Search engine optimization (SEO) alone doesn’t cut it in the cutthroat world of organic search. You need more, like an effective, functional website design. But how do these two elements work cohesively? Today we’ll explore how they help each other to give your website the best possible chance in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The Intimate Connection Between SEO and Web Design
Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners cannot stress enough the importance of SEO. But website design is just as valuable. Think about the last time you visited a website you didn’t like. Maybe it was hard to navigate, or the text was so small you had to squint to read it. Maybe the colors were so bright and jarring that it gave you a headache.
A poorly designed website is very difficult for visitors to navigate. They would find what they’re looking for. It could even be hard for them to stay on the site for more than a few seconds.
These factors hurt your SEO efforts in many ways:
- A website that’s challenging to browse will frustrate users, resulting in a high bounce rate. It might then imply to search engines like Google that your page isn’t helpful, resulting in a drop in your rankings.
- If your site is hard to read, some visitors will simply leave without taking any action. It also affects your bounce rate and, eventually, conversion rate.
- Aesthetically unpleasing sites turn potential customers away before they even have a chance to learn more about your offer. It could lead to a loss in revenue.
- A poorly designed page is more likely to be not mobile-friendly. You might miss the chance to get a share of the massive market size of mobile marketing, which could earn over $15 billion in 2022.
Why Is Web Design Important to SEO?
Web design is vital in SEO because it affects user experience, which is a ranking factor for most search engines. But there are more reasons to consider web design when working on your SEO.
1. A Well-Designed Website Scores High in User Experience (UX)
Search engines value making their users happy that UX is now a ranking factor, at least on Google. Do it right, and you are already one step closer to making it to the top with your chosen keywords. But that’s not all. The ultimate goal of doing SEO is to maximize returns and even improve customer retention, which good UX also delivers. Take, for example, this study on La Quinta. It says enhancing a booking website increased customer satisfaction by almost 30% and brand affinity by a staggering 50%. Over 15% of customers expressed their likelihood to return to the page.
2. A Functional Site Is Likely to Pay Attention to Mobile-First Indexing
Excellent website design means it is ready for mobile-first indexing, probably one of Google’s major historical search changes. First rolled out in 2021, this update means that the search engine will use the mobile version of your site to index and rank pages. Google took this big step after learning that many users find information, browse the pages, and even shop using their mobile devices.
A functional website is mobile-friendly. It is responsive and adaptive, with fast loading speeds and large font sizes. Its above-the-fold is optimized, so users won’t have to scroll needlessly to get the information they need.
3. A Site Optimized for Web Design Is Likely to Rank Higher in SERPs
Do you know that Google wants your site to load fast? In fact, your visitors should already see the page in less than five seconds!
It sounds like a tall order, but you can achieve that with sound website design. It is especially important now that the search engine has announced that page speed will be a ranking factor in mobile searches. The company even provides its tool, PageSpeed Insights, to help you check how fast your site loads on desktop and mobile devices. All you need is to enter your URL and click “Analyze.”
4. Excellent Web Design Facilitates Crawling and Indexing
Web crawling or spidering is the process of visiting websites to collect information. Search engines do this to update their records and build an index, which they will use to provide relevant results when a user enters a query.
Crawling, however, is challenging if your website is not well-designed. Remember, bots follow links, so a site with many broken ones will make it hard for them to go through the pages. The same is true for a site that’s difficult to navigate. If the bot can’t find its way around, it might index the wrong page. Worse, it might not visit you frequently, so you index only a few pages.
5. A Good Site Design Encourages More Social Shares
Social media is not a ranking signal and is less likely to be one anytime soon. But you cannot ignore it either simply because it helps strengthen your SEO efforts. It boosts brand awareness and mentions, helps acquire more inbound links, and enhances your niche authority and site credibility. However, to win on social media, you should engage the audience. And you can only do that when you understand the basics of website design, such as sensible icons, clickable buttons, and viewable videos.
6. Web Design Is One of the Foundations of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the kind that you cannot see. It deals with everything under the hood, such as site speed, sitemaps, robots.txt files, and other code-level elements. Good web design plays a significant role in technical SEO since it affects how well you code a site. A semantic markup, for instance, helps the search engine understand the content of a page. It, in turn, makes it easier for the algorithm to index and rank your site.
SEO and web design go hand in hand. A well-designed site is more likely to rank higher, load faster, be easily crawlable and indexable, encourage social media shares, and drive conversions. Likewise, a site optimized for SEO delivers an excellent experience to users.
But doing them is easier said than done. When you need a healthy balance of SEO and web design, consider working with a digital marketing agency specializing in both. Experts can help you create a stunning and functional site that can make users and search engines happy.
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