by Igor Miske