The ranking awarded to your website on search engines is contingent on SEO website design optimization. Sites must be SEO friendly before posting any content.
The SEO industry is expected to rake in $80 billion by 2020. It’s clear that companies are spending money on optimizing their websites for search.
You might wonder what they’re really paying for. After all, isn’t SEO all about keyword saturation and website speeds? You might think those tactics are easy enough to implement on your own.
There’s so much more to SEO, though. It takes experience and skill to get results in a landscape where everyone is using the same tactics. You must be prepared to optimize every aspect of your website, right down to the design.
You read that right. The website design you’re using could affect your rank in search results.
If you want to know how web design affects SEO, this guide is for you. We’ll go over the features of SEO website design. We’ll also review how they impact your SEO efforts.
Elements of SEO Website Design
An SEO website design is just what it sounds like. It’s a web design that supports your SEO efforts.
Aren’t all website designs SEO-friendly? Not necessarily. Some web designs can actually hinder your efforts at boosting your SERP.
A design that supports SEO will have the following elements:
It’s easy to see the importance of link structure, navigation, and sitemaps. These features let Google and other search engines crawl your site. The easier your site is to crawl, the easier it is to index.
Features like customizable title tags, URLs, and heading levels make it easier for crawlers to understand content. Categorizing your content is easier when the robot knows what it’s about.
Much has been made about meta descriptions and keywords. These features won’t impact your SERP, but they do matter for click-through.
Gearing Up for Mobile
Another aspect of SEO website design is mobile-friendliness. Mobile has been rising in popularity. In fact, some people now use only a mobile device to access the Internet.
Google started mobile-first indexing recently. This means sites that are optimized for mobile users will rank better.
Design is a key component of mobile sites. Good design responds to different device screens, resizing the site. Mobile sites may also need to be designed with user actions in mind.
Speed is another key component when it comes to making a mobile-friendly site. You may think you have to rely on your web host for speed, but that’s not the case. Your website design could also be bogging your site down.
Plenty of template website designs have bloated coding, which increases load times. A mobile design will streamline code for lightning-fast load times.
Image optimization is another key component of speed. Your web design should reflect this. Video display, images, and other graphic elements need to be optimized.
Delivering a Better User Experience
The key to understanding how web design and SEO are linked is to understand their goals. Both good design and good SEO seek to deliver a better user experience.
Google ranks pages based on their relevance to user search queries. The search giant’s algorithm also factors in aspects like a site’s reputation and load times. Whenever Google directs someone to another page, they want to be sure the user has a good experience.
If the site loads fast, is easy to navigate, and presents relevant content, the user’s likely to have a better experience. SEO is a way of both creating that experience and telling Google you’re delivering good UX.
Good design is also all about delivering a good UX. Here, form follows function. Navigation is key to site usability, and good design makes finding information easier.
This is especially clear on mobile. Contrast, shading, and more can make buttons stand out. The user knows where to click because design elements direct them.
Placement can direct the user’s attention. A design that uses lots of white space focuses the user’s attention on the other elements of the page. Using a larger font can highlight more interesting information for the user.
These design elements support your SEO efforts. Design can make it easy to navigate your site. It can highlight relevant information, making it quick to assess what the page is about.
Make Your Design Work with SEO
One mistake business owners make is creating a site without considering SEO. The designer creates a beautiful site, but the SEO capabilities aren't there.
SEO support may get tacked on to a site design at the last minute. If you haven’t designed with SEO in mind, you may find yourself wondering how to SEO a website.
Instead of asking this question, make sure your web design and SEO work together from the outset. Invite your sales and marketing team or an SEO expert to contribute to the design process.
If you work with an agency, they may be able to help you blend SEO and great design. They may have a team of website designers who know the ins and outs of SEO. If not, they may be able to provide insight or recommend a web designer who meets your needs.
It’s much easier to build SEO functionality into your web design at the start than to go back and add it afterward. Besides, SEO capabilities are often part and parcel of good design. If your design team is worth their salt, they’ll design for speed, mobile users, and easy navigation anyway.
Boost SEO and Make Visitors Happy
It’s no secret SEO and website design go hand in hand. The two support each other in delivering a better user experience for the people who visit your site. Designing for SEO is as important as designing for the people who visit your site.
If your site needs an SEO website design overhaul, get in touch with us. We can help you create a design that delivers SEO results and great experiences.