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4 Simple Ways Web Designers Can Boost SEO

October 22, 2016 - fifteen

The world of SEO can sometimes be a mystery. It’s an ever-changing set of rules that can affect your ranking in search engines, and every so often the formula will switch up. That said, there are a few ways web designers can help optimise their website from the ground up. That’s why we’ve put together some simple, but important, tips for designers to implement in their initial designs.

Project Discovery
Include no Duplicate Content or Pages

When a site first lands into the office, a lot of the time we begin to create a sitemap. This is an area where we can identify key pages within a website, the structure and, rather crucially, eliminate any areas where ‘duplicate content’ is a risk. ‘Duplicate Content’ is a big no for SEO, this is because a search engine can’t decide which version of that information will be most relevant for the keyword being searched. A search engine needs to provide the user with the best search experience, duplicate content is a huge block in the road for it to be able to do this. If the designer can identify an area where this will be a problem from the sitemap, it will save a lot of time that may have been wasted further down the line, thus making more time for more important work.

Wireframe/Design
Implement Social / Blog Feeds

If a designer can see that their client has an active social media or blogging presence, a great performer for SEO is to implement a feed of this into the homepage of a website. Search engines can link the social media accounts to the website. Fresh content on a page will also give your page rank a boost, as search engines associate this as recent activity on your website. If you post on Facebook, an API working in the background of your website can pull through the text into a feed on your homepage. It causes little effort for the client, and will garner results for SEO.

Population
Keywords and Call to Actions

While designers aren’t always responsible for content generation, they can sometimes be key in creating page titles, categories, calls to actions and tags. If you can anticipate, or view analytics for that website, improvements to these crucial elements can help give your SEO a boost! Designers, get involved with your digital marketing teams and make suggestions where you can to the client too! Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. 

Before Launch
Optimise Images for Web

If a website’s load time is too long, this is viewed negatively by search engines. While there are a lot of factors that can contribute to how long a page takes to load, but one of the main criminals are unoptimised images. Photos and graphics that are uploaded to a website should ideally be fast to download, this means using an image optimiser, or ‘save for web’ when outputting them. It should help reduce bounce-rates and your performance rating on search engines. Designers can optimise straight from Photoshop, using the ‘image size’ and the ‘save for web’ options when exporting, and this should have a direct effect on your SEO performance.

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