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How Your Web Design Impacts Your SEO and Why It Matters

The digitally-driven landscape is built on complex grounds that meld different marketing elements to create a cohesive and effective marketing strategy. Various aspects of digital marketing are important in their own right, but when combined, they can create a powerful force to help businesses achieve their marketing goals. 

Today, we’re focusing on two key factors that may seem worlds apart, but actually have a symbiotic relationship that can impact each other in more ways than one: SEO and web design. After all, to create a well-rounded digital marketing strategy that generates quality results, it’s crucial to understand how these two elements work together.

SEO and Web Design: What’s the Connection?

SEO plays a pivotal role in keeping your brand visible amidst the oversaturated competition by optimizing a website so that it appears higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).  This can be done with a mix of on-page optimization techniques like keyword placement and density, as well as off-page optimization activities that help boost your ranking outside of your website. 

On the other hand, web design is the art of dressing your website in a way that efficiently meets the following goals: to attract visitors using visually compelling aesthetics, to educate and entertain your audience, to boost your online authority, and to highlight your calls to action. 

With that in mind, how exactly does your web design impact your SEO?  While SEO is important for getting your website seen by more people, web design is essential for getting people to stick around once they’ve found you. A well-designed website will keep people engaged and help them find the information they need, while a poorly designed website will quickly lead to frustration and abandonment.

Various web design factors have a hand in pushing your SEO’s overall success rate forward; that’s why this article aims to shed light on what to consider when assessing your web design’s elements to ensure that it is SEO-friendly.

The Lowdown on How Website Design Affects Your SEO

1. Layout and Navigation

Layout and navigation are two of the most important factors that affect your SEO. If your website is difficult to navigate or the layout is not conducive to browsing, people are less likely to stick around long enough to find what they’re looking for. This can result in a high bounce rate and low conversion rate, both of which can hurt your SEO.

A good website layout is easy to navigate and keeps the most important elements front and center. The navigation should be simple and consistent and naturally guide visitors to their desired information or pages as they explore the website. 

In that sense, the layout and navigation lay the groundwork for a solid architecture for your website, one that creates a seamless user experience. Consequently, this can signal search engines that your website is meeting user expectations, which is a crucial ranking factor.

2. Images and Videos

People are highly visual creatures, so it only makes sense to add high-resolution and original media like images and videos to enrich the user experience. But while these elements can strengthen and provide greater clarity to your content’s message, the huge files can compromise your website’s page speed. 

Slow-loading websites can turn off visitors and lead to a higher bounce rate, which can have a negative impact on your SEO, as Google takes page speed into consideration when ranking websites. 

There are a few things you can do to reduce the file size of your images and videos without compromising their quality. For images, you can use compression tools to reduce the file size without affecting the image’s quality. For videos, you can use a tool like YouTube’s “Auto HD” feature to automatically reduce the file size while still maintaining high-quality video. 

Using compression tools and optimizing your images and videos for faster loading times can help improve your website’s SEO and keep your users happy.

3. Fonts

Fonts are an important part of website design because they affect how visitors perceive your website’s content. Different fonts can convey different moods and emotions, so choosing the right font for your website is important.

Google recommends using fonts that are easy to read on different devices, such as Arial, Verdana, or Tahoma. Sans-serif fonts are generally considered to be the easiest to read, so they’re a good choice for websites. However, you don’t have to stick to Google’s recommendations. You can use any font you want, as long as it’s available on all devices. Just be sure to test your fonts on different devices to make sure they’re easy to read.

Ultimately, using fonts can affect your website’s SEO as Google considers their readability as a sign of quality, so ensuring your website’s fonts are legible on all devices and cohesive to your brand creates a positive signal to search engines.

4. Mobile Responsiveness

Google has made it clear that they are now favoring mobile-responsive websites when it comes to ranking. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re likely to see your ranking drop. 

This is because Google recognizes that more and more people are using mobile devices to search for information, and they want to make sure that the websites that show up in the SERPs are going to be easy to use and view on differently-sized screens—be it a phone, tablet, or desktop. 

5. Header Hierarchy

When it comes to website design and SEO, header hierarchy is key. The most important header on your page should be the <h1> header, which is the title of your page. The <h1> header should be followed by the <h2> header, which is the title of your main section, and the <h3> header, which is the title of your sub-section. 

This aims to do two things: to help your users understand the structure of your website at a glance and to help search engines determine the most important information on your page. When done correctly, your readers are less likely to leave your site, and a lower bounce rate ultimately translates to better rankings. Or, at the very least, valuing your website’s header hierarchy keeps it from hurting your SEO efforts in the long run.

The Bottom Line: Web Design Sets the Stage for Positive User Experiences for Your Website, Making It an Essential Factor in Your Overall SEO Performance

A well-designed website is vital to a positive user experience and, in turn, a successful SEO campaign. A website’s design sets the stage for how users will interact with your content. If your website is difficult to navigate or the design is unattractive, users are likely to leave your site without taking the time to explore all that you have to offer.

On the other hand, a well-designed website that is easy to navigate will encourage users to stay on your site longer and explore all that you have to offer. This increased time on site can lead to better SEO performance as Google, and other search engines take into account how long users stay on a website when ranking it in search results. 

Considering the functionality of your web design can also help to build trust and credibility with your audience, all of which are key ranking factors that can make or mar your SEO. 

Are You Looking for an SEO Agency in Plano?

At Decisive Design, we are a full-service digital marketing agency that can help you with all of your online marketing needs—from website design to website development services. We have a team of experienced SEO professionals who know how to optimize your website for maximum search engine visibility. 

We’ll help you create a comprehensive SEO strategy that will help you compete with the top players in your industry and turn your traffic into leads. Get in touch with us today to see how we can improve your online presence!

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