SEOTechnology

How To Create an SEO-Friendly Website: A Beginner’s Guide

Learning how to set up a fully functioning website can be daunting especially if you’re doing it for the first time. 

Besides, making it SEO-friendly can be an added challenge.
Unfortunately, with organic search traffic leading all other digital marketing channels, website design isn’t just about creating a website that functions well.

You must learn how to create an SEO-friendly website that’s appealing and displays information about what you offer to attract massive organic traffic and allow search engine crawlers to easily navigate and rank your site.

But this is easier said than done.

Read on to learn how to make an SEO-friendly website that ranks high in search engines to drive organic traffic and conversions.

What is SEO-Friendly Website Design?

SEO-friendly web design is the process of creating a website by following the SEO best practices to enable Google and other search engines to navigate each page efficiently, understand the content well, and index the website. 

That way, it becomes easier for search engines to display relevant content to their users based on search.

An SEO-friendly website is built with all features that help search engines rank it higher in the SERPs.

That means that if your website is not effectively optimized, your target customers will not find it in search thus you will not drive more traffic hence no sales will come.

Why Learn How To Create An SEO-Friendly Website?

Learning how to make your website SEO-ready has plenty of benefits that go a long way to helping your business grow. 

Granted, when designing your website, it’s advisable to keep your target audience in mind. However, here are a few reasons you should optimize your website for search engines: 

Attract Organic Traffic  

Did you know that 53% of all site traffic comes from search and only 15% from paid?

Image on how to create an SEO-friendly website

Image via BrightEdge

Search engines love websites that answer search queries and will rank them higher in the SERPs. Thus when your website ranks better, it attracts more traffic from search engines. 

Besides, a study has shown that appearing at position #1 in Google searches can attract a click-through-rate of 34.2%

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Image via SISTRIX

Generate Good ROI

Building an SEO-optimized website is important for your digital marketing strategy. SEO helps to rank your website high in search engine results thus attracting people who are interested to buy from you.

Granted, SEO has a good ROI.

In a Twitter survey conducted by Search Engine Journal, the respondents said organic search generates the highest ROI compared to other digital marketing channels.

In fact, SEO ROI can be as high as 12.2x your marketing budget. Particularly, SEO also attracts highly relevant purchase-ready traffic with approximately 14.6% conversion rates.   

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Image via Search Engine Journal- Twitter

It Is Cost-Effective

When done well, an SEO website will attract traffic on autopilot without needing other costly forms of online advertising like PPC. 

It’s also a cost-effective marketing strategy that targets people who are actively looking for your products or services on the web.

Of course, you will have to spend before you start generating traffic without your intervention, but the cost isn’t high compared to paid advertising. Besides, the long-term benefits are huge.

Statistics suggest that SEO can lower the cost of customer acquisition by 87.41% compared to other forms of digital advertising.

Investing in SEO Improves Website Usability

When you design your website with SEO in mind, you make it easy and fast for searchers to find the information they are looking for on the internet. This helps to enhance the user experience.

Improves Your Authority

Customers see websites that appear high on relevant searches to be more credible than those that aren’t ranking better. Given how competitive online marketing is, being credible isn’t optional anymore.

Fortunately, when done well, an SEO website can enhance your credibility. 

As you can see, there are many benefits to making your website SEO friendly.

But how do you achieve that?

That’s why I have created this helpful guide to teach you how to create an SEO-friendly website and drive massive organic traffic.

Let’s get started.

How to Create an SEO-Friendly Website

Here are 8 practical strategies to make your website SEO friendly.

1. Set Up the Technical Aspects of Your Website

The first step in making an SEO-friendly website is to ensure Google and other search engines can discover, crawl, render, and index your pages and important content.

If you have already done this, you can skip this step. Otherwise, if you’re creating a new website, keep reading.

So, how do you make your website crawlable for search engines?

Follow these simple steps:

i. Learn how to set up Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a must-have SEO tool if you want to design a website that search engines can find, crawl, and index.

It’s one of the free SEO tools that can help you monitor, maintain, and optimize your website’s organic search performance on Google.

Remember that Google dominates the search engine market share worldwide, boasting 92.57% of the market share:

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Image via StatCounter

Thus, you must ensure Google can find your website.

The coolest thing about setting up Google Search Console is that the tool can also help you in many ways including:

  • Discovering keywords that drive organic traffic.
  • Understanding how all your web pages rank.
  • Finding website errors that need fixing.
  • Finding link-building opportunities to boost link juice.
  • Understanding your website speed.
  • Monitoring your Core Web Vitals.
  • Adding sitemaps (I will talk about this later)

Aside from this, Google Search Console helps you to see the keywords your website ranks for as well as ranking positions.

Follow this step-by-step process to set up Google Search Console on your website:

ii. Learn How to Set Up Bing Webmaster Tools

Coming next after Google is Bing.

Granted, when learning how to create an SEO-friendly website, you must ensure the top largest search engines can find it.

