These five SEO factors demand careful consideration before and during the web development process, maximising your website’s visibility for important keywords – and boosting enquiries and sales.
As with most business owners in Essex, your website is likely to be your most important digital asset. As such, ensuring potential and returning customers have a positive experience is critical. They must be able to find the information, products or services they need quickly.
But beautiful design, easy navigation and excellent usability are only part of an online success story. Your website also has to rank in major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
With this in mind, your website’s SEO elements should be carefully considered at the design stage – so the overall site structure makes it straightforward for search engines to discover, analyse and rank the site for your chosen keywords.
5 elements of web development in SEO
Structure and navigation
Clear navigation doesn’t only help your customers find what they want – it also assists search engines in discovering and understanding your website’s structure.
A site that sells garden products, for example, might feature a top navigation with key areas of business. Hovering over the ‘Product’ tab might reveal the site’s products arranged into categories, making it easy for users to navigate directly to the section they are looking for.
This kind of clear, logical structure also helps search engines comprehend the site’s structure and product/content organisation.
A search bar would provide an alternative way to find a product – ideal for those who know exactly what they want.
An easy-to-navigate website encourages repeat business and customer loyalty, while sending critical signals to search engines about the site’s quality and relevance, and making it easier and quicker to index.
On-page SEO components
On-page optimisation of individual pages – including page build, structure and styling – all contribute to boosting search rankings for a given URL.
Keyword research is fundamental to the on-page optimisation process: researching and selecting commonly used – and lucrative – keywords. This data can then be used to directly inform on-page content that meets user search intent, is engaging, and offers real value.
Target keywords need to be carefully woven into the URLs, headings, and paragraphs. Image alt text, too, is important – since it helps visually impaired users comprehend images and shows search engines you have considered all types of user.
Equally, meta descriptions – the snippets that show under titles in the search listings – should be informed by keyword research.
But while target keywords are a chief ingredient in the SEO pie, focus should be maintained on creating useful, engaging content.
Internal linking is another on-page factor that can help users navigate – and which makes it easier for Google to discover pages and understand hierarchy and structure. These links also spread ‘link equity’.
Crisp Design ensures SEO considerations are front and centre when developing a website.
A website code – or ‘backend’ – should also be optimised to boost visibility within search.
Technical SEO factors include:
- Regularly updated sitemaps
- Descriptive, SEO-friendly URLs
- Canonical tags to avoid duplication issues
- Adding schema markup for search engines
- Redirects for deleted or moved content
- SSL certification for HTTPS encryption
- Taking security steps to prevent malware threats
Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4 can help identify technical SEO issues as well as monitor keyword rankings and user behaviour.
Performance and page speed
For search engines like Google, page load speed is a critical ranking factor – because it wants to list the most user-friendly sites in their index (no-one enjoys waiting for pages to load).
Google’s PageSpeed insights is useful for determining load speed, and getting optimisation/improvement recommendations.
Optimisation improvements include:
- Optimising images
- Eliminating unnecessary scripts
- Reducing file sizes
- Harnessing caching techniques
- Choosing a suitable hosting provider – including ensuring that server location tallies with key market (e.g., the UK)
Naturally, this process involves testing your site across various platforms – including desktop, tablet and mobile, and ensuring it functions as expected across the different browsers (Chrome, Edge etc.).
As a leading Essex web developer, Crisp Design has experience in fixing page speed and performance problems.
SEO efforts are also supported by good website accessibility. Just as a public building needs to be mindful of ensuring less-abled people can gain access easily, so too must a website ensure those with disabilities can use it easily.
Accessibility factors include:
- Image alt tags (mentioned above)
- Video transcripts
- Mobile friendliness
- Ensuring the site can be navigated by keyboard alone
- Employing descriptive headings and semantic markup for screen readers
- Writing short, easily digestible paragraphs
- Bullet points and numbered lists
- Using good colour contrast for easier readability
- Ensuring enquiry forms are short and easy to complete
SEO and web development in Essex: Implementation
Here at Crisp Design we provide our Essex web design clients with development services that include a comprehensive understanding of today’s SEO requirements.
Understanding search engine algorithms gives your website the best chance of ranking for important keywords – ultimately boosting your traffic levels and sales.
Get in touch to discuss how our integrated approach to web development and SEO can benefit your business.