Optimizing web pages to run more smoothly and rank higher is an ongoing effort. While the obvious need for quality content and consistent engagement is a must, there is also the question of SEO to worry about.
Search Engine Optimization remains the most important factor in ensuring that the site is visible to the relevant audience. But what are some of the most necessary, needed steps to ensure that website is SEO friendly?
1. Friendly Landing Page Optimization
What is the first thing that visitors will see when they come to the site? Landing pages usually take a backseat when the development of a new friendly website starts ramping up. The reason for this is simple – every friendly website owner wants quality content and good navigation above all else.
Landing pages are often looked at as a necessary evil. Unfortunately, most people will come to the friendly website through this exact page. Entering URL without further friendly page details will lead them to a friendly landing page, and it’s a job to ensure that they see something worth pursuing.
A good example of a friendly landing page done right is Book Depository, a site that focuses on international book sales and shipping. Their friendly landing page offers a plethora of information and options from the get-go, allowing users to buy a book and have it shipped in a few simple clicks without any drama or slowdown.
Will the friendly page take a note from Book Depository and similar sites, or will you offer minimal information to readers? The former will result in a much higher engagement, conversion rate, and sales across the board.
2. Clear Navigation Elements
Regardless of product or service, you may offer to visitors. Navigation plays a huge role in that activity. Navigation bar design and placement can often make or break the website. Visitors need to be able to travel back and forth between different pages without slowdown or confusion. A good example of placement can be seen in YouTube’s solution.
The site allows you to easily access a sliding bar whenever you want to change pages or watch something else. Taking a hint from YouTube and placing navigation bar in an obvious place will, again, obviously drive engagement higher. This is a much-needed feature in a friendly website that desperately lacks SEO friendly optimization and needs to reach a higher ranking to be seen.
3. Use Alternate Data
Not every reader will be able to “read” the content you have provided. We live in a world where people with disabilities or difficulties can and will access the internet whenever they have a chance. Offering people an alternative method to experience content without full capabilities is essential for good SEO friendly optimization.
Doing the same with your content and adding alternate text, audio descriptions, or even closed captions of impaired hearing will do wonders for SEO. This type of optimization goes a long way to show that you truly care about being seen and experienced by as many people as possible on the web.
4. Pay Attention To URLs
The shorter and more informative the URL is, the more likely you are to get new visitors. Sites such as Goodreads have set a good example of what kind of URL formatting should be used for complex sites. If we take a look at a single friendly page link from Goodreads, we can easily surmise what type of content we will see.
The “show” tag indicates whether the link will be shown from a customizable view or a locked one. This makes sense if you share links with friends or strangers.
Lastly, we can find the book’s name found on the link, which is “Stories of Life and Others.” If links allow for informative reading without visiting the website beforehand, you will have much better engagement. Friendly SEO is programmed to identify links that are structured and well-formatted, especially the ones without special characters that have no place in a friendly page URL.
5. Link Content Internally
Outbound links and collaborations are a good way to become noticed by new followers. However, when SEO friendly optimization is concerned, main priority should be building a good internal linking structure. Your content should lead to more content – not lead readers away from the site entirely.
Sites such as Tumblr have dedicated a good portion of their development time to deliver a consistent, internally-linked content structure. If you follow up on any of Tumblr’s links while browsing the dashboard, you will always be taken to a subsection or a sub-blog of the same site. With that in mind, internally linking content will mean that all pages are visited and engaged no matter how old they might be.
Conclusion: Long-form web design
Optimizing a site for a good friendly SEO ranking is an ongoing task. A web designer will always have to keep an eye out for trendy keywords, content compression and optimization options. Having a dedicated person in charge of long-term website SEO friendly optimization is always a good idea.
Keep your ear to the ground and listen to what audiences and competition are doing. The only way to stay relevant is to innovate and reiterate with each passing day.
Bio: Leona Henryson is a professional writer and web designer at Essay Supply. Leona is very active in the art and design community. She loves helping small businesses reach their audience through visually compelling and provoking imagery.