How one can construct search engine-friendly websites


Your web site is the middle of your digital advertising world. It’s the place you will have essentially the most management and the place all digital advertising rivers run towards.

Typically, the most important of these visitors sources is natural search. 

But, all too usually, Search engine optimization shouldn’t be deeply embedded when a brand new web site is being designed (or redesigned), and Search engine optimization considering is usually solely addressed after a website has launched. 

It is a downside. 

When constructing a brand new web site as a advertising car for what you are promoting, Search engine optimization issues ought to be included within the planning phases earlier than a line of code is written. 

My staff and I’ve helped a whole bunch of companies design and construct websites that take their Search engine optimization and advertising to the subsequent degree.

Sadly, now we have additionally helped many companies recover SEO traffic after a botched website redesign that didn’t think about Search engine optimization.

This text explores why – and the way – Search engine optimization performs an integral half within the web site design course of.

It particulars precisely what it’s essential to take into account to construct a website for search advertising and lead technology and the way to give attention to what your customers need to assist preserve the Google gods in your facet.

We can even dive into frequent pitfalls companies seeking to construct a brand new web site and keep Search engine optimization visitors might encounter. 

1. How one can develop an Search engine optimization-friendly web site

The next are the important thing areas to think about in constructing a really optimized web site. 

  • Fundamentals: Domains, internet hosting and CMS.
  • Crawling: The technical bit.
  • Data structure: How one can construction your Search engine optimization-friendly website.
  • Cellular: Cellular-friendly websites want extra than simply responsive design.
  • Web page pace: Quick websites make for glad customers.
  • Usability: Confuse them and lose them.

The remainder of this text will dive into every of those factors intimately. 


There are just a few core components that set the stage for a well-optimized web site design course of.


Your area identify is the entry level into your web site, and there ought to be one single (canonical) area. You will have others, however they need to all level (redirect) to this one.

Our enterprise is named Bowler Hat. We function within the UK. We’re a web-based enterprise. It naturally follows that our area is All subdomains 301 redirect again to the primary URL We’ve just a few area variations that 301 redirect again to the primary URL. This all is sensible.

Your area ought to be model led within the majority of instances, and having shouldn’t be going that will help you rank at this time (1999 simply referred to as and desires its Search engine optimization again). 

Internet hosting

You should purchase internet hosting for $1 a month – however guess what? It isn’t excellent. 

Sluggish, cruddy internet hosting creates a poor person expertise and finally creates a website that Google shouldn’t be so eager to indicate within the search outcomes. 

Purchase the perfect internet hosting you possibly can afford and guarantee your website has good uptime and runs properly on it. 

Typically, internet hosting ought to comply with common sense guidelines:

  • Be located the place your viewers is
  • Be quick and ideally platform-specific (e.g., WordPress hosting for WordPress)


The CMS (content material administration system) you select for what you are promoting can vastly affect how profitable you’re. WordPress is a good platform, however there are different choices. 

Attempt to use the trail of least resistance to your CMS selection. If one of many ubiquitous CMS platforms works to your wants – go along with it. Google has to know the large gamers, and they’re technically sound and straightforward to optimize. 

The ultimate selection right here is dependent upon your totally distinctive necessities, however make sure you perceive why you’re utilizing a given platform and don’t simply find yourself with the one your net company likes to work with.

Crawling and accessibility

Step one is making certain a search engine can crawl your website and perceive what it’s that you just do (and the place you do it).


To grasp your website, they’ve to have the ability to learn the content material of the web page. Which means that the primary content material of your website ought to be text-based.

Whilst we hurtle forwards in direction of and have search engines like google and yahoo with AI options, the written phrase is the spine of a search engine-friendly website, so guarantee your textual content is well-written and sensibly optimized. 

Photos, movies, PDFs and content material are additionally essential and is usually a supply of search engine visitors. Once more, these have to be well-named, organized and discoverable to be listed.

