“In the world of internet customer service, it is important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.” – J.P.Morgan & Co.
Do you want to build a website with amazing design elements but are unsure whether the site would meet the SEO requirements? Remember, even though SEO and website design cater to different segments – search engines and user experience, there are ways to achieve both. The blog discusses some of the techniques by using which a website can be made lighter and faster to load without compromising the graphics while keeping it compliant to SEO requisites as well.
#1. Fonts: One of the elements that makes a site attractive is the type of font used. The fancier fonts can enhance the appearance of a site to a great extent. However, there is a downside to using such fonts, for they can make the website heavy and slow to load. So, optimize the use of fonts in the following ways.
a) Reduce the number of fonts: It is better to use a minimum number of fonts to bring about a symmetry as well as reduce the loading speed of the web page(s).
b) Use Google CDN fonts: Make use of CDN fonts from Google as they are lightweight and can help the site to load faster.
c) Merge/bundle multiple fonts to reduce the HTTP calls: Multiple HTTP calls delay the loading of web pages. So, it is better to merge or bundle multiple fonts and reduce the frequency of HTTP calls.
#2. Visual Animations: Animations can be the visual treat, among other elements, that users find attractive in a website. These can help draw the visitors to your site, which is arguably the single most important thing to achieve given the intense competition in the digital world. On the flip side, animations can make a site heavy and impact the user experience negatively by taking a longer time to load. However, there are ways and means through which you can let the animation be a part of your website without compromising its loading speed.
#3. Images: Images are one of the important visual elements that enhance the aesthetic appeal of a website. A website containing only text appears drab and unappealing while the one with a combination of text and images can surely grab the eyeballs. Here again, too many images can make a site heavier thereby delaying its loading. However, web design services can follow the below mentioned techniques to ensure a website to have the required number of images without impacting its loading speed.
a) Image optimization: Optimize images by using the JS task runner – GruntJS/Gulp or other online tools. This helps to reduce the file size of images without compromising their quality and resolution.
b) Lazy loading of Images: Here, the images present above the fold area of a page are loaded first instead of loading the entire image palette at once. Thereafter, the rest of the images are loaded ‘lazily’ or slowly based on the user’s scroll pattern. This facilitates a faster loading of the page with images.
c) Use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics): Load images that are based on fonts instead of images by using SVG. For example, font-awesome, icomoons etc.
d) Merge images: Reduce the number of HTTP calls by merging multiple images into a single image named Sprite. This way, a single ‘Sprite’ image can be called as many times as needed instead of calling multiple images thereby reducing the number of HTTP calls.
#4. CSS and JS: Bundle multiple CSS and JS files in respective ‘single’ files to reduce the number of HTTP calls. The optimization process requires the writing of voluminous codes in CSS and JS, which are saved in multiple CSS and JS files. Use a task runner like GruntJS to bundle multiple CSS and JS files in a single file respectively. The reduced number of HTTP calls helps the web pages to load faster.
#5. Minification: Web developers use digital elements like tab, enter, spaces, and annotations to increase the readability of the code. However, these end up increasing the size of the web pages thereby delaying their loading time. This can be preempted by using a task runner called GruntJS to achieve the minification of codes. GruntJS, on its part, removes the above mentioned digital elements thus reducing the size of the webpage. Additionally, GruntJS can compress the image size as well.
A website with an amazing design and SEO friendly characteristics can be achieved by following the techniques and methodologies as discussed above. It is also important to have a greater coordination between the SEO and web development teams. Ensure the changes needed for search engine optimization are incorporated at the beginning rather than at the end to avoid complexity. In case you want your website to have a great UI/UX and be optimized for search engines at the same time, follow the above mentioned techniques or engage a professional website design company.