SEO-Friendly Web Design: Boost Your Site’s Visibility in Search Results

53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search, and it drives 6% of all online revenue, on average.

So, SEO-friendly web design is likely to boost your site’s organic search traffic. Plus, there’s a good chance for your sales or conversions to grow.

If you wish to get the most out of it, you need to design websites with USERS and SEARCH ENGINES in mind.

In this post, we will discuss seven tips that will help you in implementing SEO-friendly web design.

Getting Started

But before we dive in, test your site’s overall SEO health. Otherwise, your efforts to boost its visibility might not give expected results.

Run a quick website audit using the free Website Checker Tool and check your on-page SEO, site speed, traffic, etc.

If you find minor issues, you can fix them immediately. For the major ones, you need to go ahead and do a website redesign.

Next, you can follow these tips and enhance your site’s visibility in the search results.

1. Remove Intrusive Pop-ups and Ads

Picture this: You land on a page, and a series of pop-ups welcome you. Isn’t it annoying?

You’d click the back button and go away as soon as you experienced it. And I would do that too.

Such user behaviour can negatively impact your conversions and SEO. Google penalises pages with intrusive interstitials.

It includes popups, layovers, and advertisements that are typically not responsive, cover most of the content on the screen and are difficult to close.

So, if your site has many intrusive pop-ups and ads, remove the ones you don’t need at first.

With that, you can keep useful pop-ups like exit messages, cookie warnings, subscription requests, etc.

But, remember, less is better.

2. Use Clear CTAs (Call To Action)

Call To Action buttons direct users to perform a specific action.

For example, the ‘Try For Free’ button on RankWatch’s homepage tells users what would happen when they click on it.

But, if it read something like ‘Take The Ride’ or ‘Experience The Change,’ it would confuse the readers. Consequently, users will ignore the button and not click on it.

So, carefully look at the CTAs on your site, and ensure they make sense. If you can improve them and get more clicks, do it.

It will help reduce your site’s bounce rate and enhance its search visibility.

3. Make Navigation Easy

The website navigation makes it easy for users to find the pages they are looking for. It encourages visitors to interact with your site and stay longer.

But, if your site’s navigation is not clear and doesn’t link to the most important pages, it will not serve the purpose.

Here’s how bad navigation looks like:

It is neither clean nor user-friendly.

Now, look at the present website navigation of the same site:

They have improved it tremendously, and it is super easy to navigate their site now.

So, you must rethink how your navigation works and if it benefits your users. Change the layout, remove unimportant links, etc., as required.

You can even ask your users for their feedback and make your site’s navigation better for them.

As your site’s user experience is enhanced, more users will stay on your site. And it will help improve your site’s visibility in search results.

4. Implement Mobile-First Design

As of July 2021, 55.89% of people browse the web via mobile devices. So, it is safe to assume that most visitors to your site come from mobile devices.

Also, Google uses mobile-first indexing and ONLY looks at the mobile version of your pages while ranking them in SERPs.

So, you need to ensure that both users and search engines can access your site without hassle.

But, there’s no point in designing a site for ‘desktop’ first and then creating its mobile version.

Instead, use responsive web design and make your site ready to serve users and search engines.

If you don’t know where to begin, check the mobile-friendliness of your site using the free Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

5. Improve Page Loading Speed

70% of customers say that page speed impacts their purchasing decisions. If you make your customers wait for a response, they will turn to your competitors.

Supporting this, in 2010, Google made page speed a ranking factor not just for search but for ads too. It recommends that a page must load within 3 seconds for the best results.

Simply put, your site must load as fast as possible. Compress images and videos, reduce JavaScript, etc., to reduce the page loading time.

You can use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool to get a detailed analysis of your page speed.

It will list the relevant page speed problems under ‘Diagnostics’ and give your suggestions under ‘Opportunities’.

If you have lots of slow pages and need improvement, start with the most important pages first. Fast loading will enhance the search visibility of your pages.

6. Use HTTPS Security

Google considers HTTPS as a ranking factor since 2014. So, websites with an SSL certificate (https://) have an added advantage in SERPs.

Besides this, HTTPS protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.

The data you are sending to or receiving from the site is encrypted. So, it becomes difficult for intruders to tamper with communications between the site and the user’s browsers.

So, I would suggest that all sites have HTTPs. If you are not using HTTPS yet, it is time to get an SSL certificate.

Let’s Encrypt, a non-profit organization backed by various companies, including Google, offers free SSL certificates.

You can easily get one from them and secure your site. However, keep in mind that HTTPS applies to your entire site. It shouldn’t be like some pages have HTTP and others have HTTPS.

7. Focus On Internal Linking

Search engines are always crawling the internet to discover and index new pages.

An internal link, which points to another page on the same website, helps search bots speed up this process.

While crawling a page, the search bots follow the links. The pages existing in their database are updated while the new pages are indexed.

So, internal linking helps your pages to appear in the SERPs. Besides this, users can also discover new pages on your site with internal links.

Now, you don’t just have to use internal links. You have to use them at relevant places. Plus, you must use appropriate anchor text.