Hyperlink construction

To index your content material past the house web page, you want inside hyperlinks that the search engine can crawl.

Your main navigation, search engine directives and instruments like XML sitemaps all assist the search engine crawl your website and uncover new pages. 

Data structure and structuring your website

I’ve all the time preferred the submitting cupboard analogy for web site construction.

Your website is the submitting cupboard. The foremost classes are the drawers. The subcategories are the folders within the drawers. The pages are paperwork within the folders. 

  • Cupboard: Your web site
  • Drawer: Excessive-level class
  • Folder: Subcategory
  • File: Particular person doc/web page

This helps to supply extra contextual details about the content material on any given web page. 

When you have a drawer in your cupboard for providers, then something in that drawer is a service – earlier than a single character has been analyzed. 

That is good for Google and your customers, which is what Google actually cares about (and is a extra simple idea than the typically esoteric nuances of Search engine optimization). 

Many web sites have the next construction:

For our firm web site, that’s:

So, there’s a web page on this data structure that’s merely /audits/.

  • We’ve providers. 
  • We’ve Search engine optimization providers. 
  • We’ve Search engine optimization audit providers. 

This all is sensible, and the structural group of your web site can assist to supply context and relevance alerts past the web page itself. 

That is related to weblog posts, articles, FAQ content material, providers, places and absolutely anything else that’s an entity inside what you are promoting.

You need to construction the details about what you are promoting in a manner that makes it comprehensible (to folks and robots).

Some websites might take a deep strategy to structuring content material. Others might take a large strategy. The essential takeaway is that issues ought to be organized in a manner that is sensible and simplifies navigation and discovery.

A 3- to four-level strategy like this ensures that the majority content material will be simply navigated inside three to 4 clicks and tends to work higher than a deeper strategy to website navigation (for customers and search engines like google and yahoo).


The URL additional signifies context. A smart naming conference helps present but extra context for people and search engines like google and yahoo.

Following are two hypothetical units of URLs that might map to the Companies > Search engine optimization > Search engine optimization audit path laid out above – but one is sensible, and the opposite does nothing to assist.

  • Instance 1:
    • engine optimization/
    • engine optimization/audits/
  • Instance 2:

The second set of URLs is a purposely daft instance, nevertheless it serves some extent – the primary URL naming conference helps each search engines like google and yahoo and customers, and the second hinders.

This additional builds upon the contextual alerts out of your submitting cupboard construction. 


Constructing an Search engine optimization-friendly web site navigation can even assist point out the related significance of a given web page (within the set of pages) and supplies extra context. 

Your navigation ought to be text-based and subsequently helps ship a sign in regards to the key phrases you desire to a given web page to rank for. 

I’ve all the time preferred the signpost analogy for navigation. I stroll right into a grocery store and search for the indicators to search out what I want. Your web site isn’t any completely different.

A person lands in your website and has to search out the place they should go within the quickest attainable time. They then want a signpost to get them there. 

Search engine optimization considering will be harmful right here, although. Mega menus with a whole bunch of spammy web page hyperlinks – this isn’t the way in which! 

The golden rule is to maintain your navigation easy. Don’t make the person should assume.

The next picture is an indication from my native residence enchancment retailer. Which route takes you to the automotive park and which route takes you to the deliveries entrance?

My mind follows the “buyer automotive park” line from left to proper, so I flip proper. Nevertheless, the client automotive park is to the left.

There’s nothing to obviously illustrate proper or mistaken, and I learn proper to left – a easy line down the center separating these would enhance this.

As a psychological exercise, shopping web sites is like driving. It’s a difficult process, but, to some extent, the mind is on autopilot.

Leverage this in your web site navigation, give folks what they anticipate, make it straightforward, and take away any potential for confusion else they may bounce again to the SERPs and into the open arms of your competitors. 

