Having a beautifully designed website in this day and age is mandatory, for a number of reasons. Not only is a website the face of a particular business, but it’s also one of the ways in which potential customers interact with the brand in question. Even the numbers support that theory, because as much as 95% of users have rated positive user experience as the most important factor when visiting a website. However, having a well-designed website is not nearly enough, because if nobody knows about it, nobody is going to visit it and it will not fulfil its purpose.

This is where SEO comes in. According to research, Google is responsible for over 70% of global search traffic. And since Google monitors around 200 major and over 10,000 minor signals when determining the ranking for a website, it is absolutely clear that you need to play by Google’s rules and pay attention to SEO, even if you are a web designer. Design and SEO go hand in hand nowadays, which is why we have put together a short list of six essential SEO tips for web design professionals. Keep on reading to find out more.

SEO tips

1. Keep the Design Simple

There is almost an endless number of SEO tips which are also relevant to web design, and because they are so eager to do everything by the book, a lot of web designers make their creations too complicated and clunky, when they should be keeping everything as clean and as simple as possible. According to Matthew Howard, who works as a web designer for EssayShark, by limiting the amount of elements on your website, you create less distractions and provide a simple and effective user experience. Such design also allows users to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

So how does it work in practice? Well, given that minimalism is all the rage these days, try and use plenty of white space. This will give your pages and content some much needed breathing room and it will also allow the users to better scan your content and find the information they need sooner, without giving up in the process and going somewhere else. Also, don’t go too crazy with colours, borders, shadows, and other visual elements unless absolutely necessary. Break up long chunks of text with subheadings, empty space, as well as images. A great example which implements all of the above is Sprout Social, whose website is clean and uncluttered, yet populated with all the essential information and navigation options.

2. Improve Your Keyword Research Skills

One of the most important SEO tips you will come across is improving your keyword research process. Keywords, along with great content and high-quality backlinks, are among the three most important SEO signals. Although using keywords is no longer as simple as inserting them as many times as possible inside your content, it is still very doable. As a designer, you should primary be concerned about on-site SEO, which includes elements such as title tags, meta description, as well as alt text, among others.

For instance, your tags should always contain your main keywords and phrases which you have previously researched. Meta description, on the other, besides containing your target keywords, should also be attractive enough to spark the readers’ interest and help Google with the ranking. As for the content itself, it’s always best to focus on one or two main keywords and also include other phrases and words which are similar in meaning. For instance, if you are focusing on the phrase “SEO tips”, you should also include a semantic keyword like “SEO advice”. This is as far as you should take it, because if you decide to fit your target keyword absolutely everywhere, you risk getting your website penalized by Google for over-optimization. In case you are worried about not getting this right, you can always to turn to professional services, such as AssignmentGeek, which can help you optimize your content properly.

3. Use Proper Formatting and Images

Choosing the right font may not seem like one of the most important SEO tips out there, but it is the exact opposite. The right font can help your website demonstrate a professional look, especially if your business can be characterized as serious. If your brand is more oriented toward fun and entertainment, you have a bit more room for you to experiment. Once you have chosen your fonts, you should make sure that they are utilized properly. When using them for titles, headings, and/or subheadings, you need to make them stand out by opting for a larger font size.

Using large, high-resolution images may reduce your site’s loading time, but if go extra mile to compress them, even that becomes a non-issue. On the other hand, there are plenty of other benefits of using high-quality images. Not only do they make your website look more attractive and visually appealing, but they can also lead to better conversion rate. If you can afford it, hire a photographer to take photos of the actual company you are making a website for instead of using stock imagery. This will give the website an added dose of professionalism. For instance, take a look at how Shopify is using different font sizes in order to highlight the most important information, and therefore direct you in which order you will read the information on that particular landing page.

4. Adopt Mobile-First Mentality

Mobile searches have becoming dominant in the past four years, and Google has responded accordingly by adopting mobile-first indexing, which means that no matter how great the desktop version of your website is, it will be ranked very low if the mobile version of it is poor. This is why you should always make your designs responsive, and if you have an older website, redesign its pages to fit a mobile-friendly template. If a website doesn’t look good on mobile, not only will it suffer in terms of ranking, but its existing customers will start to abandon it, because they will seek a more pleasant UX somewhere else.

As for desktop, you should make sure that a website is viewable on all major browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Opera, just to name a few. Also, if a website is taking too long to load, or if the navigation is too slow, people will abandon the website, even with their shopping cart full. As we have mentioned before, compressing high-resolution images can help a great deal in this case.

5. Use a Single Call to Action

When you utilize a call to action, the goal is to send a clear message to the potential customer about what should be their next move, whether it’s a subscription or a purchase. By introducing two or more CTAs, you only end up confusing the visitor and they end up not taking any of the actions you had wanted them to take.

Among the worst examples of all time is LINGsCARs, which is crammed full of calls to action, and conflicting colours and design. We don’t know which SEO tips they have been reading, but they have thrown in everything but the kitchen sink, and it looks awful. Sure, their profits have been rising, but that’s because they are a novelty, and because of their team which is incredibly responsive. You will have a much better chance of creating new leads and conversions by sticking to just one CTA.

6. Social Media Sharing Is a Must

It’s not exactly a secret that websites and social media go together. Social networks can be a great source of traffic for a website or blog, but it can work the other way as well. If your website is being shared on social media, it sends a signal to Google that it’s a place of authority, which can help with your ranking. Since we have established all of that, it goes without saying that you should include social media sharing buttons into each of your designs.

Summary

Although web design is meant to be creative, you still have to learn some technical skills in order to be able to do your job. SEO definitely belongs on the list of those skills. Making a beautiful website is meaningless if nobody can see it, and vice versa, which is why you should start relying on these SEO tips today.

Author Bio: Alexandra Reay

Alexandra Reay is a journalist, professional writer, and editor. She is in love with books, horseback-riding, the search of information, and conferences. Find Alex on Google or Twitter.