In the past few years, SEO has outgrown its traditional definition. Today, SEO is inter-linked with many fields, including designing and coding. SEO experts have created a whole new service to just target the design aspect of a website. Both designers and SEO experts need to have a basic idea of each other’s services. And in this article, we will discuss the best SEO practices that designers can adopt to keep their SEO specialists happy.
Keep your code clean: Sometimes, designers like to complicate things. Sure the code for an in-built screenshot tool that redirects people to an online image editor sounds insanely cool and impressive, but is it relevant? And more importantly, will it make it easier for consumers to access information? Given the ever-decreasing attention span of modern-day customers, the ability to deliver value is crucial. And anything that stops a business from providing value to its customers is not required. While it is okay for a developer to experiment with new technologies that can be integrated into the website, but never at the cost of usability.
Keep load times fast: Another mistake many designers make is using heavy images and animations in their designs. While there are numerous things you have to do before implementing your design on an actual webpage, one thing that must always remain constant across all websites regardless of developers or marketers involved is speed. Google has already started showing preference towards faster loading websites compared to those taking forever to start up due to high image size and other elements used by designers for creative purposes rather than increasing clarity.
Use correct redirects: The importance of having a proper redirect cannot be overstated. It helps improve the SEO of the website and ensures that all of your content is available to search engine crawlers. Google recommends changing URLs for a better user experience as well as SEO benefits. There are two types of redirects that affect SEO the most: 301 and 302 redirects. Understanding what each redirect does and when best to use them can ensure that all of your content is accessible to crawl bots and customers.
Add a sitemap: Using proper formatting techniques and naming conventions can help you create an effective Sitemap that will be liked by both users and developers alike. While it might take some time initially, it would add value to the business in the long term.
Make sure the site works on mobile devices: It doesn’t end there; designing sites with specific device compatibility is another important aspect that designers need to keep in mind while creating any new digital media platform or solution.
Check the robots.txt file: Robots is a program that crawls through web pages and collects data about them for indexing purposes on search engines. The information collected includes several links, page sizes, etc., but most importantly, it also helps determine if crawlers can access specific pages or not. As such, designers need to ensure that they know where developers have placed robots text files to avoid any issues in the future.
Ensure follow/no-follow Links are used appropriately: Once upon a time, no-follow links were considered spammy; as a result, Google had started ignoring them completely, rendering their purpose useless. However, ever since Google released the Penguin updates to eliminate bad backlinks from websites, developers and designers must identify which links should be turned into no-follow and which need to be followed.
Understand and implement Structured Data: This type of data helps Google understand what a web page is about without actually looking at its content. There are specific guidelines by which one needs to abide by for this process to work perfectly. And while it might sound complicated, having a firm grasp of SEO designing techniques will help with implementing structured data on your website. However, always keep in mind that over-implementing these methods can hurt the overall purpose behind having them implemented in the first place!
It’s not that a developer should never experiment with new technologies that can be integrated into the website, but it should never be at the cost of usability. Another mistake many designers make is using heavy images and animations in their designs. While there are numerous things you have to do before implementing your design on an actual webpage, one thing that must always remain constant across all websites regardless of developers or marketers involved is speed. Google has already started showing preference towards faster loading websites compared to those taking forever to start up due to high image size and other elements used by designers for creative purposes rather than increasing clarity.