Your business and / or brand’s online presence starts with your website.
This is where your first impression is made, and as we know, our goal is to make a good first impression. In the digital landscape, first impressions are about more than just looks.
You also need to consider other technical aspects that might not be obvious at first glance.
Since we’ve been helping companies expand their digital presence for years, we know how important it is to consider SEO when designing websites.
We have compiled a list of SEO factors to consider when designing your web site.
1. Core Web Vitals and Page Speed
Core Web Vitals are currently a hot topic in the SEO industry as they will soon be considered a ranking factor. According to Google, Core Web Vitals represent a special facet of the user experience, are measurable in the field and reflect the real experience of a critical user-oriented result. They measure how long the page takes to load, the delay in first typing, and whether the elements are visually stable.
You can find Core Web Vitals in the Google Search Console. You will see an overall diagram for the device type and when you open the report you will find an example list of URLs.
Check your sample URLs using the PageSpeed Insight Tool offered by Google. This valuable tool provides a breakdown of suggestions to make your page load faster and issues to improve performance.
- Repair broken files.
- Remove unused code.
- Remove unnecessary lines, spaces, and comments from the source code.
- Compress your files to reduce the size in order to reduce the loading time of the page.
Our recommendations are:
- Avoid using graphics / video / software applications that slow down the website.
2. Mobile friendliness
It goes without saying that more and more people are using their mobile phones as their main device for searching. Users should be able to easily read the content of the website, see pictures and videos that adapt to their screen size, fill out a contact form or buy a product. An unsuccessful user experience increases bounces and, consequently, conversions will suffer.
Having a mobile optimized website is not just a matter of user experience, it’s also a primary SEO factor. Google has been considering mobile-friendliness as an SEO factor since 2015, and the mobile-first index was introduced in 2017.
With this in mind, it is very important to optimize the design of your website for mobile phones as your main device.
3. Add the required information as text, not images.
This does not mean that videos, pictures, etc. should be avoided. On the contrary, they can complement each other. For example, adding a transcript, caption, and metadata to a video can help determine its intent and relevance, thereby driving more organic traffic to the website.
4. Optimize images
Image optimization is critical to good website performance. If done poorly, it can have an impact on SEO.
- Use supported image formats. JPEG is our recommended format. PNG could also be used if there is transparency. Vector graphics (SVG) are also good for logos, icons, etc.
- Resize images to make sure the image size doesn’t slow the website down.
- Provide a name that clearly describes what the picture is.
- Insert alternative text (alt text). Use descriptive alt text to help those who cannot see the pictures to reinforce the picture content.
- Add OpenGraph and Twitter cards to use the image on social sharing.
- Use the correct physical size of the image for fast downloads.
5. Optimize videos
Video optimization is another design factor that can affect SEO.
- Use the supported video encoding. MP4 is our most recommended file format, but Google can get more: 3GP, AVI, MKV, MOV, MPEG, etc.
- Paste the video into a suitable HTML tag:
- Add embedded video if it’s from a third-party platform like YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo.
- Choose a good quality and appealing thumbnail. Strong thumbnail images increase click-through rates and other video SEO metrics.
- Include a video transcript.
- Add video scheme markup.
- We recommend only one video per page as search engines usually stop crawling for videos after the first.
- Don’t embed the same video on multiple pages. It could create internal competition and damage SEO.
6. Lazy load images and videos
If you are considering a website with plenty of imagery, we recommend lazy loading.
Lazy loading is a common way to allocate resources to critical pages at load time. The goal of lazy loading is to ensure that important information is loaded faster and presented to the user as quickly as possible, which is crucial when loading images and videos. This technique reduces the time spent on unnecessary downloads and instead focuses on your page.
In conclusion, SEO should be considered as the main factor when designing your website or reviewing your current website design. Images and videos are great, but they shouldn’t hurt your page speed or overall SEO performance. We hope our recommendations are useful, and if you have any questions or need help, contact us today!