Web design

SEO Tips For Graphic Designers

SEO & Webdesign usually butt heads a bit but they can do some great work together too.

A modern SEO agency is more concerned with rankings than they are with aesthetics, so it makes sense that designers and SEO specialists don’t always see eye to eye. Web designers want the site to look good and SEOs want it to rank well 9sometimes at the expense of design). Why not have both?

Here are a few tricks that will help you to get the best of both worlds. 

Above the fold isn’t everything

Designers and SEO specialists normally agree that crucial content should always be at the top of a page.

Google has actually weighed in on this and they want everything to be done with the audience in mind. User experience is of the utmost importance. 

Your audience is NOT Google and sometimes SEOs can forget this. In contrast, designers need to keep in mind that the audience isn’t an art critic, so we need to create great-looking pages that are great for users and have all of the vital aspects to rank well.

If SEOs want content placed somewhere then they need to give a good reason for this it conflicts with design elements. A good designer should be able to find a way to place the content and make it look good. It needs to work for SEO, design and for the end client.

SEO experts and web designers need to work together in order to achieve the best possible outcome. SEOs should advise on the correct structure and content to rank and then designers need to make sure that the users are happy once they get to the site. All the traffic in the world won’t mean anything if that traffic does not convert once it lands on the site. 

Don’t stuff in the content

Designers don’t want huge chipmunks of content on every page. It doesn’t look good but SEOs want as much content on the page as possible to satisfy the crawlers…so what do you do? 

SEO experts need to make sure that content is written with E-A-T in mind. This stands for expertise, authority, and trust and it’s something that Google is specifically concerned about. 

What this means is that all content should be authoritative, trustworthy and it needs to display a good level of understanding or expertise. This is however not a hard and fast rule and it’s more of a guide. Make sure that the content checks these boxes but don’t go out of your way to make it as informative or lengthy as possible. Say what you need to say and then move on. Once the keyword research is done and the copy is written, let the designers do their job.

SEOs should guide the process but never control it. This is like telling your taxi driver how to drive his taxi because you have a driver’s license too.

You can break up copy in the following ways without interfering with each other: 

Use bullet points and numbering:

This is a great way to show a large amount of information in a neat and easy-to-read way. This can help to break up text if it’s too cumbersome to read.

Use pull quotes:

Using a pull quote can break up a page and emphasize various key points to both end users and crawlers. Yes, crawlers can see that this is emphasised much like when you bold a term. It won’t affect rankings but it can affect relevance. 

Image captions are your friend:

Captions are underused aspects of a page that can push additional keywords or phrases into certain areas of a page. Before you ask, no, this is not the same thing as ALT Text. 

Always seek a compromise on fonts and images.

Loading times have become a very important ranking factoid but some SEOs don’t quite know when to take their foot off of the accelerator. A site needs to load quickly but not at the expense of a site’s design.

Designers normally understand this but save yourself some effort and make sure to only use Web-native fonts. These fancy fonts might look great but they slow down loading times and can sometimes make things difficult to tread too. 

Images should be optimised to load quickly and if you can’t get that right, use a content delivery network (CDN). This is a service whereby your images are preloaded on an external server and then they are pushed to your site. You can have amazing-looking images that also load really quickly. 

Use animation sparingly zs a designer. These animations normally can’t be seen by search engines and they distract users. Do the same thing with video elements, always use it in moderation. 

The Mighty 301 Redirect

For some reason, designers love to use 302 redirects. A 302 redirect is only meant for temporary redirects that won’t be there forever. If you are redirecting content to a place and it’s not going to change anytime soon, please use a 301 redirect. 302 redirects have the ability to entirely de-rank pages if they are not used wisely and if you get stuck…give your SEO specialist a call. When in doubt, use a 301 redirect and change it later if you need to. 

The Summary

SEO agency pros and website designers must work together to develop websites that are both great on the eyes and that search engines want to rank. These two roles must be linked together. Don’t forget that Google is trying to give their users the easiest-to-use sites that also house the best content possible. These two aspects will always be at the core of any search engine’s requirements. Don’t make this harder than it already is by not wanting to come to work with each other.

You need both an SEO agency expert and a graphic designer to give a site the best possible chance to rank well. Work together and make the best website you can! 

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