I’m about to give you 16 ways to build a website design With effective SEO so that you can copy me and start getting overflowing organic traffic to your website!
Your website was designed for your clients and customers to see. But whether you’re getting your website designed to book calls, sell products, promote your affiliate links, launch your blog or sell your service, beautiful web design alone won’t “magically” skyrocket your business. The key to increasing your revenue through your website is by understanding the importance of SEO in web designing.
Yeah I know you can always get traffic to your website by promoting your website link on your social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.), but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best (and most cost efficient) way to bring in new traffic to your site.
I’ve built websites for some of the BIGGEST blogs out there on Twitter. How much traffic did they get from their 400k social media accounts? At the most, around 1,600/month. How much traffic did my SEO clients get to their website? On average, 5,3000/month! Now do you understand how important SEO is?…I hope so! *lol*
By the way, if you don’t have +/- half a million followers, forget it. Because most of my website design clients can’t even get 200 website visitors/month.
You need to get your website ranking on search engines(e.g. Google). I’m pretty sure you have no idea wtf I am talking about, and that’s understandable because SEO is not easy stuff *lol*.
But don’t stress!….In this article I will walk you through step-by-step and show you how to design a website with correct SEO practices.
Using website design together with SEO tools will not only get you a website that looks professional, but you’ll also start ranking on Google so that people can actually start finding your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
How do you know that your website design SEO tips work?
Well, 2 years ago I worked with a 6-figure company and I broke the client’s website which f**ked up his SEO *lol*
Since then I kept track of the SEO practices that I’ve been doing for my website design clients these past 2 years, and all my clients have had success with the websites I have built for them.
Now let’s start!
What is SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO(or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to a website from search engines.
If you want a more in-depth article, read my beginners guide here: What Is SEO?
What is SEO and why is it important in web development
You want your business to make you money right? You want thousands of people to visit your website and convert into paying customers and clients right?
Well, you will never get that without SEO. SEO is what’s going to bring you new clients and customers every month and continually give you more and more revenue(Grow your business).
This is not an opinion, it’s a fact! There’s a reason businesses are spending over $80 Billion dollars a year on SEO!
01. Create quality user content
Google (and other search engines) is only going to rank high quality content that answers people’s questions. So don’t be a “smartass” by trying to “fool” Google with new tactics and strategies, Technology has evolved to the point where we have cars that drive themselves now, Google is not a stupid robot, Google knows when you are trying to “cheat” (Keyword stuffing, paying for links etc).
What you need to do, is focus on writing content that will help people, give them value for free,
Example: If someone searches on Google “ How to change a car tyre”, your blog post should have an easy to understand step-by-step article explaining how that person can easily change his tyre. You can take it one step further by adding tutorial images and videos for each step on the blog post as well.
This is an example of high quality content! Why?
- The blog answers the question he had
- The blog shows him to fix the problem he has
- The blog is written in a way that is easy to understand so he doesn’t get confused and annoyed.
Create your brand identity
Google(and other search engines) know when people are coming back to your website. When you have customers come back to your website, that sends a signal to Google that people like your website and they should rank you higher on the search results(Free promotion).
How do you get recurring customers and website visitors? By giving your brand a memorable identity(logo design, font typography, brand colors, course covers, product designs). Do not listen to all those idiots that say “YoUr LoGo DoEsNt MaTtEr”, Listen bro, not having a logo is like not having a face, if you don’t have a logo, nobody will even know who tf you are. When people come to your website, they need to see a logo, they need to see consistent colors, they need to see branding! This is how you make people remember your website and recognize your company/business.
Remember there are over 1.13 billion websites on the internet, You are lost in a BIG crowd and you need to stand out! Whether your goal is to get clients for your services, increase E-Commerce product sales, sell online courses – your website is where you need to educate people about your business and your brand. You need to tell your story and show that you are unique.
This is how you catch people’s interest and make them want to come back to your website again, and again, and again! This sends a signal to Google (and other search engines) that people like your website, in return Google will promote you by ranking you higher on the search results page.(You will rank higher on all SERP’s, not just Google)
Focus on satisfying the website user
If you want Google to rank your website, you need to create content that is relevant to the people that visited your website pages. I am not just talking about the copy, I am talking about the design as well.
