Web Designers Bromley. How to Optimise Your Website for SEO and Improve User Experience
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility and relevance of a website in organic search results. User experience (UX) is the overall impression and satisfaction that a user has when interacting with a website. Both SEO and UX are essential for creating a successful website that attracts and retains visitors.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best practices for optimizing your website for SEO and improving user experience. We will cover the following topics:
Align your content with search intent
Leverage primary keywords
Have a clear hierarchy
Keep it consistent
Optimise your site’s loading speed
Use responsive design
Provide clear navigation
Use visual elements
Measure and test
Align Your Content with Search Intent
Search intent (also called user intent) is the purpose behind every search query. Understanding and satisfying search intent is Google’s ultimate priority. Pages that rank on the first page have all passed Google’s test on search intent.
To align your content with search intent, you need to understand what users are looking for in a design (through user testing and other methods). You also need to create content that matches the type of search intent, which can be informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.
For example, if you are writing a blog post about how to make oatmeal cookies, you should provide a clear and detailed recipe that answers the informational intent of the users. On the other hand, if you are selling oatmeal cookies online, you should provide product descriptions, prices, reviews, and a call to action that meets the transactional intent of the users.
Leverage Primary Keywords
A primary keyword (or target keyword) is a keyword that best represents the topic of a page. Every page on your website should target one primary keyword (if you want it to rank on Google).
Where you use your primary keyword also matters. It helps optimise the page. So, if possible, add your target keyword to elements like:
The title tag
The main headers (especially the H1)
The page’s URL
For example, if your primary keyword is “oatmeal cookies”, you should include it in your title tag (e.g., “How to Make Oatmeal Cookies”), your main header (e.g., “<h1>How to Make Oatmeal Cookies</h1>”), your introduction (e.g., “In this article, we will show you how to make oatmeal cookies…”), and your URL (e.g., “https://www.example.com/how-to-make-oatmeal-cookies”).
To choose the target keyword for a page, use a keyword tool like Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. First, think about the main theme of the page. Then, plug it into the tool and click “Search”. You’ll get a long list of related keyword ideas.
Have a Clear Hierarchy
Hierarchy is the way of organizing and presenting information in a logical order. It helps users understand the structure and importance of the content on your website. There are two main types of hierarchy that you need to consider: content hierarchy and visual hierarchy.
Content hierarchy is the way of arranging content into categories and subcategories based on their relevance and relationship. For example, when you open a website or app, you will note the navigation bar that includes the main sections. These sections may have sub-sections or drop-down menus that further divide the content into smaller topics.
Visual hierarchy is the way of using design elements such as size, color, contrast,
alignment, spacing, and typography to emphasize and differentiate the content on your website. For example, when you read an article or a blog post, you will notice that some words or phrases are bolded, italicised, underlined, or highlighted to draw your attention or convey meaning.
To create a clear hierarchy for your website, you need to follow some basic principles:
Start with the most important information and work your way down to the least important.
Use headings and subheadings to break up large blocks of text and make them scannable.
Use bullet points or numbered lists to present multiple items or steps in a concise way.
Use white space or negative space to create breathing room and balance on your website.
Use different font sizes, weights, styles, and colors to create contrast and hierarchy among text elements.
Use images, icons, graphs, charts, or videos to supplement or illustrate your content.
Keep It Consistent
Consistency in a Bromley website design is the key to creating a coherent and professional website that builds trust and credibility with your users. Consistency means using the same design elements such as colors, fonts, icons, buttons, images, etc., throughout your website. It also means following the same tone, voice, and style of writing across your content.
Consistency helps users:
Recognize and remember your brand identity and personality
Navigate and interact with your website easily and intuitively
Understand and follow your message and call to action
To keep your website consistent, you need to create and follow a style guide that defines the rules and standards for your design and content. A style guide can include:
A color palette that specifies the primary, secondary, and accent colors for your website
A typography system that specifies the font family, size, weight, style, and alignment for different text elements
An icon set that specifies the shape, size, color, and meaning of different icons for your website
A button style that specifies the shape, size, color, text, and hover effect of different buttons for your website
An image style that specifies the size, quality, format, and alignment of different images for your website
A tone and voice guide that specifies the mood, attitude, and personality of your writing for different audiences and purposes
A grammar and spelling guide that specifies the rules and conventions for your writing such as punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, etc.
Accessibility is the practice of designing and developing websites that are usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Accessibility is not only a moral obligation but also a legal requirement in many countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one billion people in the world have some form of disability.
Accessibility benefits not only people with disabilities but also people with temporary or situational limitations such as low bandwidth, slow devices, noisy environments, etc. Accessibility also improves SEO by making your website more compatible with search engines and screen readers.
