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Be Smarter – Plan SEO Before you Design a Website

Search engine optimisation is an important factor for websites and online shops for visibility on the World Wide Web. This information is not new, because after all, the beginnings of search engine optimisation, better known as SEO, date back to the mid-1990s. Since the launch of today’s largest search engine in the world in 1998, search engine optimisation has steadily gained importance. Nowadays, SEO is a part of a portfolio of successful web agencies. However, search-optimised web design is still an underestimated area in the creation of search engine-friendly websites.

Many SEO experts still assume that search engine optimisation concerns in particular the textual content of a web presence and this is why keyword research is, therefore, one of the standards for SEO today. However, if you think the spread of suitable keywords is the number-one success factor for a good ranking is a fallacy. Website design and SEO must go hand in hand and as early as possible.

Neglected but important SEO measures are very difficult to implement into an existing website. So if you are thinking about creating your own website, you should proceed in a structured way from the beginning and pay attention to the basic factors of a search engine-friendly website.

Preliminary considerations for search-optimised web design

At the beginning of the website creation is certainly the question of what should be achieved with the website. As a rule, companies want to present their entrepreneurial activities in such a way that the attention of new customers is awakened. Accordingly, the selection of the domain is already important and should have reference to the company. But also the choice of a suitable hosting provider contributes directly to the success of a website. Because slow websites increase one thing above all: the bounce rate of the users.

Furthermore, the choice of a suitable content management system is important. Today there are countless CMS with different focuses, partly for a fee, partly free of charge. But not every CMS is equally suitable for every requirement. For search-optimised web design, you should seek advice from a specialized web agency. After all, anyone who has once created a website with an unsuitable CMS will neither be visible nor successful in the long term. A necessary change will sooner or later entail follow-up costs.

Basics for search-optimised web design

Once the choice for a CMS and a suitable hosting provider has been made, it goes to the actual creation of the website. First of all, the focus is on the structure, which should also be reflected in the URL structure. A simple picture can help here: the structure should be similar to a well-sorted file folder. The customer recognizes at a glance the purpose and its use of the website. All subareas are clearly structured like separator sheets in a folder. The customer flips to a separator sheet or. if he clicks on a category on the website, the content is clear and clear to grasp.

This clear structure should be shown in the structure of the URL structure. Because not only the customer wants to reach his goal quickly, search engines also value a clear URL structure positively. This also applies to the structure of individual pages. A main heading is always an h1. And this h1 can only exist once. Ideally, the h1 can also be found in the URL. An h1 is not followed by an h3, but always by an h2. A mess in the choice of subheadings can affect the crawling of the search engine.

Navigation and menu navigation

In addition to these technically “internal” optimisations, it is also important to guide the user through the website in such a way that he reaches his goal as quickly as possible. This requires proper navigation. Many companies tend to present their entire portfolio extensively on the homepage. Finally, the user should be able to immediately recognize what the entrepreneurial field of activity is. SEO for Web design

However, this is exactly the crux: Overloaded start pages confuse the user and therefore miss their target. Before creating a website, it is therefore important to clearly tailor the navigation structure to the user. Good navigation guides and leads to the goal. Important components are highlighted, specific areas are clearly marked on subpages.

Loading times and mobile optimisation

Very few companies today offer a unique offer. Almost every service and every product is quickly found on a different page. Therefore, no company can afford a delay in the display of its offer. Long loading times minimize the conversion rate and therefore have a direct influence on SEO. In addition to the hosting provider, the content on the page itself also affects the load time.

Images and videos in the largest possible format usually take a lot of time to load. Only very few users have the patience to watch pictures being built. If this component is often secondary for desktop-based devices, it is fully effective on mobile devices. Websites that are not mobile-optimised have little chance of being competitive today in times of smartphones and tablets. Because the search engines also value the loading time for their ranking.

The Future: SEO through AI

At this point, until a year or two ago, it would have been fair to say that website operators who follow the above-mentioned factors for search-optimised web design are well on their way to a good ranking on Google & Co. Of course, with the reference to unique content with industry-specific keywords. But in the meantime, another aspect has been added: artificial intelligence, or AI for short, of search engines.

For a long time, the success of websites has been based on two factors. On the one hand, it is the above-mentioned SEO measures that ensure a good ranking, because they are recognized and positively evaluated by the algorithm of the search engines. Of course, always in connection with the textual unique content. On the other hand, the user also directly influences the success of a website. Because users generally stay longer on pages that offer a good user experience and usability. An optimally search-optimised website is correspondingly unsuccessful if the user leaves it without a transaction. And a highly user-friendly site is just as unsuccessful if it is not found at all.AI search algorithm

Accordingly, the focus is on the user – so far mainly because he should carry out a desired transaction. Both user interface design and screen design are important tools for influencing the usability and user experience of websites. And this is exactly where the AI of the search engines hooks up.

Because where search engine algorithms follow certain patterns to evaluate a website, AI search algorithms are far more flexible. In this way, you not only evaluate the number of page views, the bounce rate and the average time spent on a website. Also certain factors of the web design decide whether a user perceives a page as attractive and helpful or not. Simply put, the AI is shown certain successful websites that meet all the criteria of user experience and usability. Based on this data, the AI search algorithm will evaluate websites for its ranking in the future.

Conclusion

Search-optimised web design continues to have a decisive influence on visibility on the internet. Website structure and page structure, clearly designed graphic elements and clear navigation directly influence the visibility factor.

What was previously primarily aimed at leading as many users as possible to the desired transactions is now also gaining importance for SEO: user satisfaction. The user-intent criterion for meeting expectations is a challenge for website operators and web designers alike. From now on, it is important to build websites with structure, textual content and design elements in such a way that they correspond to the majority of user expectations. This is because they also correspond to the AI search algorithm, which in turn has an influence on the ranking factor.

Whether algorithm or AI search algorithm, website operators are still well advised if they keep their target group firmly in mind. If you focus on the users, observe the criteria for search-optimised web design and offer content with added value, you have a good chance of a high ranking in the search results.

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