Guarantee your navigation is easy to make use of, promotes your most essential pages and doesn’t make your customers assume too laborious (if in any respect). 

Widespread issues

There are various potential points with content material that may’t be discovered or understood by the search engine that may work in opposition to you. For instance:

  • Orphaned content material that may’t be discovered.
  • Content material solely obtainable by way of website search.
  • Flash recordsdata, Java applications, audio recordsdata, video recordsdata.
  • AJAX and flashy website results. (Google has gotten a lot better at reading AJAX pages, however it’s nonetheless attainable to obscure content material with pointless results.)
  • Frames: Content material embedded from one other website will be problematic.
  • Subdomains: Content material cut up into subdomains somewhat than sub-folders.

Make certain that essential content material is definitely discoverable, comprehensible and sits within the total construction of the positioning in a manner that is sensible.


If every little thing is completed properly, a human and a search engine ought to have a fairly good concept of what a web page is about earlier than they even take a look at it. Your typical Search engine optimization then simply builds on this strong basis that’s laid out by your data structure and website construction.

Cellular-friendly design

Being Search engine optimization pleasant is having a website that works how your customers need it to – and, in lots of instances, which means cellular.

Lots of your future prospects use cellular as the primary, and infrequently solely, gadget to work together with what you are promoting.

One other essential consideration for a lot of companies is multi-device interactions. Even when your conversions are typically from desktop, these preliminary interactions could also be from cellular.

Cellular-friendly means extra than simply responsive design. I beforehand checked out 28 key factors in creating mobile SEO-friendly websites that can assist you transfer past easy responsive design towards actually mobile-friendly web sites. 

From an Search engine optimization perspective, it’s price noting that mobile-friendliness is a confirmed rating issue for cellular search, and it’s the mobile version of your site that the search engine will use to evaluate and rank your website.

Nevertheless, much more essential, cellular is how your potential prospects seek for and browse your website.

It’s debatable simply how essential options like mobile-friendly are for Search engine optimization, but it’s utterly moot.

Do what works to your customers and what’s good for Search engine optimization. 

Web page pace

One other key consideration within the cellular period is web page pace. Customers could also be impatient, or they might not all the time have an incredible cellular knowledge connection.

Guaranteeing your pages are lean and imply is a key consideration in trendy Search engine optimization-friendly web site design.

An excellent start line is Google’s mobile-friendly test. This device gives you suggestions on mobile-friendliness, cellular pace and desktop pace. It additionally wraps every little thing up right into a useful little report detailing what precisely you are able to do to hurry issues up.

Web page pace is yet one more important consideration that spans how your website is constructed and the standard and suitability of the internet hosting you utilize.


Internet usability is a mixture of different components: device-specific design, web page pace, design conventions and an intuitive strategy to placing the positioning along with the top person in thoughts.

Key components to think about embrace:

  • Web page structure: Necessary components ought to have extra prominence.
  • Visible hierarchy: Make extra essential components greater!
  • Residence web page and website navigation: Clearly signpost instructions for customers.
  • Website search: Giant websites want a sensibly positioned search possibility.
  • Kind entry: Make varieties as light-weight and straightforward to fill as attainable.
  • Design: Nice design makes every little thing simpler.

This simply scratches the floor. Usability actually needs to be custom-made to the person website.

A few sources I counsel testing:

The content material advertising funnel

One other key consideration to constructing a website that ranks is the way you construction the content material in your website to map to the completely different phases a possible buyer will undergo. 

The objective of your web site is to assist what you are promoting get in entrance of potential prospects on search engines like google and yahoo after which interact and convert these prospects.

A great way to strategy that is to construction your content material to match the phases in a typical advertising funnel:

Consciousness: High of the funnel

Consciousness content material will sometimes be your weblog and informational articles. We’re serving to your potential buyer perceive the issues they face and illustrating your expertise and credibility in fixing them.

