How Does Web Design Affect SEO and What Can You Do About It?

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Web Design

Would you like your business to rank on page one of a search engine? 

Then it would be best to get acquainted with both search engine optimization and web design and how they are related. 

Search engine optimization through web design is the process of developing websites in accordance with SEO best practices.

By creating a website optimized for SEO from the get-go, your business will rank higher, leading to more traffic, more leads, and higher revenue. Here’s how you can build an SEO-friendly site!

How Are SEO and Web Design Related?

As we mentioned in the intro, an SEO-friendly website is designed and developed using SEO best practices. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Fast load times
  • Descriptive URLs
  • Optimized images

Companies that practice SEO design make their websites faster to comprehend and rank in search results, increasing traffic and rankings.

Why Does This Matter?

Since design deals with how a site looks, whereas search engine optimization affects how it is found, it might appear that search engine optimization and web design are different disciplines. To an extent, that is true. SEO experts and designers do different things, so you shouldn’t expect to find them doing each other’s work.

But that doesn’t mean that SEO and web design can’t coexist. In fact, the combination of the two can make a massive difference to your company.

So, let’s say you’re considering redesigning your site or creating a new one. In that case, you must understand why integrating website design and search engine optimization is essential to your website.

SEO web design matters for the following reasons:

  1. You can (and should) use SEO to shape your web design: Many SEO best practices directly affect your web design, especially regarding load speed and website architecture. Without SEO, you’ll struggle to rank how you’d like.
  2. Poor web design could ruin your SEO strategy: For example, companies that rebrand or launch a new site and forget to use 301 redirects often lose their search engine ranking. This redirect points search engines to a relocated page.

In most cases, skipping SEO website design costs your business money, time, and rankings. You can base a considerable chunk of your SEO strategy on your website’s design, so combining SEO and web design is crucial.

How to Optimize Your Web Design for Search Engines?

Understanding the connection between SEO and web design, let’s examine what elements of your website are influenced by both. We’ll also explore ways to improve those aspects through search engine-friendly design.

1. Readability

Although designers might be more concerned with the non-text components of your site, ensuring your content is readable is paramount. 

That’s why you should go for fonts and sizes visitors can easily read. 

Another thing you should pay attention to is organizing your textual content into easy-to-digest chunks. Most users don’t want to spend time reading long paragraphs. Even if you already have a website and want to use the same copy, the same rules apply. 

To rank well, you should write informative, optimized, and straightforward content because a design that looks great but features copy that tells nothing to a user can harm your rankings and SEO efforts.

2. Images

The copy on your site is not the only element that can be optimized. Whenever you upload images to your site, your design team should also follow the best image optimization practices.

For one, image file names should be descriptive and logical. They may take a little more time to write than simply leaving the default file names like “IMG_784.jpg,” but a sensical image file name that contains a primary keyword allows search engines to properly “see” your images.

Secondly, while large, high-resolution images are typically nicer to look at, your designer should keep file sizes to a minimum. In addition to slowing down your page’s loading time, large files can damage your rankings, affect your user experience, and increase your bounce rate.

Finally, it would be best if you also optimized the alt tags for your images along with their file names. Search engines rely on a photo description to understand what an image represents, and users can also see alt tags by hovering their cursor over an image.

3. Mobile-Friendliness

More and more internet users rely on mobile devices to browse the web, so your site must be optimized for mobile devices. In addition to providing a better user experience, mobile-friendliness is now a Google ranking factor, so it can increase your chances of ranking well.

To ensure your content is mobile-friendly, you should apply responsive design to your website. That way, your site will be accessible from any device. Additionally, the responsive design eliminates the risk of duplicate content, which can be an issue with a separate mobile site.

4. Code

When it comes to rendering the major design elements of your website, designers have a few options. Mostly, they use HTML and CSS, and there’s a good reason for that.

Although Flash sites look cool, they’re tough to optimize and typically perform poorly in search engines. That’s why you should avoid Flash in design, and your search engine optimization team will thank you for that.

5. Navigation

Keeping navigation simple has always been one of the most critical elements in creating a great user experience. Visitors who can quickly get the information they want on your website are more likely to convert. 

By ensuring navigation on your website is straightforward, your visitors will be less likely to lose interest. That would lead to a lower bounce rate and improved rankings.

6. URL Structure

Every page on your site ought to have a descriptive URL. 

When writing a URL, separate words with hyphens instead of underscores, and include a few keywords related to your content. 

Search engines can understand your pages better if your URLs contain descriptive words (rather than random letters and numbers).

Conclusion

In this post, we wanted to shed some light on the relationship between web design and SEO, and we hope the connection between the two is now clear. 

If you want to work on a new design, redesign an old project, or have questions about how well your site combines design and SEO, the best local SEO agencies can help.

Teams of designers, developers, and SEO experts at these SEO web design companies are ready to assist you in developing a functional and visually appealing site. Good luck!