There are two things that you cannot separate when you are doing online business. These are web design and search engine optimization (SEO). The design of a website can affect its performance on the search engines severely. Every online entrepreneurs dream is to be on the first page of a search engine’s result lineup. It does not matter whether it is Bing or Google, having your website on the first page and especially among the first five results is very good for your site. This is evidence (not only to you but to all internet users) that your website is very reliable and is an authoritative source of information concerning the keywords searched.
Google’s SEO principles
Google is undeniably the biggest search engine on the planet. It is also the most widely used to the point that it is now a common verb in people’s everyday speech. The thing about Google is that they are so keen on quality. They do not compromise on the quality of services that they provide to their clients. In simpler terms, they want to make your life easy when you are using their services. They want their search engine users to have an easy time using the internet. Therefore, they have set up several rules that all websites must abide by if they want to be at the top.
If a website is taking three minutes to load completely using a standard internet connection, then you can be sure that it will not be performing so well on Google. According to Google’s SEO principles, a website should take the shortest time possible to load.
The speed at which a site loads is dependent on the website design. There are several features of a design that could affect a website’s loading speed. For instance, some widgets and plugins could be slowing down your website. Generally you should always add only features that are going to make your website function even better. You can use Google Page Speed to check the speed of your site.
The site’s design should be mobile responsive. There are some designs that are not accessible through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Since people access internet mainly through these mobile devices, responsiveness is very important. If a site is not mobile responsive it will not receive enough traffic and by extension its performance on the search engines will also be poor.
This does not only mean access to the page by the end-user but also by the search engines. There are features of the web design that can prevent the search engines from accessing the website. If the search engine is not able to access the site then it cannot be indexed. With your website design you should make sure that there no features blocking the search engine from accessing your site.
Any SEO expert will advise you to go for the 301 redirects instead of the 302. This is all your site needs to redirect somewhere else. The 301-redirects tend to pass PageRank better than the 302. This is good for search engines.
Descriptive page name
While you are in the business of creating the website please do not make a mistake of forgetting the name. Web designers usually leave this to the owner of the site. It is important to note that the kind of name you give your site could either build it or break it. A descriptive page name does so much better on the search engines than a random selection of words to use on the site. The name should be relevant to the product’s name or the brand.
Domain name extension
You have seen the websites that go something like .com.uk or .co.ke or even .com.au, these are specific to UK, Kenya and Australia respectively. If you want your domain to be specific to a particular location, you can go for the extension. The more specific you are in your business, the easier it is for the search engines to index your site.
This is not part of the website design as such. Nevertheless, the content should be relevant to the keywords that are searched. You cannot decide for people what to search but you can draw them to you. Create high quality content using the right keywords that are relevant to your business. Keyword research is important. If you do not have relevant keyword phrases in your content, then the performance will definitely not be as good.
There are so many things that Google and other search engines expect web designers to do when they are developing the site. If you want your website to perform extremely well then it must be accessible through the search engines. In order for this to happen, the site must comply with the principles of the search engines which include mobile responsiveness, site speed and page access.