Any business trying to build website traffic will understand the important of an SEO-friendly design. However, many companies don’t have the knowledge or industry experience to ensure all elements of their site are optimised for search engine optimisation, and many web designers are also unaware of small SEO design mistakes.

Designing a website is a difficult enough task as it is, trying to find a winning combination of usability, brand messaging and marketing tactics. Throw SEO into the mix and it can be very daunting – which is why it’s best to leave it to the experts. It’s not all about how your site looks to the visitor’s eye, but also how it looks to a search engine.

Here are some top tips for designing a website which ranks well.

1. Make the content indexable

If you have a lot of text which is contained in a fancy design, search engines may not be able to crawl it. The best way to get phrases and your most important content recognised by Google is to ensure it is in a HTML text format. Flash files and Java plug-ins may look great onsite, but they may be hurting SEO efforts. Supplement fancy designs with text on the page, and use alt text for images.

2. Simple and relevant URLs

URL construction is really important for your search ranking. From an SEO perspective, they are of the same value as your title tags and on-page optimisation so you should get them right from the start. A good URL structure should be of minimal length and needs to be an accurate representation of the content on the page. Use hyphens between words and include keywords where possible.

3. Internal linking

Search engines like internal links because essentially they are improving navigation and therefore improving the user experience. You can also use keyword anchor text for an internal link, which offers further SEO advantages.

4. Mobile-friendly design

The mobile-friendliness of your website is a ranking factor, so a responsive web design with a good mobile layout is essential. Many businesses are now noticing they have more mobile visits than desktop visits, so websites without a mobile-friendly design will lose out on traffic.

If you need help creating an attractive, SEO-friendly website, get in touch with the IT and web experts at Pink Chalk.