If you are not using internal links yet, start using them and boost your site’s visibility in organic search results.

Strive for SEO-Friendly Web Design

SEO and web design keep changing from time to time. You should always keep an eye on the latest SEO updates and trends. Being forewarned helps you to be forearmed.

For now, you can take help from the tips mentioned above and make your site SEO-friendly!

Do you have any other questions related to SEO-friendly web design? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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How to Install an SSL Certificate on Apache via SSH

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is used to secure the connection between internet browsers and Web server or websites by transferring the encrypted data rather than plain text. You can secure the HTTP connections by installing an SSL certificate. Installing an SSL certificate will allow for https:// connections instead of the standard http://. There are two types of certificates.

  • SSL certificate issued by the Certificate Authority (CA)
  • Self-Signed SSL certificate.

The main difference between these two types is that for a Self-Signed certificate, no third party is verifying the identity information of the Website and hence it is not trusted by any of the web browsers. So, accessing the website with self-signed SSL will prompt Untrusted Connection and you’ll have to Confirm Security exception manually. This is something users wouldn’t like to do. This is where SSL certificates verified by a CA comes into play. The CA verifies the website identity information and also provides CA Bundle (for browser compatibility). So these connections are accepted by almost all the browsers.

For installing SSL certificate (both types), we need to generate Private Key and CSR (Certificate signing request).

1) Generate Private Key On The Server

OpenSSL is the open source SSL package that comes along with most of the linux distros. Make sure openssl package is installed.

We are generating private key with openssl command as shown below.


openssl genrsa -des3 -out www.domain.com.key 2048

This will prompt a password, when you enter the passphrase and hit ‘Enter, the key file will be generated in the present working directory and the file name will be ‘www.domain.com.key’, where domain is name of the domain that you enter when the key is generated.

2) Generate Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

After generating your private key, you need to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request). You can easily create that with openssl command.


openssl req -new -key www.domain.com.key -out www.domain.com.csr

Few questions regarding the website identity will be asked and this will be checked by the certificate authority.

CSR will be generated in the present working directory with the file name ‘www.domain.com.csr’. Here is the screenshot of the CSR file.

3) Create SSL Certificate

After generating the Private key and CSR, you need to create the SSL certificate. Now is where the difference comes into play.

For a CA verified certificate, you need to provide CSR and Private key to the Certificate vendor. They will provide a CA verified certificate file (.crt file) and you can install it. But for a Self-Signed certificate, you need to generate the certificate manually.

Generating Self-Signed certificate
Certificate file will be generated with a private key and CSR encoded in it. All the information in the Private key and CSR will be encoded in the .crt file. The command is given below.


openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in www.domain.com.csr -signkey www.domain.com.key -out www.domain.com.crt

Certificate file will be generated in the present working directory as ‘www.domain.com.crt’, please note that domain.com is my domain name in this example and it should be replaced with the actual domain name. Here is the generated .crt file

To install this certificate for a website, you need to create a new VirtualHost for the domain name because SSL is using a different port and not the common port 80. SSL port is 443. So Apache will be listening to both 80 and 443 for the non-encrypted and encrypted data respectively. Or, you can create a separate conf file, in /etc/httpd/conf.d directory and then ask Apache to refer to the said directory with the ‘Include’ directive as shown below.


Include conf.d/*.conf

Now, add the below-given code either in the VirtualHost or in the separate configuration (eg: ssl.conf) file created in the /etc/httpd/conf.d directory.


SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /path_of_crt_file/www.domain.com.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path_of_key_file/www.domain.com.key

This will tell apache to refer to the .crt (certificate) file and .key (Private key) file for SSL encrypted connection.

4) Restart Apache

The final step is to restart the Apache service for the changes to take effect.


/etc/init.d/httpd restart

You can verify the SSL setup by just loading your website with HTTPS, eg: https://domain.com

If your website is loading with https, be sure you have SSL installed for your website.

Of course, if that all looks too much then you can just get us to install your SSL certificate for you. Or you can purchase a low-cost SSL certificate and we will do everything for you end to end. Simply contact us at

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Pay Monthly Website Solutions

We have just made a ‘soft-launch’ of our pay monthly ‘sister’ website which goes by the name; Code Twenty Four, it’s quite far from the completion stage but it’s off to a great start. Let us know what you think!

So why did we start rolling out a new pay monthly website package? Well, quite often we do get requests for pay monthly solutions. This is also extremely beneficial for smaller businesses who quite simply can’t afford to pay the large upfront costs before a project commences.

How does it work?

Well, the process goes like so:

1. Choose your Package

Choose a website package that suits your requirements, if you’re not quite sure then talk to one of the members in our team and they will get a customised package tailored exactly to your requirement.

2. Design Concepts

The designers will start working on a fresh bespoke design that meets your requirements. Should they not get it right the first time, don’t worry, the designers will provide up to 3 revisions for any particular page to ensure your vision comes to life.

3. Website Build

Once the design is signed off, the development beings. They will start building your site and provide a development link where you can view the latest work carried out.

