Why SEO Matters to Good Web Design
A good website is a joy to use. It’s attractive, uncluttered, and functional, with everything in its right place. But design goes far beyond attractive visuals and a clean UI. After all, what if you built a website and nobody came? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key part of custom web design and programming from EP Host, ensuring your business gets found — and even helping many other elements of your site work better.
What is SEO?
In brief, SEO is the sum of techniques used to drive traffic to your website by ensuring better rankings in search engines like Google and Bing. Broadly speaking, it consists of on-page SEO (content, keywords, proper tagging, good architecture, and technical SEO among them) and off-page SEO (quality backlinks, brand mentions, your marketing efforts, domain authority, and more). Done right, your new website design or redesign should account for both on and off-page SEO.
Effective Web Design: SEO to Know
With time, effort, and a little patience, there are some SEO fundamentals that won’t just goose your search engine placement; they’ll make your site more effective. While Google is habitually opaque about how their algorithm works, they drop hints from time to time, and they’ve hinted strongly that better UX (user experience) goes a long way toward helping your standings in the search engine rankings. So how do we do that?
A website that’s mobile responsive isn’t just SEO-friendly; it’s good business practice. Since 2017, more than half of online traffic came via mobile devices, so a site that’s device agnostic and works properly across a number of tablets and smartphones the same as it would on, say, a laptop is highly important.
If you’ve ever clicked a link, landed on an image-heavy and slow loading page, and clicked immediately out, you’re not the only one. Websites, like the businesses they’re connected to, change and grow over time, with new content, features, and functions added as they’re needed. The problem is, that leads to a lot of stray code that slows your site. Keeping your code uncluttered makes for faster load times, better search results, and happier customers.
Bloated code isn’t the only thing that slows a site down. Even a site with streamlined code can be hurt by large images that are bandwidth-heavy. They hurt load times and bounce rates, as well as incurring an SEO penalty. We optimize image sizes, and we encourage proper image tagging for even better SEO results
If you look at our web address (https://www.ephost.com/), you’ll notice an “s” right before the colon. That means our site has an SSL certificate. If yours doesn’t already (or if you’re planning ahead), it should. Not only do the search engines look favorably upon secure sites, they put customers’ minds at ease in a time of data insecurity as well.
For all the behind-the-scenes aspects of SEO we’ve mentioned (as well as others like alt tags, site maps, SEO-friendly navigation, proper use of caching, and more), there’s a reason that “content is king.” If you’re working with a good custom web designer, most of the things above won’t draw attention to themselves and you don’t want them to. Your content — your helpful blog, your gorgeous photography, your witty product descriptions — should be getting all the attention. We’ll have more to say about quality content in the near future, but for now, understand that you shouldn’t skimp on content. It matters to your customers, and because of that it matters to the search algorithm.
Going Beyond SEO
Of course, getting found is only half the battle. CRO — Conversion Rate Optimization — is just as important as SEO. The two complement each other, and both should be key parts of your web design. You’ll notice that the points we’ve raised above haven’t focused strictly on SEO. There’s a reason for that: the search engines are important, but at the end of the day, they’re not what your site is for. You serve people, not machines, and at its best SEO (like the rest of your website) puts people first. Consult with EP Host for a San Diego web design company that knows the tech but doesn’t ignore the human element.