Search engine optimization & web site design: Every little thing it’s good to know

SEO & website design: Everything you need to know

SEO & website design: Everything you need to know

Your web site is the middle of your digital marketing world — the place that each one digital rivers run towards. And naturally, the most important of its visitors sources is usually natural search.

But all too typically, companies don’t take into consideration Search engine optimization till after having an internet site designed (or redesigned), and these websites are sometimes sadly missing on the Search engine optimization and digital marketing entrance. They might look shiny, but when the marketing smarts usually are not cooked in at design time, then you'll be operating the marketing race with a picket leg. Or on the very least, confronted with going again to the drafting board and losing an entire load of money and time.

We have now been enthusiastic about the SEO and net design connection so much not too long ago at Horizon Software Solution and have simply printed a website design planning guide to assist in what generally is a difficult course of. It is a companion piece to that information that actually covers the Search engine optimization concerns in way more granular element.

On this publish, I take a look at how Search engine optimization needs to be an integral a part of your web site design (or redesign) course of. We're going to take a look at what it's good to think about to have a web site that's constructed for search advertising and marketing and lead technology — and the way specializing in comfortable customers retains the Google gods in your facet.

We may even check out a few of the frequent pitfalls that may befall companies seeking to construct a brand new website that's central to your digital advertising and marketing efforts.

In short, I'm going that will help you guarantee your subsequent web site is a lean, imply Search engine optimization and digital advertising and marketing machine.

What often occurs…

SEO shouldn't be some band-aid you may simply plaster onto an present web site. Website Search engine optimization is prime to succeeding on-line for almost all of companies. And the identical ideas that gasoline strong Search engine optimization assist with paid search, social and every other inbound advertising and marketing efforts. Get this mistaken and you'll definitely fail to hit your digital advertising and marketing targets.

Growing an Search engine optimization-friendly web site

At a basic degree, an Search engine optimization-friendly web site is one that permits a search engine to discover and skim pages throughout the positioning. Making certain a search engine can simply crawl and perceive your content material is step one to making sure your visibility within the search engine consequence pages.

A search engine makes use of an online crawler for this activity, and we try to work with the major search engines slightly than in opposition to them. Sadly, there are numerous methods to make an internet site, and never all applied sciences are constructed with search engine marketing in thoughts.

Building an Search engine optimization-friendly web site requires cautious planning and a structured method to representing your online business and the providers you present. For a lot of companies, this may be difficult — it’s not at all times straightforward to doc precisely what you do.

As a advertising and marketing software, your web site needs to be constructed upon a solid digital marketing plan with a transparent enterprise mannequin and worth proposition. If that’s unclear, then it's good to revisit that first.

Assuming you may have all that great things in place, let’s dive in.


There are just a few core parts that set the stage for a well-optimized website design course of.


Your enterprise might use as the first area. However you'll have others. Making certain your area is sensible and pertains to what you do is super-important. Making certain that each one variations and subdomains accurately level on the important web site and redirect to a single canonical model of the positioning is necessary.

Don’t be fooled into considering that helps. It simply appears to be like daft. It might assist somewhat for native companies, however guarantee you might be mapping to the true world. Be smart.

Internet hosting

Your internet hosting can also be necessary. A gradual web site makes for sad customers. Your internet hosting ought to comply with common sense guidelines. Be located the place your viewers is located. Be quick. Be platform-specific, if essential. WP Engine is a good instance, because it gives a platform tailor-made to WordPress web sites.


The CMS (content material administration system) you select for your online business can massively affect how profitable you might be. WordPress is a good possibility in lots of conditions, however it’s not the one one. It definitely is wired up at a fundamental degree in a means that Google can perceive. This isn't to say it's the only option for all conditions, however definitely, it’s an excellent place to begin for many companies. Simply ensure that the CMS you select is the correct one in your scenario, slightly than the one your chosen net firm prefers to work with.

Crawling & accessibility

Step one is guaranteeing a search engine can crawl your web site and perceive what it's that you simply do (and the place you do it).


To grasp your web site, they've to have the ability to learn the content material of the web page. Which means the primary content material of your web site needs to be text-based behind the scenes. Not photographs. Not flash or video. Even on this ever-advancing world, your important content material ought to nonetheless be text-based. There are some nice instruments, like net fonts, that imply you may nonetheless look the half, and your photographs have a spot, however make sure you discuss in clear language about what it's you accomplish that the search engine can learn and perceive your providing.

Photos, movies, PDFs and content material are additionally necessary and generally is a supply of search engine visitors. Once more, these have to be discoverable and indexable.

Hyperlink construction

To index your content material past the home webpage, you want inside hyperlinks that the search engine can crawl. Your major navigation, search engine directives and instruments like XML sitemaps all assist the search engine crawl your web site and uncover new pages. Instruments like Screaming Frog can assist you make sure that your web site might be simply crawled by a search engine.

Info structure and structuring your web site

I've at all times just like the submitting cupboard analogy for web site construction. Your web site is the submitting cupboard. The most important classes are the drawers. The subcategories are the folders within the drawers. The pages are paperwork within the folders.

  • Cupboard: your web site
  • Drawer: high-level class
  • Folder: subcategory
  • File: particular person doc/web page

Context is indicated not solely by the positioning it exists on but additionally by the place inside that web site. Our personal web site has a drawer for providers, and every service has sub-services in folders. Your web site can be largely the identical.


Context is additional indicated by the URL. A wise naming conference helps present but extra context for people and serps.

Following are two hypothetical units of URLs that would map to the Companies > Search engine optimization > Search engine optimization Audit path laid out above — but one is sensible, and the opposite does nothing to assist. optimization/ optimization/audits/

In fact, the second set of URLs is a purposely daft instance, however it serves some extent — the primary URL naming conference helps each serps and customers, and the second hinders.


Your navigation is equally necessary. When a web site is well-structured, the navigation works with the construction, the URLs and different parts, like XML sitemaps, to assist solidify what every web page or piece of content material is about.

Navigation is extra than simply the menu on the prime of your web site. It is the way you signpost customers to probably the most related a part of your web site. Navigation generally is a software to boost consciousness of extra providers and contains not simply textual content hyperlinks however content material on all pages and within the templated design parts of your web site.

I've at all times preferred the signpost analogy. I stroll right into a grocery store and search for the indicators to search out what I want. Your web site isn't any completely different. If a consumer is referred and searches in your model title, then they'll land on your property web page. They then want a signpost to get them to the related service. And it had higher be straightforward to search out!

It is rather straightforward to get this mistaken, and cautious thought should be utilized — earlier than you construct the positioning — relating to the wants and needs of your customers. A web site is a digital part that ought to execute the technique out of your advertising and marketing plan. Understanding customers right here is essential so you may guarantee you might be assembly their wants.

Navigation shouldn't want any actual cognition — it shouldn't make the consumer should suppose. The next picture is an indication from my native dwelling enchancment retailer. Which course takes you to the automobile park and which course takes you to the deliveries entrance?

Frequent issues

There are a lot of potential points with content material that cannot be discovered or can’t be understood by the search engine that may work in opposition to you. For instance:

  • Orphaned content material that cannot be discovered
  • Content material solely out there through web site search
  • Flash file, Java packages, audio file, video file
  • AJAX* and flashy web site results
  • Frames — Content material embedded from one other web site might be problematic.
  • Subdomains — content material break up into subdomains slightly than sub-folders

* Google has gotten a lot better at reading AJAX pages, however it's nonetheless attainable to obscure content material with pointless results.

Make sure that necessary content material is definitely discoverable, comprehensible and sits within the total construction of the positioning in a means that is sensible.