Apr 14 SEO Friendly Design for Your Small Business Website – 5 Aspects to Keep in Mind
As a small business, you do not want to spend a lot of money on your online branding efforts and there could be budgetary constraints too. But you still want to make your online presence visible and ensure your target audience is well aware of the products and/or services it is selling.
So it becomes absolutely essential for your small business website to be designed keeping SEO in mind. While activities like content and social media marketing will happen through the course of time, SEO friendly web design is the first step towards improving the visibility of your business amongst its target audience. It’s imperative that you make your website easily crawlable and ensure it comes good on Google’s design guidelines.
1. Mobile Optimized Version
The usage of mobile phones and tablets has exploded in the last few years and websites that aren’t mobile friendly are set to be penalized. Google expects designers to adopt the mobile first approach and ensure websites are able to deliver unified user experience across various devices.
What’s more, Google has officially announced it will start giving more importance to mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. So while designing, make sure you do not forget mobile. This is important for small businesses, because they cannot afford to ignore the growing number of mobile users out there, many of who will be a part of their target audience.
2. Integrate Social Media in Your Website Design
Social media is absolutely critical for your SEO efforts. You need to integrate social media experiences into your site. One of the ways of doing this is by making your content easily shareable; for that to happen, you must use social sharing icons on your content pages. For e.g. if it’s a products page, you can place social share icons alongside the product so that visitors can share the product image and its information easily with their friends and followers on social media.
This sets the stage for content virality, which invariably leads to an increase in social signals, which taken together improve search engine rankings. What’s more, social sharing leads to more social engagement, which is again something that influences search ranking.
So make sure your website and the content on it, is social media friendly. This essentially makes your website SEO friendly as well.
3. Responsive Web Design
We’ve already talked about the need for a mobile friendly website. One of the ways, you can deliver a highly satisfying mobile UX to your target users is through responsive web design (RWD). By making your website responsive (through the use of responsive techniques), you are making sure the same website offers a satisfying experience on desktops, as well as, mobile devices.
What’s more, RWD is recommend by Google; the reason being RWD sites have one URL, a single content source and the same HTML. This means they are easy to crawl and index. What’s more, they provide an optimum UX on desktops and mobile devices. The fact that Google sets store by RWD is reason enough for small businesses to use RWD while creating their websites.
4. Page Loading Times
Have you ever been frustrated when you had to wait in a queue? How would you rate a pizza delivery service if takes ages to deliver your order?
Yes, speed matters. This fact remains true in the online world as well.
The loading speed of a web page affects the response of the person looking at it. If you are hungry and there is a queue at the food shop, you will move on to the next one and this is what happens on the internet too. If it is not NOW, we are outta there!
Slow page loading speed is one of the worst user experiences you can give to a website visitor. Moreover, it’s not at all SEO friendly. Site speed is incorporated in Google’s page ranking algorithm and it is an unforgivable crime to design a site whose load speed is at the slower end of the scale. While designing a website, it’s important you use various tools to check and decrease the site loading time.
5. Optimize Images
We all know the importance of using visuals on a site. But what many of us forget is these images can be optimized as well. The first step towards image optimization is using relevant images and the kind that don’t act as a barrier to site speed. No, this does not mean you use low resolution images, but make sure you compress your images otherwise they will take a lot of time to load. A slow loading site will do nothing for your search rankings, in fact, it will impact them adversely.
What you also must do is optimize the alt text section of the image with a keyword. This is again something that will influence search rankings. As a small business, you need to use any and every available opportunity to make your website SEO friendly. So, don’t miss out on image optimization.
If you are using videos on your site, you must optimize them as well.
These are just five of the many techniques that need to be kept in mind for coming up with SEO friendly web design. The whole idea behind such design is that it makes the website more competitive.
A small business is going to face some stiff competition from the well-entrenched and bigger players in the niche who have already acquired and retained a substantial number of consumers. One of the ways it can steal a march over the competition is by improving business visibility. This is where SEO friendly web design enters the picture to create a level playing field for the small business.