The SEO Web Development Guide
May 9, 2023
Our SEO web development guide includes some useful insights on how to optimize your new website for search engines. Below are some major factors to consider when developing your new website design. This will ensure your business has the best chance to rank amongst your competition on Google.
Designing a website for effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) starts with engaging content. The content should incorporate strong keywords and calls to action throughout. Here are just a few important content-related factors that you should consider when building your website.
The title tag directly impacts search engine rankings and user click-through rates. It appears at the top of the web browser and in search engine results, so crafting a compelling and optimized title that describes the webpage with key terms in 50-60 characters is important. Check out our article ‘Writing SEO-focused copy to improve your website’s search result ranking’ for more insights on how to write good key terms.
The meta description is a brief summary of each web page that appears under the title tag in most search engine results. This description should be no longer than 155 characters and contain the key terms you are targeting.
The heading tags on your website will describe to search engines and visitors what every section is about. This works similarly to your word processor. You might recognize this section from systems like Word:
Every page on your website should have a single Heading 1 (h1) tag. Similarly to the title tag, this tells search engines and visitors what your page is about and is valued as one of the most important pieces of content on the page. It’s important that this content is not general. Avoid using titles like “Our Services” and instead have it say something like “Our Web Development Services.”
Each section should then have another heading, starting with the Heading 2 (h2) tag followed by headings up to the Heading 6 (h6) tag. This should be done in consecutive order for search engines and visitors to understand the content better.
Including alternative text for all images on your website is essential for improving accessibility and providing search engines with contextual information about your image. By default, many content management systems (CMS) like WordPress include the option to add alternative text to images.
Microdata helps search engines understand the specific types of data being displayed on your website. Search engines like Google use it to display rich text snippets, business profiles, product prices, product availability, and reviews. Your web developer should make sure your site includes the appropriate microdata where possible.
Website loading speed is a crucial factor in search engine optimization, as Google places great emphasis on providing a fast and seamless user experience. Google has created a page speed tool (https://pagespeed.web.dev/) that can help you identify areas for improvement.
To speed up your website’s load time, we recommend:
- Compress all images to reduce their file size without sacrificing quality
- Implement lazy loading for images so that they load on demand
Your web developer should ensure that your website is responsive and adapts to all screen sizes. Your website must be user-friendly across all devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones to be ranked amongst your competition in the search results.
While accessibility may not be a technical requirement for search engine optimization, many of the best practices that search engines favour align with the guidelines outlined in the AODA/WCAG accessibility standards. As such, prioritizing accessible design principles in your website design will not only ensure that it’s inclusive and user-friendly for everyone, but will also boost your search engine rankings by increasing engagement.
Search engines monitor your user engagement and use that to help rank your website. Websites that have high engagement rates will rank higher than websites that have less engagement.
Some of the ways search engines track engagement is by determining your bounce rate (how many visitors stay or leave your website within seconds of accessing it), how many pages visitors access in one session and the length of time they remain on each page.
Focusing on your website’s structure, content and design will ensure your visitors are engaged.
If your new website is replacing an existing website, it is important to redirect your old pages to the new ones. This tells the search engines that they should be moving your ranking to the new page and that the old page no longer exists.
There are lots of other factors that can affect your search engine ranking that include backlinks, blog posts, and social media.
If you are looking for a professionally built website that will help you build your search or improve your existing website, we can help. Call us at 416-347-9883 or request a quote to see what Simplistics Web Design Inc. can do for you.