SEO web design is about developing and designing appealing and SEO-friendly sites. An SEO-friendly website, as expected, follows SEO practices and techniques, such as on-page and off-page SEO, fast load times, mobile-friendliness, and highly descriptive URLs.
By focusing on SEO website design, your business can quickly increase its ranking in search engines. This boosts traffic and increases your chances of more conversions.
Why Is SEO Web Design So Important?
When we talk about web design, we usually consider only the visual aspects. However, even if your website is appealing and head-turning, it won’t rank high on Google without proper SEO. No user will discover it and purchase your products or services.
In other words, design and SEO seem like the opposite sides of the same coin. On that note, keep in mind that designers and SEO marketers perform completely different tasks, so don’t expect them to do the same work.
That out the way; SEO and web design work together and impact your company’s bottom line. For this reason, if you’re thinking about designing a new site or redesigning your existing one, knowing why web design and SEO are crucial to your site’s success is pivotal.
Here is why SEO web design matters more than most think:
- Web design can damage your SEO: When a new website is launched or rebranded under a new domain name, the SEO process can disappear in an instant. Why? Because the 301 redirect wasn’t set up right. A 301 redirect informs search engines, such as Google or Bing, where the new location of a relocated page is.
- SEO influences your web design: Once you find out that SEO practices are related to web design, like site architecture and page speed optimisation, you will realize that these factors also influence the design of your site. In fact, if you skip SEO competently, you won’t rank. It’s that simple.
Instead of skipping SEO web design, it’s way smarter to use SEO and web design hand-in-hand to build a foundation for your SEO strategy.
Seven SEO Factors for SEO and Web Design
Now that you know how important both SEO and website design is for your site’s rankings let’s take a closer look at the website’s aspects affected by both of them and how you can optimise these aspects for greater SEO web design.
Designers have few options when it comes to coding design elements. In reality, most web designers stick to CSS and HTML and stay away from Flash. Sure, Flash websites look cool, but they are hard to optimise and don’t rank well in search engines. So, make your SEO happy and tell your web designer to avoid Flash when designing your site.
Mobile-friendliness is an important ranking factor for Google. The reason for this is simple: more and more users browse sites on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablet computers. Your website, then, has to be easily accessible to all of these users.
To increase mobile-friendliness, all you need is a site with a responsive design. Additionally, responsible design can eliminate duplicate content, which could happen if your mobile site is separate. What we mean is that sometimes companies choose to show a different website to desktop and mobile users. This way, users always have access to an easy-to-navigate and fast-to-load site.
Designers focus on the non-text elements of a site, so it’s up to you or your SEO content writing agency you’re partnering with to choose what types of fonts are easy to read.
Additionally, your copy should align with the website’s design and allow plenty of space to appear appealing and readable. So, bear that in mind if you’re pulling information from an existing website and transferring it to a new one.
Needless to say, if you want to rank high, which we assume you do, as otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article, you will need lots of high-quality and SEO-optimised content. Therefore, remember that if what’s good about your website is just the design, you will have a problem!
Time for a secret: Copy is not the only element of your site that can be optimised. Images can also be an essential ranking factor!
Read on to find more about images and their relation to SEO.
- File Size
Images should be descriptive. If they aren’t, search engines won’t see them and include them as ranking factors. Just rename them already!
Changing an image’s name from IMG_001.jpg to A_Laughing_Brown_Cat is tedious, but you should do it if it helps your SEO ranking. No complaints, please.
- File Names
High-quality images are appealing. That’s undeniable. However, tell your web designer to keep your file sizes as small as humanly possible.
Large image files slow down page load times, an SEO ranking factor, and slow loading leads to a poor UX experience. It also might increase your bounce rate and decrease your conversions, which are no-nos for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Image descriptions enable search engines to understand what’s depicted in each image. At the same time, users can read the image description when hovering their mouse over the image. This helps visually impaired people understand what’s shown, drastically improving the user experience.
How much your designer influences your site architecture depends on how involved you are in the process. In every case, know that site architecture plays a significant role in SEO and how your site ranks.
Here is what you should know:
- URL Structure
Each of your pages must have a unique descriptive URL that describes the content on the page. When creating your descriptive URLs, you should divide the words with hyphens and not underscores. Also, feel free to include relevant focus keywords in your URLs for extra SEO points.
URLs with descriptive words help search engines understand your pages and help users easily remember your site’s name or brand.
Navigation is vital to user experience, so you should keep it easy and to the point. Think of it like this: The easier it is for your website visitors to find what they want, the more comfortable it will be for them to convert and purchase your products or services.
At the same time, easy navigation lowers the bounce rate and improves rankings, as users can find what they’re looking for on your site effortlessly and quickly.
This article shows that the relationship between SEO and web design is complex; however, you can make things easier by following the right steps and considering the proper adjustments. If you need help with the SEO of your website, you can give the go-ahead to professional SEO and content writing solutions, like Strategically. Otherwise, you can try to optimise for SEO on your own and with your web designer.
In every case, remember that you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of proper SEO and web design, as they are considered crucial ranking factors. So, optimise your site’s copy and design as much as possible to rank high in search results and increase your traffic and conversions!