Understanding How Web Design Impacts Your SEO

SEO + Website Design

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There is no doubt that web design and search engine optimization (SEO) are two entirely different fields.

The former focuses on the form and function of a website, while the latter is primarily concerned with driving more traffic to it by getting high rankings in search results.

The relationship between web design and SEO, however, is much closer than most people realize. As a matter of fact, web design can actually make or break your SEO.

Much of the impact of web design on SEO hinges on a little something called user experience, which will officially become a Google ranking factor in 2021.

Simply put, good web design provides an optimal user experience, which, in turn, helps your SEO. Terrible web design, on the other hand, will do the exact opposite.

You may need web design improvement services if your site is any of the following:

Difficult To Navigate

One thing people hate the most is when they get lost within a website they’re trying to explore due to dreadful navigation. A cluttered navigation structure doesn’t help. The same goes for the absence of a search bar that actually brings people to the content they want from your site.

To make it easier for your visitors to jump from one page to another within your site, fix your navigation structure. Organize categories clearly and put up clickable navigation elements. And yes, a working search feature will be very much appreciated. You can also do some internal linking if you want.

With smooth navigation, people will stay longer on your site, which should help reduce your bounce rate.

Pages Load Slowly

Several things can affect the speed at which web pages load. From the end of the user, it could be their Internet speed and the browser and device they’re using. From your end, it could be your web hosting or your web design.

If it’s the web hosting that’s slowing your pages down, you might want to consider switching hosting companies. However, if your website is graphics-heavy, has custom fonts, or uses large images, your web design is probably the culprit.

For faster loading speeds, you should consider going easy on the graphics, optimizing your images, and minimizing (or even eliminating) the use of custom fonts.

Remember, visitors will likely leave when a web page takes more than three seconds to load. Your bounce rate will rise, which will hurt your SEO.

Has Poor Visual Design

Web design is a lot of other things, but its primary objective is to make a website look visually stunning in its own way. A website’s appearance is what people immediately notice the moment your superb SEO work leads them to your pages.

However, you cannot expect people to stay long when your site isn’t easy on the eyes.

The color scheme you used may not be right for the site. It’s also possible that the layout is all over the place. Maybe the graphics work is a little too loud for their taste.

When people don’t like something about the way your site looks, they will simply close your page, move on to another site, and leave you with an ever-increasing bounce rate.

Laden With Intrusive Pop Ups

There is no question that a popup ad can be a useful lead generation tool.

However, you stand to annoy visitors when a popup is what greets them as soon as they access your page through that link they found in search results. It’s even worse if your popup is big enough to cover the entire content they’re actually trying to check out.

It’s highly likely that users will be annoyed enough by your site’s popup shenanigans to go somewhere else. Your SEO efforts that drove them to your website in the first place will then be wasted.

There’s nothing wrong with using popups, but it would be better for your SEO if you use them in moderation. Also, avoid using popups as a welcome mat. It’s best to give users a minute or two to have a look around before showing them a popup ad.

Uses Too Many Fonts

There’s a wealth of typefaces out there. You may even design your own. It’s easy to get tempted to use several of your favorites for your website with virtually countless font options.

The problem is, using too many fonts can distract and confuse visitors. Use five or six fonts in one page, and you’re risking annoying users enough to leave.

As much as possible, keep your font use down to a maximum of three, and at three different sizes, too.

Offers Less Than Compelling Content

Let’s say your SEO efforts are bearing fruit, with traffic to your website rising significantly.

However, if your content doesn’t provide what your visitors need, you can expect your bounce rate to increase as well.

It cannot be stated enough how important quality content is for your website. Whether it’s the written or visual kind, you have to make sure that the content you offer answers to their questions, solves their issues, or is generally interesting to them.

Typographical errors, spelling issues, and atrocious grammar also turn visitors off, so make sure that your written content has little to none of these.

Not Mobile-Friendly

It’s been years since mobile Internet use has passed desktop, and it hasn’t looked back.

Strangely enough, many websites are still not mobile-friendly, even as the number of mobile users continues to grow.

If your site is one of them, you’re probably missing out on many things, from increased mobile traffic to potential sales.

When mobile users stumble on your website via search results, and it doesn’t render well on the smartphone or tablet they’re using, don’t expect them to make an effort to zoom in and try to read what you have to offer.

They’ll just move on to a responsive site, probably that of your competitor’s.

Excellent SEO work brings people to your site, and good web design that enhances the user experience helps keep them there. Pay your web design a little more attention, and you stand to reap SEO rewards eventually.

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