4. Go Live!

Once your new website is fully tested, secured and given the go-ahead, your website will become live to the whole world, Ohh yeahhh!

What’s even better, you can get a website up and running without paying anything as there are no up-front costs. The way we like to think about things is that a website should be like a phone contract. You get the phone, pay monthly and if you want all the bells and whistles then you can add ‘bolt-ons’ or ‘add-ons’ whenever you like.


What services do you get?

Everything! Well, exactly the same as what we offer with the only difference being that the payment scheme is different. As always, we offer the following services:

  • Brand design
  • Responsive design
  • CMS systems
  • E-commerce
  • Speed Optimisation
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email campaigns
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
  • App development
  • Hosting
  • Website Security
  • Copywriting

Why did we do it?

Well, as we said before, we want to cater to everybody’s needs, if you are a start-up company looking to start selling online, then we have your back! Maybe you can’t afford the up-front costs and this is the perfect solution for you, and that’s why we created Code Twenty Four.

Conclusion

We created Code Twenty Four because we already had a lot of interest in this method of paying for a website. We fully understand why some businesses would prefer to do this and so we created this solution and provide our new service where you can benefit from:

  • Having a modern/clean Website Design by an experienced team of web designers.
  • Providing no hidden charges or increases.
  • No Upfront Costs
  • Free, unlimited updates.
  • 7 Days a week customer support.
  • A fully Secure website. (SSL / https)
  • A Mobile Friendly, Responsive Website. (Which will look pixel-perfect on on desktop, tablet and mobile)
  • Super-fast Website Hosting.
  • A Content Management System to edit your website content and images.

Let us know what you think to pay monthly solutions and the new website we have created!

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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5 Things to Consider When Starting Your E-Commerce Store

If you’ve decided you would like to take the leap to E-Commerce and start your online shop, it can be a difficult process to get started. Fear now though, these days it’s very simple to get your store set up, even if you are just a beginner.

Here are five things you need to consider when you’re starting your journey in the e-commerce world.

Server Size

The first thing you should take into account is the hosting provider that you choose. Essentially, it all comes down to how big you want your store to grow. A shared service is a good option, to begin with, whereas a dedicated server will cater to bigger e-commerce stores.

A shared server means that you won’t have its space all to yourself, however, it’s not needed if your store is only relatively small. If you are aiming at exponential growth then a dedicated server will be a perfect fit. Do note that dedicated servers are more expensive than shared servers. There are other options though, these days you can get a good cloud hosting where you can update the specification of the server as your website grows. To be honest, this is probably the best option. Companies like SiteGround, WP-Engine, and eUKHost offer some great packages to get you started. Best of all, their online support team will help you with any hurdle along the way.

Web Design

When your first visitor lands on your store, the first impression they will get is from the design of the website. So you need to ensure it’s clean, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. This will ensure people will stick around and continue to browse your website.

If your website is difficult to explore and not attractive, often potential customers will look elsewhere. Especially if they’ve had no previous dealings with you in the past. Think about it realistically, the big e-commerce sites out there are all straightforward to navigate and have great designs. No matter how small you are, your store shouldn’t be any different. These days, you should consider flat designs for a foolproof way of making your online shop look good.

A Niche Market

When embarking on your journey in the world of e-commerce, you’ve likely learned that a niche market is absolutely something you should avoid. Nice marketing is a term that means finding your path in an already busy market. When there are a load of competitors with nothing different or unique to offer, avoid the oversaturation of it all and use the power of innovation to bring something completely new to the table. You’ll find by doing this, it will grow your audience rapidly.

As you begin with your own business, it is important to get this registered in a “Limited Liability Company” as a sign that it’s a legally registered business. For example, when forming an LLC in SC (South Carolina), the required documents and qualifications should be met.

Quality Customer Service

One of the most important things to have when establishing your online store is a reasonable or high level of customer service. It’s the only way you’ll guarantee solid relationships with buyers – they’ll establish respect and trust for you should you be doing the same for them. In my opinion, for online shops, chat support is a must, everyone likes speaking to somebody before purchasing something right? Offer good customer service and you’ll find that clients will come back.

Security

To get established with an online store, you’ll at least some level of security to back you up. Too often are websites compromised by a lack of security, with attacks such as SQL injection being all too common. Be sure to employ security upon your online store for your sake, as well as in the best interest of your customers – if they’re a victim of an attack, it’s unlikely they’ll stick around to buy from you ever again. As with all online stores, they should always be https:// secure buy installing a valid SSL certificate o the server. This will bring more trust to potential buyers! It is also useful to offer multiple forms of payment by using PayPal and Stripe/SagePay/WorldPay to offer your customers more security when it comes to purchasing products/services from your shop.

Well, I guess that wraps it up, are you starting an e-commerce shop and came across this article? Leave a comment, we’d love to help you on your journey!

Talent management is one of the useful ways to have an organized e-commerce platform. It could help recruit talented employees, which is vital to your success.

 

Nathan da Silva - Profile

Posted by: Nathan da Silva

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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