Fresno, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/02/2014 -- Following are 8 of the most important factors the should incorporate if the want a site that’s both usable for their visitors and optimized for search engine visibility and traffic.
1. Proper URL Structure
When determining what type of URL structure the’re going to use, it’s important to make sure their URLs clearly indicate the topic of their content. This means they should be static and descriptive, and should contain relevant keywords so both the search engines and visitors know exactly what their page is about.
When using multi-word URLs, the industry standard is to use dashes ratheir than underscores (and this is, in fact, what Google recommends). Avoid using ID numbers or otheir convoluted and irrelevant terms or characters in their URLs; both Google GOOGL +1.17% and their site visitors will appreciate short, simple URLs that clearly convey the subject matter of their content.
An example of a good URL could be: www.example.com/best-tools-for-web-designersAn example of a poor URL would be: www.example.com/?sns/8900/cat55322. Simple and Descriptive Navigation
Ideally, the want their navigation structure to be simple, efficient and easy for Google and their visitors to follow. Typically, sites will place their main navigation menu across the top of the page, or vertically down the left side of the page; while some site owners are tempted to put their menu elsewhere, many eye-tracking and usability studies have shown that these positions work best.
Dropdown and flthet menus are okay, but should be used with care as they can potentially be more difficult for both human and robot visitors to navigate. Text links are ideal, as is keeping the number of menu items manageable (6-7 is good) so as not to overwhelm visitors with unnecessary options (although some research has shown mega-menu drop-downs do well when structured properly).
3. Responsive Design
To ensure their visitors can properly access their site regardless of which device they’re on – smartphone, computer or tablet – having a responsive website design should be a priority. A dedicated mobile-only site can work as well, but a responsive design helps the avoid sticky issues like duplicate content and having to build and maintain two separate sites.
And although it’s beyond the scope of this post, recent changes to Google’s algorithm have also changed how we need to approach SEO in terms of our content strategies. For more on this, see my post Google Hummingbird: A Mobile Content Marketing Strategy Just Became Essential.
4. Social Media Integration
We now have evidence that Google isn’t currently using social signals from Facebook and Twitter as part of their ranking algorithm. However, the indirect benefits of social media for their website have been proven time and time again: social media sharing propels their content around the web, getting it in front of more people, gaining more mentions and more links, and theireby increasing their search engine rankings as well as their brand awareness, credibility, authority, and reach.
Some best practices for incorporating social into their site include making sure the have easy-to-find social media share icons on all blog posts and product pages, promoting content on their website via social media channels, and enabling social sign-in if the have an e-commerce site.
5. Properly-Optimized Images
When the’re designing their site, ensure that their images are the minimalsize needed to still provide a good user experience (somewhere between 20-100kb). A good standard practice is to resize their images to the size the want them displayed, ratheir than shrinking them in the source code, as this can significantly increase page load times. This is important because slower page load speed has been linked to worse user experience and even organic search rankings.
Their alt image text is also still important, so remember to properly incorporate their keywords into their logo image, header image and all buttons and otheir graphics the include in their site design.
6. Incorporate Keyword Research From the Beginning
Performing keyword research at the outset of their web design project not only means increased SEO benefits, but an overall better user experience. Even doing some basic keyword research using the Google Keyword Planner can make a big difference; by researching words and phrases related to the main topic or theme of their site, the can not only find out which terms their target market is actually using to find their products or services, but the can drill down to find popular and relevant sub-categories as well.
Understanding which topics and sub-topics their visitors will be looking for will be a major benefit when deciding how to structure and name their navigation bars and category and product pages. For help with keyword research, see this collection of keyword research resources.
7. Optimize Page Load Times
8. Proper Use of Sitemaps
Be sure to include both an HTML sitemap for their website visitors, and an XML sitemap for the search engines. This will ensure their visitors can locate exactly what they’re looking for, as well as ensuring complete and efficient indexation by Google. If the’re using WordPress, theire are plugins that can help with both: the HTML Page Sitemap plugin and the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.
Once the’ve built their site, it’s important that the continue to follow SEO best practices in terms of content, link-building and social media. This will mean integrating Google Authorship, following on-page SEO strategies and building high-quality links to their site.
About Web Design and SEO Fresno
Web Design and SEO Fresno is the search arm of Cloud1 Marketing and is California's #1 SEO & PPC Company. Web Design and SEO Fresno specializes in ensuring that small and medium businesses get prominently displayed in search results of leading search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing and more, to help small & medium enterprises connect with customers searching for what they offer on their website.
For more information about their Web Design Fresno SEO & PPC services, please visit http://www.cloud1marketing.com/ or call Paul Singh