Google doesn’t want you to write like a professional robot, Google wants you to be original and helpful. I am going to say that again, Google wants you to be helpful! This should be your no.1 priority when creating content on your website. Remember this when you are publishing blog posts, uploading videos or creating any other content on your website.(If you don’t help people, no one will like your website)
Here are tips on how to create relevant content that helps your users:
- Publish blogs on topics that are trending in your niche/industry
- Answer questions that are trending on SERP’s (Google, Reddit etc)
- Do your Keyword Research
- Update old blogs and old website pages
02. Social proof your website
Studies from Forbes website show that having just 5 reviews for a product will increase your sales by 270%. That is almost triple(3x) the conversion rate!
Adding social proof to your website makes your brand/business more “powerful”. More people trust you now, more people respect you now, more people will buy your services and products now! By collecting and adding reviews and testimonials over a long period of time, your business is going to skyrocket! This is the secret to increasing revenue fast!
Now, I should mention that adding testimonials and reviews to your website will not directly increase your SEO statistics, but by getting social proof, you will increase awareness about your brand/business which will grow your audience, and by growing a bigger audience, more people will visit your website which will increase the engagement on your website. This will play a big part in improving your rankings on Google search results. (And of course improving your ranking in the search engines is the whole point of SEO *lol*)
Your website design needs to build trust immediately! (this is why you pay a professional web design company to design your website)
Here are examples of content you can add to your website to show authority:
- VSL’s (Video Sales Letter)
- Testimonials and reviews of products or services
- Sections with impressive stats, such as the number of clients, projects, reviews
- Case studies showing the results you achieved for your clients
- Case studies showing the problems you solved for your clients
- Verification certificates and trust badges
- Featured section (websites that your business has been featured in like Forbes, ABC News etc)
03. Make website text easy to read
You might be tempted to use elegant, beautiful fonts to make your website look good but these fancy fonts usually annoy people because they are not easy to read. You need to also remember that a lot of people have bad eyesight as well *lol*.
When choosing a font for a website, I prioritize readability over design. I would rather have a basic font that looks boring than a fancy font that is difficult to read. If people struggle to read the font on your website, they will bounce. This sends a bad signal to Google(people don’t like your website).
Your website font is going to have a major effect on your click-through-rate and your bounce rate. These 2 metrics are very important because they send signals to Google judging your website.
Let me give you the sauce, Use this font: Roboto
To design a website with fonts that are easy to read, Use this blueprint:
- Body texts(paragraphs) are no smaller than 16 pixels
- Play with the line height and letter spacing to make paragraphs more easy to read
- Use dark text colors on light backgrounds and light text colors on dark backgrounds
- Don’t use more than 3 different fonts on the website
- Create a website design that is optimized for skim reading.
04. Create hierarchy using Headers (H1, H2, H3)
When SERP’s crawl your pages, they look for organized content. I am not just talking about the way the website looks, I am talking about the coding of the website page as well.
When building a website, you have to give all text a HTML tag(H1 ,H2, H3, p, etc.).
These HTML tags tells Google:
- What is your blog title
- What is your heading
- What is your subheading
- What is your paragraph content(body text)
Without doing this, Google will struggle to understand your website pages, and if Google struggles to understand your website, Google will not want to improve your ranking.
That was the technical aspect, now when it comes to the visual aspect, Having headings organizes your website pages and blog posts visually as well. This helps people skim your website and read your content easier and faster.
TIP: If you want to have a table of contents for your blog posts, you need to add the correct HTML tags on the post content.
For example, these are the HTML tags I used on this post:
<H1> 11 Ways to Build a Website Design With SEO in Mind
<H2> How do you know that your SEO tips work?
<H3> Create your brand identity
These HTML header tags will win you points with Google and help your website users navigate your content.
Here are basic HTML tag guidelines to optimize your site for SEO:
- The H1 is the main title of your page/blog post. It should include the keyword you are targeting and you should only have one H1 tag on a website page/blog post.
- The H1 header should be above the fold of your website pages.
- H2 is for your headings. Try to include your keyword naturally. (no keyword stuffing!)
- H3 is for your subheadings.