Thus, you need to set up Bing Webmaster Tools as well since it’s the second largest search engine and an equivalent of Google Search Console.

Setting up Bing Webmaster tools will enable you to extract your website’s performance data, utilize free SEO tools, and analyze data to boost your website’s rankings on Bing search results.

Follow this step-by-step process to get started.

iii. Learn How to Set Up Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

The next thing you need to set up is Ahrefs Webmaster Tools.

But why?

The free SEO tool is provided for website owners to:

  • Track your website’s SEO health.
  • Identify your backlinks.
  • Discover keywords that drive organic traffic to your website.

So, if you want to improve your website’s SEO performance and drive more traffic from searches then you need to set up Ahrefs Webmaster tools.

Sing up for AWT for free and get started.

iv. Learn How to Set Up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is also another powerful tool you need to set up when learning how to create an SEO-friendly website.

Setting up GA will help you uncover valuable information about your website’s visitors.

Once you create a Google Analytics account, you will discover:

  • Your website visitors.
  • What type of content they are looking for?
  • Your visitors’ behavior when exploring your website.

The good news?

Google Analytics is free for website owners to monitor and measure your website’s traffic goals and improve your SEO ROI.

Follow these simple steps to set up Google Analytics.

v. Learn How to Create and Submit an XML Sitemap

A sitemap is a file with a list of the website’s most important information about pages, content, and other files on your website.

Creating and submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console will help search engines find important content on your website and crawl it efficiently.

Additionally, sitemaps help search engines understand your site’s structure for easy navigation.

Google supports three types of sitemap formats namely:

  • XML
  • RSS
  • Text

But in my case, I’ll focus on the XML sitemap.

Learning how to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console isn’t a tough task. 

In most cases, your CMS or the SEO tool you’re using will create a sitemap for you.

Follow these simple steps to build and submit your sitemap.

vi. Learn How to Write and Submit a Robots.txt File

When learning how to create an SEO-friendly website the main focus is to get search engines to discover your website and avail your content to users who search using relevant keywords you optimize for.

What if you want to control which files, content, or pages crawlers can access on your site?

That’s where you need to build and submit and submit a robots.txt file.

This file will tell search engines which areas to go to/not to go to on your site.

Before you build a robots.txt file, check whether your CMS or website developer has already created it for you.

If not, follow these simple steps to do it yourself.

NOTE: You will need to set up the technical aspects of your website and revisit only when you need to update some things. For instance, when you want to update your sitemap, website pages, etc.

2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

The statistics are clear. 45% of global consumers use their smartphones to shop online at least once per day.

Besides, by 2025, it’s estimated that over 10% of all retail transactions will happen through a mobile device.

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Image via Insider Intelligence Inc.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Mobile devices account for 58.99% of all organic search traffic worldwide:

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Image via Statista

Notwithstanding, Google is using mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine prioritizes websites created for both mobile and desktop users to index and rank the content.

Consequently, you must use a responsive website design to connect with mobile users efficiently. This is especially important if you want to avail your products or services via your website.

Here are the best practices to make a mobile-friendly website:

  • Use a mobile-friendly testing tool.
  • Use a mobile-responsive theme or template.
  • Optimize images.
  • Optimize JavaScript and CSS.
  • Make your button sizes easy to view on mobile devices.
  • Space out your links.
  • Eliminate text-blocking ads and pop-ups.
  • Use a font that’s easy to read on mobile devices.
  • Create small chunks of text.
  • Test regularly.

3. Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast

Do you want to increase your conversion rates and reduce your exit rates?

Of course, this is every ecommerce owner’s dream.

But did you know that 45.4% of consumers are less likely to make a purchase when an ecommerce site takes longer to load than expected?

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Image via Unbounce

Besides, 47% of online users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less.

Undoubtedly, if you want to drive more sales, and boost brand loyalty and visibility, you need to improve your website speed. 

I must mention that loading speed is also a Google ranking factor

This means that while Google prioritizes the most relevant content in its database, the search engine also considers the speed of the website during ranking.

You can use a website speed test tool like GTmetrix to test the speed of your website.

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Image via GTmetrix

Here are smart ways to speed up your website and improve conversions:

  • Run a compression audit to optimize images and speed up your website.
  • Minimize HTTP requests.
  • Reduce server response time.
  • Choose the right hosting plan based on your website’s needs.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  • Enable browser caching.
  • Install important plugins only.
  • Avoid uploading videos directly to WordPress, instead, use embedding.
  • Clean up your database.

4. Optimize Your Website Content With Valuable Keywords

You probably don’t need to be reminded about the importance of keywords when learning how to create an SEO-friendly website. 

You frequently use them when searching for information online.

See, 45% of marketers are planning to use content marketing to increase brand awareness, 37% to drive more website traffic, and 36% to generate leads:

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Image via Semrush

But you know what?

Without optimizing your website content with the right keywords, this isn’t achievable.

I’m assuming you already have a blog on your website. If not, create one now.