Consideration: Center of the funnel

The content material on the consideration stage helps your prospect evaluate you in opposition to the opposite choices on the market. This tends to be sensible content material that helps the client decide.

  • Case research
  • Services or products data
  • Product demonstration movies
  • Consumer guides

Conversion: Backside of the funnel

Backside-of-the-funnel content material drives conversions and may gently encourage a sale or lead.

  • Evaluations
  • Testimonials
  • Free trial
  • Free session

Keep in mind that prospects will search throughout this whole spectrum of content material varieties. Subsequently, making certain all these areas are coated aids discovery by way of search engines like google and yahoo and helps you win extra enterprise – win-win. 

That’s the fundamentals coated

Quite a bit is occurring there however not with out good motive, and guarantee you will have given every of those satan’s their due within the planning of your new website. 

Get the day by day publication search entrepreneurs depend on.

2. Search engine optimization: How one can optimize your website

OK, so now you will have methodically deliberate and developed your web site, laid your Search engine optimization foundations, and you’re prepared to start out the precise optimization. 

Optimizing that website with a well-structured web site that considers the entire factors coated above turns into simpler. 

Key phrase focusing on

Nailing your key phrase technique is far simpler after you have a strong construction with out inside duplication.

If we take a look at our earlier examples for website hierarchy and construction, then including key phrases is comparatively simple (and is one thing we’d usually do in a spreadsheet pre-design).

  • Companies:
    • Search engine optimization: engine optimization/
      • Search engine optimization audits: engine optimization/audits/
  • engine optimization/ engine optimization/audits/

If I take advantage of these pages for example, now we have a pure development from broad key phrases to extra refined search phrases. We will even take into account primary modifiers reminiscent of location if we’re a neighborhood enterprise.

– digital advertising company
– digital advertising firm
+ Birmingham
+ UK

– advertising providers
– digital advertising providers
+ Birmingham
+ UK

Search engine optimization
– Search engine optimization
– Search Engine Optimization
+ Firm
+ Company
+ Birmingham
+ UK

Search engine optimization Audits
– Search engine optimization Audits
– Technical Search engine optimization Audits
+ Company
+ Firm
+ Birmingham

The purpose right here is {that a} well-structured website provides you a great way to find out your key phrase technique.

You continue to should do the analysis and copywriting, however you will be positive you will have a strong technique to focus on broad and extra detailed phrases.

Professional tip: The work performed structuring your website up so far ought to make this side a bit of cake – if you’re nonetheless struggling, take into account revisiting the web page construction. 

HTML title tags

The <title> tag is the first behind-the-scenes tag that may affect your search engine outcomes. In reality, it’s the solely meta tag that truly influences place immediately.

The most effective follow for title tags is as follows:

  • Place key phrases firstly of the tag.
  • Maintain the size round 50 to 60 characters.
  • Use key phrases and key phrases in a pure method.
  • Use dividers to separate components like class and model.
  • Give attention to click-through and the top person (assume name to motion).
  • Have a constant strategy throughout the positioning.

Bear in mind, don’t overdo it and over-optimize web page titles. We would like our key phrases within the title tag, however not on the expense of click-through and human readability. A search engine might rank your content material, however human clicks on it, so preserve that in thoughts.

Professional tip: Google has began to incorporate model names and logos in search outcomes (once more), so now you can use any area you’d have used for branding for a name to motion or extra optimization. 

Image 80

Meta description tags

Positive, meta descriptions don’t immediately affect rankings. Everyone knows that, proper?

However that’s utterly lacking the purpose right here. Your meta description is the content material of your commercial for that web page in a set of search engine outcomes.

It’s what wins you the press. And successful these clicks can assist enhance visibility and is completely important in driving extra customers to your pages.

Meta descriptions should:

  • Honestly describe the web page content material.
  • Promote the web page and enhance click-through charges.
  • Contemplate the person’s thought course of and why they may click on on this web page.
  • Embrace key phrases the place related and pure to take action.

