Web design and SEO are like the Posh and Becks of the digital world. Both marriages enjoyed their start amongst the questionable fashions of the nineties, but there’s no questioning the enduring stability of their relationship as they’ve evolved over the years (long live the Posh bob).
In today’s landscape, it’s hard to imagine web design without clean coding, friendly page structures and all of the other factors that impact a website’s place on the SERPs. Web design and development has always focused on providing the user with the best experience possible, but recent trends in search marketing mean that developers and webmasters must work together to stay relevant. Web designers now must consider aspects such as mobile compatibility and site structure (plus more!) when putting together a new or revamped website to ensure it can work hand-in-hand with the company’s SEO strategy.
So what exactly does this involve? If you’re new to the world of digital, or just don’t know the different between a <p> and <h2> tag, then here are 4 key ways that SEO and web development work together!
Despite the name, clean coding is actually a bit of a messy subject. There are many factors at play and different definitions, but at its essence clean coding is as simple as possible. It involves ensuring that every command is focused and that there are no unnecessary inclusions. Basically, you want another developer to be able to look at it and understand exactly what’s going on. But how does this affect SEO? Poor coding can affect your site’s ranking in a number of ways, but it can negatively impact how well Google can read and understand the content of your site. And if Google can’t understand exactly what you’re trying to say, it’s unlikely they’ll place you highly in the rankings.
Site Structure and Internal Linking
It’s all well and good if your site has pages and pages of amazing content, but what’s the point if Google (and consequently your readers) are unable to find it? The structure of your site is extremely important and should be intuitive for both people and a search engine’s crawlers. It should be designed in a way that allows any visitor to the site to navigate it easily. Luckily, these goals are actually pretty similar and you’ll find a good developer will be able to create a site that achieves both. In short, good site structure means that Google can crawl your pages and rank them for relevant keywords.
You know when you want to Google something important like, “When is national doughnut day?” and you get a succinct answer in a little box at the top of your search results. This is called schema, and developers and can incorporate this into their webpage with the correct code. This technique targets long-tail keywords and questions and can help your site rank higher for the relevant queries.
Speed and Responsiveness
Your site’s speed and responsiveness are just two more factors that can affect your search rankings. In particular, in recent updates Google has been prioritising mobile compatibility, so it’s more important than ever that developers are creating websites that can adapt to screens of all sizes. They also look at your time to first byte and a host of other things when ranking your site, so make sure to use tools such as Google Developers’ PageSpeed Insights to find out where you can improve.
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