Remember that you need to optimize every element of your website with relevant keywords to improve your rankings and drive more traffic.

Now, the first step for creating content that attracts people to your site is to choose a trending topic.

This is where keyword research also comes in. Conducting keyword research will enable you to uncover relevant terms people are entering in search engines when looking for information on the web.

Wondering what makes a good keyword?

Here are a few guidelines when choosing keywords to optimize your website content.

  • Check the keyword’s search traffic potential.
  • Consider your website visitors’ search intent.
  • Consider keywords with business potential.
  • Choose keywords that are not too difficult to rank for.
  • Optimize for long-tail keywords.

In case you aren’t sure what SEO tool to use, 72% of marketers swear by Google Analytics, whereas 49% say they currently use Google Search Console.

Image via HubSpot

5. Optimize Title and Header Tags to Help Search Engines Understand Your Pages/Content Better

If you want to know how to create an SEO-friendly website, you need to optimize your title and header tags.

You’re probably wondering what are title tags and header tags.

In this blog post How to Create an SEO-Friendly Website: A Beginner’s Guide is my header tag or headline.

The items numbered 1-8 are titles (H2, H3, H4….).

Header tags help search engines to better understand what the page is all about. They are what people see on the SERPs before deciding whether to click or not.

On the other hand, title tags help search engines understand every section of your content. 

They help to break down content into smaller chunks to improve readability.

Here are practical tips on how to optimize title and header tags:

  • Use one header tag per page.
  • Make each header tag unique.
  • Make your header tags as descriptive as possible.
  • Your header tags should be different from your title tags.
  • Use your target keyword in your header tags.
  • Ensure header tags match search intent.
  • Keep header tags between 50 and 60 characters long.
  • Use as many title tags as you can throughout your content.

6. Optimize Meta Descriptions to Boost Click-Through Rates

When people search for information on Google, they see something like this:

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The first part in bold is the headline and the second part underneath the headline is the meta description.

That small paragraph is a brief description of the content inside the page.

You need to make your meta descriptions as compelling as possible and also include the main keyword inside there.

This will help to increase the click-through rate.

A good example of a compelling meta description is by Tesla:

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As you can see, Tesla’s meta description uniquely tells what the company represents, what it focuses on, and the company’s brand values, and ambitions.

Here are handy tips to craft compelling and optimized meta descriptions:

  • Keep your meta description relevant to the content and headline of the page.
  • Use unique meta descriptions for every page.
  • Keep your meta description between 155 and 160 characters long.
  • Front-load your meta descriptions with the main keyword.
  • Make the meta descriptions actionable.
  • Consider search intent.
  • Use an active voice.

7. Add Internal Links Effectively

The next item in learning how to make an SEO-friendly website is to add as many internal links as you can to help Google discover all the pages and content on your website, crawl them, and index them.

See, you may have amazing pages containing valuable content on your website, but if Google can’t find them, it’s a waste of time.

Remember that Google may or may not discover every page on your website.

To help Google find new pages and content, you need to create a powerful intern linking strategy.

Be sure to add internal links with caution though.

A good rule of thumb is to link to relevant pages and content.

The best way to achieve good internal linking is to use relevant anchor text.

As you will see in this blog post, I have added multiple internal links to other posts on this site.

8.  Create an SEO-Friendly URL Structure

SEO-friendly URLs are helpful in many ways.

First, they help search engines understand what your content is all about.

Take a look at how Google uses URLs in their SEO starter guide:

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Not only that but URLs help users and searchers to know what they are about to read before they scroll further.

Take a look at this URL by Ahrefs https://ahrefs.com/blog/content-marketing-strategy/

As you can see, it’s short and descriptive enough that you can tell what content is inside.

Here are practical tips for creating SEO-friendly URLs:

  • Make your URLs short, sweet, and descriptive.
  • Replace spaces with hyphens.
  • Make your URLs enticing to click on and share.
  • Use lowercase.
  • Avoid including dates.
  • Stick with HTTPS.
  • Remove numbers and special characters.
  • Add your target keyword if possible.

Final Thoughts

In today’s digital world where customers are spending more time researching on the internet before they make purchases, learning how to create an SEO-friendly website isn’t optional.

Creating a well-optimized website can help you rank high in search engines, drive traffic online and generate more revenue for your business. 

Follow these strategies to get started now or connect with me on LinkedIn, I help you out.

Boniface Kisina

Boniface Kisina is top rated blogger and SEO content writer who writes high-value SEO-friendly blog posts and articles that rank high in search engines to drive organic traffic, engagement, and revenue for your business.

Boniface Kisina has 3 posts and counting. See all posts by Boniface Kisina

2 thoughts on “How To Create an SEO-Friendly Website: A Beginner’s Guide

  • Thanks for sharing this valuable content. I learnt something useful today from your website, thanks a lot.

    • Hi
      I’m glad to hear that you have learned something out of this blog post. Keep checking my site for more valuable content

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