The search engine will spotlight search phrases in your web page title and meta description, which assist a person scan the web page. Don’t use this as an excuse to spam the meta description, although, or else Google probably will ignore it, and it received’t result in that all-important click on!

There are additionally conditions the place it will probably make sense to not create a meta description and let the search engine pull content material from the web page to kind an outline that extra precisely maps to a person’s search. Your temporary meta description can’t all the time cowl all of the choices for a longer-form piece of content material, so preserve this in thoughts.

Tip: Acquired tons of meta descriptions to write down? That is a kind of SEO jobs that ChatGPT can really help with

Heading tags

Heading tags assist construction the web page and point out hierarchy in a doc: H1, H2, H3 and so forth.

Textual content in heading tags correlates with improved rankings (albeit barely), however what issues is the alignment between the construction of the positioning, behind-the-scenes optimization like web page titles and meta descriptions and the content material itself. 

Line every little thing up, and issues make extra sense for customers, and we assist search engines like google and yahoo categorize our content material whereas eking out each final bit of straightforward, on-page optimization we are able to.

Bear in mind to align header tags with the visible hierarchy. Which means a very powerful header on the web page (sometimes the <h1>) also needs to be the largest textual content factor on the web page.

You’re making the doc visually straightforward to know right here and additional making certain that design and content material are working collectively for the perfect end result.

Tip: The magic right here is sort of all the time within the course of itself. Pondering of the content material in relation to the hierarchy of data and mapping that to the visible hierarchy will nearly actually drive revisions and enhance the content material – that’s the actual Search engine optimization win! 

Web page content material

The content material ought to typically be a very powerful a part of the web page. Nevertheless, we nonetheless see archaic Search engine optimization practices like overt key phrase density and search phrases littered within the copy affecting readability.

This doesn’t work. It makes you look illiterate and positively doesn’t assist together with your Search engine optimization. Don’t do that. 

We need to make sure that the context of our web page is obvious. Our navigation, URLs, web page titles, headers and so forth ought to all assist right here. But we need to write naturally, utilizing synonyms and pure language.

Give attention to creating nice content material that engages the person. Be conscious of key phrases, however actually don’t overdo it.

Issues for web page content material:

  • Key phrases in content material (however do not overdo it).
  • Construction of the web page.
  • Place of key phrases within the content material – earlier will be higher.
  • Synonyms and options.
  • Co-occurrence of key phrases – how else do folks speak about this subject?

Tip: evaluate particular person pages in Google Search Console to see what key phrases the web page ranks for in decrease positions. Utilizing the impression depend vs. clicks you will get some straightforward wins right here. 

Wealthy snippets

Wealthy snippets are a strong device to extend click-through charges. We’re naturally drawn to listings that stand out within the search engine outcomes.

Something you are able to do to enhance the click-through charge drives extra customers and makes your search engine listings work tougher.

Think about attainable rating enhancements from elevated engagement, and you may have a low-input, high-output Search engine optimization tactic.

The snippets which might be most related to what you are promoting will depend upon what you do, however is a good place to start out.

Picture optimization

Picture Search engine optimization can drive a considerable quantity of visitors in the best circumstances. And once more, our ideas concerning context are essential right here.

Google doesn’t (but) use the content material of photos, so context throughout the website and the web page and primary optimization are essential right here.

For instance, I’m searching for a hobbit-hole playhouse for my youngest, and the search brings up picture outcomes:


I can dive proper into these picture outcomes and discover a multitude of choices, then use the picture to drive me to the positioning that sells the playhouse.

Optimizing your photos will increase the prospect of enhancing prominence within the picture search outcomes.

Picture optimization is technically simple:

  • Present a picture identify that clearly describes what the picture is.
  • Use descriptive alt textual content to assist those that can’t see the photographs reinforce the picture content material.
  • Add OpenGraph and Twitter Playing cards so the picture is utilized in social shares.
  • Use the picture on the proper bodily measurement to make sure quick downloads.
  • Optimize the picture’s file measurement to enhance loading occasions.
  • Contemplate including photos to your XML sitemap.