05. Website metadata
Metadata is a short description(summary) telling Google what your website page or blog post is about. As you can see in the screenshot above, it’s that tiny paragraph that appears under website links on the Google search results page.
This is an on-page SEO practice and the purpose of metadata is to help your pages and blog posts rank on the relevant Google search results page and give people a preview of what to expect if they click on your website link.
Metadata text is the first thing people will look at, and this will decide whether people go to your website or not. So yes, as you might have guessed, optimizing your metadata is very important for your SEO success.
Here is a guideline to optimize your metadata for search engines:
Title tags: Title tags are those blue headings you see after you did a google search and loaded the search results page. These blue headlines on the SERP will link directly to a page on your website. Include your keyword in the meta title and make it explain exactly what the page is about.
Meta descriptions: This will describe what your website page is about in 2 sentences (It is like writing the bio for your Twitter/Instagram account). This should highlight why people should visit your website(160 characters max). Don’t forget to include the keyword you are targeting.
Alt text: This is the meta description for your website images. Include the keyword and try to write a description that helps someone who is blind.
06. Internal link building
Internal linking is adding links to your blogs and website pages that send people to other blogs and pages.
Example: If you would like us to do the SEO work for you, Book a free website Audit on our SEO Services page.
You see what I did there? I added a link that sent you to another page on my website (from this blog post, to my SEO services page).
That is internal linking. You are basically connecting your website pages together. The purpose of internal linking is to help people find what they are looking for.
If someone is reading your a blog post you made about taking beautiful pictures of dogs, You can add an internal link to your photography landing page because:
- The landing page is relevant to the blog topic
- They are interested in taking pictures of dogs, so they might find your photography service helpful.
Internal linking is also important for SEO because it helps search engines understand what your website pages and blog posts are about and how they relate to each other. Internal linking also lets Google know, what the most popular and important pages of your website are, because if a page has a lot of internal links pointing to it, that tells Google this page is important to your website.
Internal linking beginner guide for SEO:
- Each page on your website must have at least two internal links.
- Use internal links to help users understand what you are talking about, link to case studies, landing pages, other blog posts etc.
- Your most important pages should be linked in your header, footer and mobile navigation menu.
- Be descriptive with your anchor texts so that the user (and search engines) will know what’s on the page that you are linking to.
- Internal linking is not just text, You can add internal links to images, buttons and icons on your website as well. This is a more prominent and decorative way of displaying internal links.
07. Layout design and site structure
Creating killer content is not enough, you need to design your website in a way that organizes all your information in an aesthetically pleasing way that also makes it easy for people to skim and read.
Here are basic tips to structure your website correctly for SEO:
- Your sections should be neatly broken up with different colors and images.
- Your Navigation menu should be big, readable and easy to use.
- Your blog posts should be organized in the backend by categories and subcategories.
- You can organize posts and pages further by creating tags.
- Don’t make pages unnecessarily long to scroll (Especially your homepage).
- Create an HTML sitemap.
- You can find SEO website design templates under the “clients” section on our sitemap.
A well-organized site with professional website design and organized structure will make it easy for users to find what they want on your website. This also helps Google bots (other other search engine bots) understand the content on your website. If you don’t do this correctly, your website users are going to get lost and frustrated, and search engines like Google will struggle to properly index your website (this will destroy your SEO!).
To create an information architecture that will satisfy your users while impacting SEO in a positive way, we recommend the following:
Follow this blueprint to create and design your website with the correct structure for SEO:
- Study high authority websites in your niche.
- Create a flowchart to plan the structure of pages, categories, subcategories and navigation on your website.
- Look at your flowchart and plan your internal linking so that all your pages are less than three(3) clicks away.
- If your website is big(lots of pages and products), create dropdown menus or mega menus. You can also add breadcrumbs to make the navigation more efficient.
- Ask your friends and family to use the website often so you can test what annoys them and where the website needs to improve.
- Create and submit your XML sitemap to search engines so that Google, Bing and other SERP’s can find all your website pages and posts.
08. Index your website pages manually!
When we talk about SEO and Website Design, getting your sites pages indexed by Google is critical to SEO rankings. This is what actually helps people find your website in the search results. If a page or post on your website is not indexed, you will never rank for the keyword! You can write the best piece of content and get 1,000 backlinks, the page will never be found on Google unless you manually index the page.
