When designing your website, SEO should always be in the front of your mind. It’s far easier to design a website that has SEO at the core of the site than go back and retrospectively do SEO on your website at a later date.
If you want success online, SEO will form part of your strategy and if that’s the case – plan SEO in early to make sure that you have the most chance of reaching your goals. Equally, if your website has a poor design, then you’ll be wasting any organic traffic you gain through your efforts in optimisation because your visitors will have a poor experience and leave.
Here are 5 ways that SEO and Web Design go together
1. Logical Design
Your design needs to be designed with the user in mind – if you’re spending time on content, link building and driving traffic then making sure people can find the information that they are looking for is key. You need to make sure that calls to action are clear and your content is easy to read. If you have a cluttered page where nothing is where your user will expect to find it, you will lose them and people will leave. What’s worse, is that when people leave, Google sees this as a “bounce” and can start to learn that people are not getting a good experience and reduce your traffic.
2. Mobile friendly
This isn’t exactly new news, because Google announced in 2017 that it was going to start indexing mobile sites first (adding your pages to the search results), but there are a huge number of sites that are not mobile-friendly. So when your website is not a responsive design (mobile friendly), Google is going to give preference to your competitors whose website is responsive – and works on mobile. Spend more time designing your mobile version, as this is the one that Google is looking at first!
Don’t forget your users: with over half of all web traffic coming on mobile, you could stand to turn off a huge proportion of your potential customers if your website is not responsive. If your site doesn’t work on mobile, or it’s a poor experience on mobile the bounce rate will rise, and yes – Google’s going to notice and your traffic could drop off quickly.
spend more time designing your mobile version, as this is the one that google is looking at first!
3. Site speed
Your website might be slow, but there’s usually a reason and design is likely to be in the middle of that. If your site takes a long time to load for a user, then it’s the same for Google and this means it’s likely that some of your pages won’t be indexed, and then they won’t rank on the search pages.
If you want your site rank well, you need to make sure that people can get to the content they are looking for when they arrive – a great target to aim for is 3 seconds. Over 3 seconds and a large proportion of people are going to abandon their wait – pushing up your bounce, which sends negative feedback to Google.
4. Plan out your site map
Plan out your site map right at the start. A badly planned site map is not only going to lead to poor user experience it’s also going to make it hard for Google to crawl (Google’s robots visiting) your website. When you are starting your website, spend some time planning this out – think about your users and the most important information they are going to need. You also need to think about what you want to rank for. If you are looking to rank for a particular product or service you need to have a specific page for that, and it’s got to be linked internally for Google to crawl it.
As your site grows in pages, you need to keep referring back and modifying your site map – don’t allow the site to grow with random arms are legs growing out all over the place or worse, with orphaned pages that don’t link to anything.
5. Building Trust
When people land on your website they need to trust your company. A large part of SEO is making people trust your brand. Without trust, you’re not going to get people to come back.
Over time, we’ve all begun to expect a great user experience each time we visit a website. If it’s anything less than good, we’re not going to hang around – and we’re probably not going come back. Without good design – this could happen to your website and then you’ll waste all of the SEO you’ve spent time on. This comes back to if your site looks dated – digital design moves at such a pace a website that looked fantastic two years ago probably already looks like it’s gathering dust – keep on top of your design. It might not need a complete redesign, but just a polish to keep things shiny and looking like you’re the business that puts in the effort for your clients.
Google is getting smarter – it’s not possible to trick it and SEO needs to be combined with design. If the design is poor or misleading, Google is going to notice and you will not rank as well as you should.
If you are thinking of a new website design we’ll sit down and think about the SEO with you and plan this out from the start. Equally, if you have a site you’re happy with we can come and appraise it from an SEO perspective – and look at where we can make some improvements for you. Contact us today to find out more
5 ways seo + web design go together
Written By Adam
Managing Partner at Trident
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