Using SEO & Web Design to Build Your Relationship with Google

Driving traffic to your website is priority number one for website owners, but unlocking the secret to achieving that can be the biggest challenge of all. Developing and designing a site are important to achieving this goal, but you also need to focus on perfecting your site’s SEO. Many companies will look at these two entities as separate needs, but a really great web development agency knows that it’s best to use them both together to build a solid foundation with Google.

Here are some ways that you can improve your website ranking and keep Google on your side.

Put Mobile First

Everyone and their grandmother has a mobile device nowadays and in 2017, a Quartz report from Zenith stated that 70 per cent of all web traffic came from handheld devices. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that Google announced at the end of that year it was going to start indexing mobile sites first. This means if you want to optimize for Google, you’ll want to be sure to spend some extra time making sure your website is mobile friendly. The best way to do this is to ensure your site is responsive. This way all of the content and images on your website will look the same across all platforms, meaning that users will get the same great experience no matter what device they view your site from. In short, designing your site to be mobile friendly will help improve your SEO.

User-Friendly Makes Google Friendly

With the fast paced world we live in, users need to be able to find what they are looking for almost instantaneously when visiting websites or they will “bounce”. Google tracks these bounces and will adjust your ranking accordingly. To avoid this, you’ll need to make sure your website has a clear design with a straightforward navigation so your users can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. When users are able to experience your site without frustration, they’ll spend more time there, and come back again, all things that Google loves.

Quick (…But Not so Dirty)

No one likes cluttered or slow loading websites, and neither one of those things is good for your SEO either. By keeping your design minimal and easy to navigate, you’ll also help minimize your page loading time. The faster users are able to view and navigate your website, the less likely they are to get impatient and move on. Websites with a lot of images and sites with ineffective code are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to page speed issues. Huge images take time to load, which will severely slow down your site’s load time, so spend some extra time to make sure your images are formatted and compressed correctly for your website. Lastly, optimize your code and strip out Javascript to ensure faster load times all around and keep your users from bouncing.

Go for Gold, Content

Content is key when it comes to building a long-lasting relationship with Google. The search engine loves unique content and lots of it, so if your pages are easy to follow, and your keywords are in all the right places, you’ll be singing the tune that Google loves and may even be rewarded by having it show up on a Google snippet! Duplicate content will affect your ranking negatively so definitely put in some extra effort to create or obtain unique subject matter relating to your site. Make sure that your content is clear, relevant, and reflects common user searches to push your rank higher; eventually you may even reach the top spot in Google’s search results.

Suitable Site Map

When building your website think about its navigation as a roadmap, the fewer twists and turns you need to make to get to your destination, the easier the trip will be. Your sitemap is very similar to this and is what Google uses to index your website. If it’s confusing, cluttered, and contains a lot of duplicate or irrelevant content, it will make it that much harder to understand and could be one of the biggest factors to your website’s traffic problems. Make sure your link structure makes sense, that you don’t have broken links or dead ends, and that your anchor text follows best practices to ensure your sitemap is in tip top shape. Sitemaps are extremely important to a well-functioning site, so it would be worth your while to have both your design and SEO teams working together to ensure it’s looking its best before submitting it to Google.

SEO and web development can be a lot to take on and can certainly seem overwhelming at times, but if you combine these efforts you’ll find the perfect balance to build a solid foundation with Google and improve your website ranking. If you’re looking for an agency that can skillfully combine SEO and web design, check out 9thCO. We’ll help you navigate your way through those search engine algorithm updates and the confusing industry vernacular to make your website stand out from the pack!

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