How to Optimize Your SEO and Conversions Using 7 WebDesign Tips

Your business website is the online front for your brand. It is an important marketing tool that lets you attract prospective customers and convert them into paying customers. Unfortunately, if you are like many business owners, you aren’t sure how to make the most of your website. Below are some helpful web design tips that will optimize your search engine ranking and help you convert more customers.

1) Keep Navigation Search Engine Friendly

Search engines crawl websites to collect data and understand what is in them. If you are running a website using flash or similar applications, search engines may not be able to find all your pages correctly. This can cause major SEO difficulties. Using modern CSS and unobtrusive JavaScript, you can achieve all the style and aesthetics of Flash while still being search engine friendly.

In fact, many modern design tools and frameworks make it easy to create beautiful and search engine friendly designs. If you have an existing Flash website, you may be hesitant to remake it. However, a lot of browsers are dropping Flash support, so it is worth the investment.

2) Use External CSS & JavaScript

If you have CSS and/or JavaScript, keep that data external to your main web pages. Search engines read through your page source code. If your CSS and JavaScript are not externalized, the search engine will need to read through that first. This can interrupt the search engine finding and caching your most important data: the content of your pages.

Consider using a powerful framework like Bulma CSS to help manage your style and formatting code. That way, you can focus your pages on just including your high-value content. As a bonus, this makes designing and developing your website much easier.

3) Work On That Copy

Your website’s content is what sells your visitors on your brand and products or services. In other words, it is really important. Of course, many small business owners don’t know much about writing great copy. Invest some time into making the most of your writing, especially the headlines on your pages. Consider hiring someone to refresh and hone your web content for maximum impact.

4) Make Your Design Human-Friendly

The first tip suggests ensuring that search engines can read your website. Don’t forget to make sure that humans can too. Fortunately, both of these tips can work together. In fact, doing one often helps with the other.

In business, it is often important to stand out. Web design may be one of the few exceptions, at least when it comes to designing navigation. Unless you are really certain of what you are doing, follow the conventions set by other websites. Visitors have a mental model of how they expect to navigate your site. Straying too far from this will only end in frustrated visitors closing your website.

5) Keep URLs Logical

On your website, you can set your page URLs. You may do this manually with a static site or automatically based on a few rules with your content management system. Make sure these URLs are easy to understand. The purpose of URLs is to provide a unique address for content on the web, not to have complex and confusing paths to everything.

Search engines like URLs that use plain English rather than codes and identifiers. People tend to like these URLs more. After all, it is much easier to remember a page called “web-design-tips” than it is to remember “tips-295721.” Make your URLs easy for a human to understand and search engines will also parse them better.

6) Remember the Fold

Old, broadsheet newspapers were generally folded on the shelf and in shipping. So, the people planning the layout had to be mindful of what they put above and below the fold. This same issue exists with websites today. The only difference is the fold is where the screen cuts off without scrolling.

You need the very top of your page to engage your visitors. If they aren’t interested in learning more based on the content above the fold, they aren’t going to keep scrolling. This is why many websites use big, bold images with catchy headlines at the top of their pages. That content is intended to convert someone from opening your site to actually reading and exploring it.

7) Include Alt Tags

HTML provides a lot of tools for search engine optimization. Perhaps more accurately, HTML provides a lot of ways to describe content and search engines are designed to parse these descriptions. Remember to include your alt tags on images. Computer programs, for all their advancements, continue to be less than perfect at interpreting images. So, write a description for the search engine.

This is an essential SEO tip that is skipped by many web designers. It is a great way to take some of your highest-value content, your images, and make sure it is playing a role in your SEO. The same applies to video content. Better yet, alt tags also help your visitors who have difficulty with vision to more easily understand what is on your website.

These tips will help you make your website design more effective. They can empower you to make better landing pages and content to convert more visitors to paying customers. Additionally, these tips will help you with search engine optimization, so you can attract more web users to your brand. Your website plays a huge role in your business’ success. Take the time to do it right.

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