There’s no getting around it – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not just for marketers any more. It’s a vital component of any website, and when it’s done well, means better quality traffic, increased conversion rates and happier visitors.
Any designer dealing with online content has the power to make or break a website when it comes to SEO. Here are a few simple rules that will improve the SEO on your sites.
Rule number 1: Put content before flashy design.
Good design champions content rather than detracting from it, and ultimately, a site’s content is what users are searching for.
To help users find what they’re looking for, create a site that’s easy to navigate. A good place to start is with the content structure or Information
Architecture (IA). Break up your site into no more than seven sections, and use the section landing pages to summarise and link to more specific content in deeper pages.
On the pages themselves, lead with a relevant H1 tag and use the first paragraph of text to summarise the rest of the page.
Rule number 2: Make the most of your keywords.
Keywords are essential for good SEO and the more relevant they are, the better they’ll perform. Stuffing your site with frequently searched for terms may or may not bump it up a notch in Google’s search results, but it will definitely increase your bounce rates when your audience fail to find what they’re looking for.
Find out what your audience is interested in, and choose your content and keywords accordingly. Take a look at relevant forums and your competitors’ sites to identify words that keep coming up, and use them (and their synonyms) in your title tag, page URL, headings and main content.