How Web Design Affects SEO: 4 Ways 

When most marketers think of search engine optimization (SEO), they think of keyword research, the optimization of blog posts, and essential meta information. However, one question that many marketers forget to consider is how web design affects SEO. 

If you're looking to develop a website that will not only look nice and function properly, but that also ranks well in search engines, then you'll need to take a moment to understand how web design affects SEO and why it's so crucial for website success. 

The Importance of SEO in Web Development

Search engine optimization is crucial for web development because it helps your website attract visitors, increase traffic, and ultimately generate more sales. 

While many marketers think of SEO as a process that can be performed independently of web design, it's actually an integral part of the process, and here's why: 

Helps You Attract Valuable Traffic

If you want your website to generate more traffic, you need to make sure it has a solid foundation. This means that you need to make sure your website is optimized for search engines, which will help you attract visits from valuable traffic sources like Google and Bing. 

Studies show that 73% of businesses invest in design to help them stand apart from their competitors. However, design is so much more than just how your website looks. It needs to be set up in a way that maximizes your website usability, is easy to navigate, and encourages visitors to linger, make a purchase, or come back for more information. 

Essentially, while SEO helps draw users in, your design/usability keeps them there and coming back for more. 

Provides Your Customers with a Seamless Experience

When you create a website optimized for search engines, you can expect to see your website traffic increase, leading to more customers. However, you also want to make sure that your website is optimized for the customer experience. 

Approximately 50% of consumers say they have no problem switching to a new brand after a single poor experience on your website, and nearly 80% of them say that they will turn to your competitor if they have more than one bad experience. 

Optimization can help prevent this by providing your customers with a website that is built with their needs in mind.

Helps You Increase Your Positive Reviews/Testimonials

Your website is the first impression that many of your customers will get of your business, so it's important to make sure that it looks good, functions properly, and promotes your business in the best way possible. 

When you optimize your website, you'll be providing your users with the experience they want and the information they need - resulting in happy visitors, happy customers, and people more willing to leave you positive reviews and testimonials. 

With 79% of consumers stating that they trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a loved one, this has never been more important.

SEO Elements that Go into Website Development

When you're looking at how web design affects SEO, you need to look at how SEO elements are built into your website.

This includes everything from your meta information to your website's title, heading, keywords, content, and images.

Meta Information

Meta information is the information that appears under your website's title when it appears in search results. This includes things like the title, the description, and the keywords used to describe your website. 

These elements are essential because they're what search engines use to help them understand what your website is about, and how to categorize it. 

Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that describe the content of your website. These make your website show up in search results, and they're what your audience uses to find your website. 

Heading Tags

Heading tags are HTML tags that help you organize your website's content, providing structure and meaning to your content.

In addition to helping give your website structure, they also help search engines determine the importance of each element of your website. 

Content

Content is one of the most important SEO elements of your website. Content needs to be relevant, interesting, and appropriate for your target audience, and it needs to be unique. 

Using unique content will help your website avoid duplicate content issues, which can hurt your rankings and give search engines possible reasons to penalize your website. 

Images/Videos

When you use images and videos on your website, you give your content a visual element that can help make it more engaging and descriptive. 

This is incredibly important for SEO, because these elements also utilize title tags, keywords, and meta information (such as alt tags) to help search engines understand the element, why it's relevant to your website's visitors, and help you rank better overall. 

How Web Design Affects SEO: 4 Ways Worth Noting 

Now that you understand the importance of SEO for web development, you may be wondering how it affects SEO. Well, there are many ways that web design can impact SEO, and here are just a few: 

1. Aligns with Your Business Objective

When you're creating a website, you need to have a specific reason for doing so. For example, you may want to increase brand awareness or drive more sales to your online store. 

To achieve these goals, you need to optimize the site with both on-page SEO and technical SEO in mind.

  • On-Page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual pages or pieces of content on your website to rank higher and draw in traffic. This usually involves conducting keyword research and utilizing these keywords within your content in a way that addresses the needs of your audience.
  • Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing your website by making sure it’s set up so that search engines can easily crawl and index the pages on your website. This generally involves making sure your website is set up in a way that is friendly to search engines and meets the guidelines provided by search engines (such as Google and Bing).

By aligning your website design with your business objectives, you'll create a useful and attractive website for your audience that also helps you achieve your business goals. 

2. Increases Organic Search Traffic

Organic search traffic refers to traffic that comes from search engines like Google and Bing. This traffic is valuable because it tends to have a high conversion rate, which is likely to lead to more sales, leads, and website traffic.

Studies show that approximately 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search results, and that of all browser-based searches on Google, 45.25% resulted in organic clicks on websites that properly optimized their websites with on-page and technical SEO best practices in mind. 

When creating your website, you need to make sure that you're considering organic search traffic, because it will help you achieve your business goals through essential website metrics such as time on site and bounce rates which are affected by design and considered ranking factors for Google.

3. Clean, Optimized Design Increases Your Site's Speed

Website speed is an essential factor in your website's performance. In fact, studies show that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and if it takes more than three seconds, then 50% of people will leave the page. 

Speed is also an essential factor in your SEO because Google actively uses it as a ranking factor (dig deeper here for 2021 web vitals update), especially when it comes to mobile-friendly websites. With over half of all web traffic happening on mobile devices, consumers will only find a site helpful if they can easily navigate it on their mobile devices and if the pages load correctly and quickly. If they don't, they will have no problem abandoning your site for a more reactive one.

4. Aligns with Consumer's Behaviors

When creating your website, you need to consider the behaviors of your demographic. For example, if your target audience is older, they are likely to be more conservative and prefer clean and well laid out websites. If your target audience is younger, they are likely to be more liberal and prefer more edgy and fun websites. 

When you consider this, you'll create a website that is both appealing and functional to your target audience.

What's more important is the fact that you'll not only be designing a site that appeals to your audience, but you'll also be optimizing it to suit the needs of your consumers. For instance, in 2020, approximately 80% of consumers shopped online (globally), and studies have shown that 53% of U.S. consumers begin researching a product on Amazon and 23% on search engines like Google before making a purchase decision. 

Combining your SEO and web design strategy will help put your brand, products, and services in front of the right people at the right time. 

Web Development and SEO: We've Got Your Back

SEO is an important part of web development, and it's essential to make sure that your website is designed in a functional, appealing, and search engine optimized way.

Here at Jax Digital, we can help you do just that!

Ready to see what we can do for you? Contact us today for more information!

Hero Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

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