The title of this post could also be SEO Tips for Web Designers. For many B2B firms, SEO and web design are two separate but equally important entities. While SEOs are experts in all things search and web designers are experts in all things website related, they do need to collaborate to create an effective online web presence.
Responsive Web Design (Because Google Says So?)
Ok, so implementing responsive web design (RWD) should not simply be done just because Google says so. It should be implemented because it makes for a fantastic user experience. If users can’t view, navigate, read, or share your website, you should just pack it in right now. Responsive web design allows users on any device (smartphones, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartwatches) to easily view and navigate around your website.
In addition to being great for SEO and for users, RWD is great for your B2B company. Why? Because you won’t have to worry about duplicate content being indexed on your mobile website and you only need to update one website. It may have a larger investment upfront in building the website, but in the long run, responsive web design saves valuable time on engineering, updating, and managing the website.
You don’t have to take this San Diego web design firm’s word for it. See what Google says is great about RWD.
Site Structure (Parallax and SEO)
You may or may not have heard the term “parallax” before. If you have, then you know it’s a popular trend in web design since it makes a website a visual piece with depth and moving elements. The upsides are that it looks great, you control the path of the visitor, and you can carefully tell your story through depth and moving images. The downsides are that it may not accommodate much written content. As Parallax design is engaging and innovative, there are several options for addressing these SEO issues, such as creating internal pages and using proper semantic mark-up.
If SEO is a priority for your B2B web design project, consider website structures that accommodate users and search engines. A best practice for SEO web design is to have one row of top-level navigation. These tabs address the main topics of interest for your clients. As a web design firm in San Diego, we’ve identified these top-level tabs as the main topics of interest for our web design and marketing clients.
The main takeaway for web designers optimizing for search engines (and users) is to keep it simple and straightforward. All sub-pages should relate directly to the main tab they fall under.
Meta Data (It’s Like a Map)
The best way to explain the importance of meta data is the map analogy. Meta data (titles, descriptions, tags, keywords, etc.) gives specific directions to users and to search engines. Meta titles tell search engines and users what the page is about and meta descriptions give a snippet of information about the page. Meta data should be included and completed for each page. Think of the user and the search engine (think keywords) when completing this information. A homepage meta title should not simply say “Home.” Instead, it should give information about the company and the website. As an example, the Bop Design homepage meta title says who we are and what we do: B2B Marketing Firm, San Diego Website Design.
Usability (Form & Function = SEO)
That might be a simplified formula to describe the essentials of a web design’s usability, but it is the foundation of SEO. Here is where sacrifices must be made (I know, it’s painful). Large scale images, fancy script and flash can make a website really “pop,” but that’s only when they are viewed on a desktop with all the right plug-ins. When it comes to the functionality of a web design project, some of these things don’t make sense since it may turn away visitors or not even appear for other visitors.
When considering web design for SEO, load times, legible font, flash and pop-ups are all relevant. Optimized web designs have low website load times, show legible font to any visitor, exclude flash, and do not host any pop-ups. It’s important to consider these things when building the website design to ensure a fluid, cohesive design that will positively contribute to search rankings.
Bounce Rates & Navigation
The average bounce rate for a website hovers around 40.5% (KISSmetrics).
However, for some industries or web pages, bounce rates can average around 60%. Search engines reward sites that have lower bounce rates because a bounce rate is an indication that the user is finding the right or the wrong content.
The web design and navigation of a website can have a significant impact on bounce rates. By simplifying navigation and providing a clear path to specific content, bounce rates can be significantly improved. Again, pageload time also affects bounce rate since visitors don’t have the patience to wait for a page to load. Thinking practically about how a user will navigate through a website and making design choices that minimize page load time can pave the way for great SEO.
Web Design Is for the End User
In my experience working for a web design firm in San Diego, I understand how easily it is to overlook SEO when designing a website. There are so many different factors to consider that SEO can be forgotten. However, one thing I’ve learned is that great web design includes SEO best practices, because at its core, SEO creates a great user experience.
Learn more about web design essentials and best practices.