By the way, crawling and indexing are not the same thing. Crawling is a process where a bot (such as Googlebot) downloads information about a page, and discovers the content and links on it. You can control this process through the robots.txt file. This is the first file Googlebot checks when it “comes” to your website to crawl it. Indexing is a process of saving your page in the database so that Google can quickly pull those saved pages and show them as search results when people google something. You control the indexing process using the meta robots tag. The issues arise when you confuse robots.txt and meta robots.
3 tips on crawling and indexing:
- Don’t use both robots.txt and meta robots to disable crawling and indexing of a page simultaneously.
- Don’t use the robots.txt file to remove the pages from Google’s index.
- Don’t use meta robots to control the crawl budget.
So remember, just because your website has been crawled, does not mean that the pages have been indexed. You need to manually index each post/page yourself.
Website indexing blueprint:
- Create your XML sitemap.
- Use Google Search Console to submit your XML sitemap.
- Use the “URL inspection” tool on your Google Search Console dashboard to check if any pages/posts on your website are not indexed. Request the URL to be indexed if Google has not indexed it already.
- Schedule a date every month to publish blogs. Google does not like random blog publishing.
- Each page on your website has 2 internal links.
- Add a table of contents feature on your blog posts to help search engines index your posts easier.
- Build relevant and quality backlinks to your website pages. This will boost your SEO rankings fast.
- Make sure your website has a simple site structure that is easy for users and search engines to crawl and navigate
Secret TIP: Do not index pages that you aren’t interested in ranking for. This will boost your overall SEO success, Indexing is only for pages and posts that you want to rank on the search engines.
The goal is to make your website easy for Google to crawl and index. This is what makes Google think you are an SEO-friendly website.
09. Make your mobile website design SEO-friendly
Whenever I look at the traffic statistics of my clients websites, 100% of the time, over 57% of traffic is coming from people using their phones. In other words – over half of your website visitors will be using the mobile version of your website.
I have spent over 16 hours practicing and testing mobile responsive design practices for my clients. I can not stress how important it is for you to get your website specially designed for mobile devices.
If you don’t get your website professionally designed for mobile devices, Your website will never be able to rank for highly competitive words that bring organic traffic through search engine rankings. In other words, you will fail at SEO. Having a mobile-friendly website design is so important that Google actually indexes your websites mobile versions first!
When you hire an SEO company, they will need to speed up your website, which could cost you a few thousand dollars to redesign your website all over again (yeah its a f***kin headache!). This is why you should get it done right from the very beginning by hiring a web design company that also specializes in SEO.
Your website can not take more than 3-5 seconds to load, and the mobile website design needs to be extremely easy to navigate for website users. You don’t want people to leave your website without reading and engaging with your content because this will seriously f**k up your Google metrics (average time on site, bounce rate, pages per session and page load speed).
By 2025, it is estimated that over 74% of people will be visiting websites using their phones, making your website mobile responsive is becoming more crucial as time goes on.
Here is a guide on how you can make your website mobile-friendly:
- Create a separate design for all your website pages and posts on mobile devices. This is called mobile responsive website design.
- Create a separate slide-in or drop down menu for mobile devices.
- Do not create fancy complicated websites to show off your website design skills. Fancy websites will break on mobile devices. Keep your website design straightforward and professional.
By the way, you can use Google Search Console to check if your website is mobile friendly.
Mobile Responsive TIP: Be careful what widgets you “hide” on mobile devices, very often these widgets will not get indexed by Google. I suggest you don’t hide any critical content on mobile.
10. Speed optimization
Speed optimization is about making your website as fast. We want all the website pages to load as fast as possible when people click on links. Search engines like Google hate websites that take too long to load, people are not willing to wait for your website to load, they don’t know you and they don’t care about you, they will just close your website and never come back if they have to wait for your pages to load.
A slow website is a bad user experience! This will cost you dearly with lower rankings on SERPs , decrease in traffic, poor engagement and sh#t conversion rates. Studies have shown that the websites with the highest bounce rates were also slow websites with bad page-speed scores. Even more interesting, statistics show that 42% of people leave websites because they are not functional(poor web design).