To make your website accessible, you need to follow some guidelines such as:
Use clear and descriptive headings, labels, and alt text for your content
Use sufficient contrast between text and background colours
Use large and legible fonts that are easy to read
Use simple and clear language that is easy to understand
Provide captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions for audio and video content
Provide keyboard navigation and shortcuts for users who cannot use a mouse
Provide skip links or landmarks for users who want to jump to specific sections of your website
Provide multiple ways of finding and accessing information on your website such as search bars, menus, breadcrumbs, etc.
Test your website with different browsers, devices, screen sizes, and assistive technologies
Optimise Your Site’s Loading Speed
Loading speed is the time it takes for a web page to load completely on a user’s device. Loading speed is one of the most important factors that affect user experience and SEO. According to Google, 53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load. Moreover, Google uses website loading speed as a ranking signal for both desktop and mobile searches.
Loading speed depends on various factors such as:
The size and number of files on your web page such as images, videos, scripts, stylesheets, etc.
The quality and location of your web hosting server
The speed and bandwidth of your user’s internet connection
The performance and optimisation of your web page code
To optimise your site’s loading speed, you need to implement some best practices such as:
Compressing and resizing your images to reduce their file size
Minifying and combining your scripts and stylesheets to reduce their number of requests
Using a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your files across multiple servers around the world
Enabling caching to store frequently used files on your user’s device or browser
Using lazy loading to defer loading non-critical files until they are needed
Using a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to measure and improve your site’s loading speed
Use Responsive Design
Responsive design is the approach of designing and developing websites that adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions, orientations, and devices. Responsive website design ensures that your website provides an optimal viewing and interaction experience for all users regardless of their device.
Responsive design benefits both users and SEO by:
Improving usability and accessibility by avoiding horizontal scrolling or zooming
Improving readability and legibility by adjusting font sizes and line lengths
Improving navigation and functionality by rearranging or hiding elements based on available space
Improving performance and loading speed by serving appropriate images and files based on device capabilities
Improving ranking and visibility by complying with Google’s mobile-friendly criteria
To create a responsive website, you need to use some techniques such as:
Using flexible grids and layouts that adjust to different screen widths
Using media queries that apply different styles based on device features
Using relative units such as percentages or EMS instead of absolute units such as pixels or points
Using fluid images that scale or
Provide Clear Navigation
Navigation is the way of guiding users through your website and helping them find what they are looking for. Navigation is one of the most important aspects of user experience and SEO. According to a study by HubSpot, 76% of consumers say that the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want”.
To provide clear navigation for your website, you need to follow some principles such as:
Use descriptive and intuitive labels for your navigation elements such as menus, links, buttons, etc.
Use a consistent and logical structure for your navigation elements such as horizontal or vertical menus, drop-down menus, breadcrumbs, etc.
Use a prominent and visible location for your navigation elements such as the top or left of your website
Use a search bar or a site map to help users find specific information or pages on your website
Use clear and visible indicators for your navigation elements such as active states, hover effects, icons, etc.
Use Visual Elements
Visual elements are the graphical components that enhance the appearance and appeal of your Bromley website. Visual elements include images, icons, graphs, charts, videos, animations, etc. Visual elements can improve user experience and SEO by:
Attracting and retaining users’ attention and interest
Breaking up large blocks of text and making them more scannable
Illustrating or explaining complex or abstract concepts
Evoking emotions or feelings
Increasing engagement and interaction
To use visual elements effectively for your website, you need to follow some guidelines such as:
Use relevant and high-quality visual elements that support your content and message
Use original and unique visual elements that reflect your brand identity and personality
Use appropriate and consistent sizes, formats, and styles for your visual elements
Use alt text or captions for your visual elements to provide alternative information for users who cannot see them
Optimise your visual elements for loading speed and performance
Measure and Test
The last but not the least step to optimise your website for SEO and improve user experience is to measure and test your results. Measuring and testing your website allows you to:
Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your website design and content
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website
Discover the needs and preferences of your users
Implement changes and improvements based on data and feedback
To measure and test your website, you need to use some tools and methods such as:
Google Analytics to track and analyze your website’s traffic, behavior, conversions, etc.
Google Search Console to monitor and optimise your website’s performance, ranking, keywords, etc.
User testing or surveys to collect qualitative data and feedback from real users about their experience with your website
A/B testing or split testing to compare different versions of your website design or content and see which one performs better
Optimising your website for SEO and improving user experience are two sides of the same coin. They both aim to provide value and satisfaction to your users and achieve your business goals. By following the best practices discussed in this article, you can create a website that ranks well on search engines and delights your users.