When we think of SEO, we think of keywords, content, meta titles and links. But a crucial factor that can heavily influence your SEO efforts (that is often overlooked) is web design.
SEO and web design work together more seamlessly than many people might think. And this is all down to Google’s obsession with user experience. User experience has become a crucial search engine ranking factor which is intrinsically linked to web design.
Here are some web design practices that can have a direct impact on a site’s SEO performance.
1.The structure of your website
How easily people can navigate your website can really affect your SEO. If people can’t find information on your website, or if they do not know where to go next, they’ll most likely leave pretty quickly and this will have a direct impact on average page on time, bounce rate, engagement rate, and conversion rate. With that in mind, the structure of your website should be simply and intuitive with a clear menu that is easy to understand. A well-created menu with clear categories can also lead to rich results on the search page.
2. Page loading times
An all-singing, all-dancing website that showcases the talents of the web designer might look fantastic on paper, but if means the pages take an age to load, you’re going to run into trouble. This is because how quickly your website loads is an important search engine ranking factor. And people are impatient – they won’t sit there and wait for your pages to load, they’ll go back to their search results and visit your competitor’s site instead. This is why it’s important to get the balance right between having an amazing design with lots of cool features, and an actually functioning site that loads quickly.
Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor way back in 2015 and with the number of people searching on mobile devices steadily increasing (more than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices) it’s vital to have a responsive, mobile-friendly website. If your website has a high bounce rate because it doesn’t load correctly on mobile devices, it sends a bad signal to Google, who remember are all about rewarding good user experience, and your rankings may well tank.
Content is a massive component of SEO. But it’s not just Google that needs to be able to read and understand your site content, people do too. Poor web design can make it impossible for users to read what they came to your website to see. And at the end of the day, your website is there to give people the information they need and so your website should be designed in a way to provide these people with the content they’re looking for, in the easiest and most user-friendly way. That means you need to choose your text font, size, colour and placement carefully.
Looking for a new website design? We’re a web design agency in Manchester that places SEO at the core of our designs. If you’re in need of a website that can help support your marketing efforts, you’ve come to the right place.