All of this sends a signal to Google that people hate your website and they should not rank you. People expect websites to load in 3 seconds, if you can’t achieve this, they will go to another website instead. It doesn’t even matter how amazing your content is, slow websites will kill your SEO.
When your web designer is building your website, they need to understand the Core Web Vital factors. You can not build a website and “magically” make it faster, you need to build the website with clean code in order for it to be fast. This is why you should only hire a professional web design company to build your website.
Speed optimization guide to boost SEO and improve user experience:
- Use Jpeg image format to decrease the file size of your images so that they load faster.
- Optimize your images using TinyPNG. This website tool will decrease the file size of your images without losing image quality(the pictures won’t become blurry).
- Purchase website hosting from a fast hosting provider that automatically loads websites quickly and has a high uptime rate.
- Enable browser caching, I recommend these two free WordPress plug-ins(WP Fastest Cache or LiteSpeed Cache). This will reduce server requests and speed up page loading times.
- Test your website speed performance using these tools: Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix.
11. Web accessibility optimization
What the hell is web accessibility? Well you might be shocked to find out that 1 billion people can not access most of the internet! And this is because of disabilities. Web accessibility is the practice of helping everyone, including people with disabilities, can use your website without challenges.
Google and other search engines care about the 1 billion people who struggle with disabilities because they want everyone to enjoy using their search engine. If you want to boost your SEO and get the highest rankings on Google’s search results,
you will have to design your website with Web accessibility practices:
- Be very descriptive with your headings as if you are talking to a blind person(People that can not see your website will be using screen readers).
- Use descriptive alt text on all your images(for blind people).
- Use contrasting colors on your website so people with bad eyesight can easily read your content.
- Ensure that your color scheme has sufficient contrast to improve readability for users with visual impairments. A good rule of thumb is to use a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between the text color and background color.
- To help you even further, I have searched the web and found the best in depth guide for you on Web Accessibility.
12. URL structure
Here is the secret to deciding what the URL should be for your website pages, make your URL the keyword that you are targeting! Do not make the URL something that is convenient or easy to remember unless it is a page that you don’t want top rank for. This is how you should create URLs for your pages and blog posts. This strategy will help Google (and other search engines) know what keywords you are trying to rank for.
Guideline for creating URLs around your SEO strategy:
- URLs must include the keyword you are targeting
- Pages that are not targeting a keyword should have an easy to remember URL.
- Try to make URLs as short as possible
13. One topic per page
You might feel the need to advertise all YouTube products and services to increase sales or maybe you want to create a lot of content to rank higher on Google but this can make your website overwhelming if not done correctly.
Every page on your website should be targeting only one keyword(topic). So only create content that is relevant to that keyword. Don’t talk about graphic design and web design on the same page, creating separate pages for each of those topics. Don’t talk about rings and shirts on the same page, create two separate pages for those two products. The only page that will cover different topics and multiple keywords is your Homepage. Your homepage should be the most stacked and “overwhelming” page on your website.
14. Homepage website design
Your homepage is the most important page of your website. This is where you will target multiple keywords and cover multiple topics. Your homepage is the most visited page on your website and it is also the page with the highest bounce rate. People will judge your whole business/company by just looking at your homepage in under 5 seconds. You need to show off your value on your homepage, you need to advertise your main products, services and blog posts – Show them what your business has to offer them, show them why they should care about you, highlight how you will fix their problems.
Here is the ultimate cheat-sheet guide to designing your homepage:
- Hero section explaining what you do and showing social proof to back it up.
- Different sections organized to advertise your main services and products.
- Testimonials and reviews section
- Newsletter/mailing list form to collect emails.
- About section with link to about page.
- Portfolio, previous work or case studies section.
- Blog section with links to important posts and a link to the blog page.
- Email contact form, appointment calendar booking or Contact section with contact button.
- Header with navigation to most important pages on the website.
- Footer with HTML sitemap and social media profile links
Don’t make your homepage unnecessarily long to scroll, but stack your homepage with all the necessary information and content to achieve your business goals.