Picture optimization is comparatively easy. Maintain the photographs related. Don’t spam the filenames and alt textual content with key phrases. Be descriptive.

Tip: Use captions, titles and alt textual content to supply as a lot contextual data as attainable about your photos. 

Optimum optimization 

You may all the time optimize one thing else, however in the event you construction and plan your website after which optimize these key areas, you’re going to get 80% of the outcomes from 20% of the hassle. 

Tip: Optimization is rarely full. So give attention to what strikes the dial after which transfer on. 

3. Widespread issues

Realizing what to optimize is important and is the goal we intention at. 

It’s simply as essential to know frequent issues that impression Search engine optimization and use this as one thing to run away from! 

Sometimes, each Search engine optimization challenge begins with an audit, and whereas we are able to’t cowl each eventuality right here, the next are some key factors. 

Duplicate content material

There are typically two sorts of duplicate content material: true duplicates and near-duplicates.

True duplicates are the place the content material exists in a number of locations (completely different pages, websites, subdomains and so forth).

Close to-duplicates will be skinny content material or considerably comparable content material – consider a enterprise with a number of places or footwear listed on a novel web page in several sizes.

Key phrase cannibalization

Key phrase cannibalization refers back to the state of affairs the place a number of pages goal the identical key phrases. This will impression the power of your website to have one web page that strongly targets a given time period.

The place the positioning structure and hierarchy have been rigorously deliberate, you must remove this throughout the planning and design phases.

Domains, subdomains and protocols

Duplication additionally crops up when the positioning is on the market on a number of domains, subdomains and protocols.

Contemplate a enterprise with two domains:


With www and non-www variations:


And the positioning runs on HTTP and HTTPS:


Earlier than too lengthy, we are able to get to a state of affairs the place the positioning has eight potential variations. Issue within the website resolving on any subdomain and some duff inside hyperlinks and we are able to usually add issues like “” to the record above.

These sorts of points are resolved with URL redirections.

Nonetheless, once more, they deserve consideration by any net design company that takes care of internet hosting and is critical in regards to the Search engine optimization of their prospects’ web sites.

Botched canonical URLs

One other frequent concern we see is an incorrect implementation of canonical URLs.

Sometimes, the individual constructing the positioning appears to be like at canonical URLs as an Search engine optimization guidelines type of job. They’re applied by dynamically inserting the URL within the deal with bar into the canonical URL.

That is basically flawed in that we are able to find yourself with the positioning working on a number of URLs, every with a canonical URL claiming that they’re the authoritative model.

So the canonical implementation exacerbates somewhat than resolves the difficulty (sheesh). 

Canonical URLs are a strong device when wielded properly, but they have to be used correctly, or they will worsen issues.

Fashionable net design considers Search engine optimization greatest practices 

Search engine optimization shouldn’t be some bandage you possibly can plaster onto an present website. 

Each web site developer or CMS will record Search engine optimization credentials. No one says that they construct websites to crash within the search outcomes. Search engine optimization, at this time and past, is far more than a dry record of technical must-haves. 

Like all good advertising, it’s finally about serving to your potential prospects obtain their objectives. 

Search engine optimization ought to be woven into each side of your advertising, and on the middle of that ought to be your (optimized) web site. 

There are loads of transferring elements with web site design and Search engine optimization. 

  • Step one is to rigorously plan your website to have a smart submitting cupboard construction to deal with your merchandise and/or providers. 
  • Then, optimize the important thing areas to make sure Google (and your prospects) can clearly perceive what they need to do subsequent. 
  • Lastly, double-check for typical points and make sure you remove any areas that might be holding you again.

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially Search Engine Land. Workers authors are listed here.

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