Designing a website is one thing but creating a website that ranks well is another.
In the first stages of designing your website, SEO may not even cross your mind, but prepping your website for life outside of the design space is just as important as colour schemes and font styles.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it’s the reason why a website appears in Google – and where it ranks when a keyword is searched for. The higher its ranks, the more likely users will visit your website and the more potential clients your business will have, so it’s easy to see why SEO is essential.
Preparing your website for SEO optimisation from the get-go is vital for ensuring users visit your website – and for making sure they stay.
Here are five ways that SEO and web design go hand in hand, and why you should start thinking about the way your customers view your website.
More and more people are using smartphones and other mobile devices to browse the internet. In fact, in 2020, more than 50% of traffic came from mobile phones. Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly is not only inviting most of the internet to view your website, but it also increases accessibility and places your website in Google’s good books.
Google favours mobile-friendly websites and has a set of criteria in place to determine whether a website passes their Mobile-Friendly Test. If it does, the website will receive a ‘mobile friendly’ label which lets users know whether they can easily view it on their phones. Google incorporates mobile-friendliness into their specialised ranking system, and places websites with this label higher in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). In 2020, Google switched to mobile-first indexing. Essentially, this means that Google prioritises the mobile version of a website, instead of the desktop version. It is in your best interests to design a version of your website that is especially designed for phones and other mobile devices, and it will help your website and its SEO in the long run.
Readability and Navigation
There’s nothing worse than loading a website and finding the design completely unmanageable. In order for clients and customers to interact with your website and buy your products or services, they need to be able to read and navigate your site!
If a user finds that your readability is low or they can’t access parts of your website, then the bounce rate for that site is going to be relatively high, and a high bounce rate can negatively affect how Google or another search engine prioritises your website.
Having basic necessities such as content and images, and including fundamental pages like a contact page, about us section, or an index, can prove to Google that your website is genuine and deserving of a place in their search engine.
Basic web design can instantly increase your chances of getting in that number one spot and can improve how clients access and navigate your website.
Anybody in the digital marketing sphere knows that content is king, and for a good reason. Content is one of the most powerful and easy ways to increase your SEO ranking. However, before you start writing, it’s best to work with your design team to work out exactly how much text will be on your website and where it will go.
As a general rule, the more content you have, the better your SEO ranking will be. There’s more room to organically fit important keywords into your website, which Google will find and rank you for. At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard with your content. Giant blocks of text can impact your readability and can pull focus away from the rest of your website. When designing your website, consider the flow of the site as a user would view it; do you have a balance between text and image? Is the text in a space on the site where it is easily accessible? Is the content itself written in a way that your audience will understand?
All of these questions help to understand how the content is written and adjusted according to your web page’s design. Finding a good balance between design and content will help you improve your website’s visuals and mechanics and how your website is ranking in terms of SEO.
Having a high-quality product is essential in any business and having a high-quality website is an important extension of this idea. This includes how your website operates. A site that performs poorly, particularly in terms of loading speed and clarity, can drastically affect your SEO.
An estimated 25% of users will immediately leave a webpage that takes more than 4 seconds to load – and this increases with longer load times. Bounce rates for poor websites are particularly high, and if a client can’t access your website, then they aren’t going to buy your products.
Website speed and poor website design ultimately affects your SEO ranking too. User experience is a valuable ranking tool, and if users aren’t staying on your website because of loading times, then Google and other search engines will be less likely to index your website.
How does your website look?
A well-designed and attractive website intrigues and impresses clients. They say to not judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t hurt to update your website to the latest styles and trends. An aesthetically pleasing website will invite users in and let them know about your company’s style and tone or business. Meeting with our design team can help determine how you want to portray yourself via your website and find the right kind of style for you.