15. Use images and videos to boost SEO
How often do you use Google images? Almost everyday, right? So does everyone else in the world! *lol*. Google image and video searches are becoming more popular every year. This is not the early 2000’s anymore, people are obsessed with video and image content now (just look at how big Instagram and TikTok are).
Even if your website has amazing written content, people want to see “cool” pictures and helpful videos. If you own an E-Commerce website, it is even more important to have images and videos for each of your products – not just for SEO purposes but to also increase sales. I suggest you embed YouTube videos on your website as well, here is why – Google owns YouTube! Google wants you to add YouTube videos on your website and by doing this, you will benefit when your pages and blog posts rank higher on the Google search results pages.
Tips on using images and videos for SEO:
- Use high quality interesting, emotional or helpful images on your website pages and posts.
- Embed YouTube videos on your website pages and blog posts
15. Affiliate link SEO Practices
I know for a fact that you want to affiliate for products to make extra cash(who doesn’t *lol*). But you need to be careful because adding affiliate links on your website can get you penalized by Google and bring your rankings down in the SERPs.
Follow these guidelines to avoid damaging your SEO with affiliate links:
- Always mark your affiliate links as no-follow links.
- Mark adverts as sponsored links and no-follow links.
- Do not have adverts in the hero section of your website page.
- Do not spam your website with affiliate links everywhere to try and make as much money as possible. Only affiliate for a few good quality products that are selling already. Too many affiliate links will make Google think your website is an affiliate site (Google is not a fan of affiliate websites)
16. Social Media profiles
Does having special media accounts help with SEO?
Crazy fact – Google actually wants you to have your social media profiles linked on your website. Google favors accounts from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tiktok and Instagram that have a lot of followers. Having social media accounts with a lot of followers, likes and comments makes Google think you are a real business that people care about.
So yes, having social media accounts will improve your SEO success. I suggest adding your social media profile links in the footer of your website.
How to find a balance between SEO and conversion
I’m going to end the article with this because you need to understand that conversion rates are more important than SEO. The purpose of a business is not to rank first on Google, the purpose of a business is to make money. Your website STILL needs to be built for conversions.
Let’s wrap this up, I am going to give you a guide on web design and SEO. You must understand that your website should prioritize conversions more than SEO but at the same time your website needs to be built to rank on Google and other search engines as well.
SEO will make your content long so your website can easily feel overwhelming to people, which is bad for conversions because people have a super short attention span these days. So your website design should include SEO practices but still get good conversion rates. (This is why it’s so important to ONLY hire a web design company if they are SEO experts)
Here are tips on how to increase conversion rates and be successful in SEO at the same time:
- Include your main CTA button in the hero section of your website.
- Make the Calls-to-Action so prominent that people can not miss it, even if they are just skimming the website. Use colors that pop and make the buttons big.
- Create pop-ups for Calls-to-action(Items on sale, email subscribe form etc.).
- The best method is to create 2 or 3 different designs of your website pages and test each one over a few months to see which designs convert the highest. You can also use a heatmap feature to see how people engage with the design, now you have real feedback on how people behave on each design and you can use that data to create the ultimate website that includes all the elements with high engagement from all the websites you tested to get the highway possible conversions.
Getting your website beautifully designed is a MUST – but not enough to be successful in SEO. You need to have effective SEO practices on your website in order for you to make more money. You need to create content that people like so Google will trust your website and promote your business. Your website needs to also be designed for good user experience and be built with correct technical SEO practices.
Website Design & SEO go together like salt and pepper. You can’t choose one, you need both.
Can I do my own SEO?
Yes. You will have to spend 15+ hours minimum if you are doing these SEO practices by yourself.
How do I know if my website has good SEO?
- Your DA(Domain Authority) score should be over 25.
- Your Organic Search Traffic should be above 1,000/month.
- You should rank on the first page of Google for keywords relevant to your services/products.
- Your website should pass core vitals on PageSpeed Insights.
What are the top 3 SEO strategies?
- Fix all technical issues on your website.
- Design your website to rank for keywords
- Get high-quality backlinks to your website.
What are the 4 types of SEO?
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Local SEO
Can you help me?
Yes, if you have a budget of $1,000 – Click here: SEO Services page.