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How Web Design Impacts SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO), when properly built into the website, can provide a higher page ranking in search engines such as Google. In other words, it can place your web page on the first few search pages, rather than someone having to scroll endlessly to find your site, thereby increasing the traffic to your website. This is where the role of web design steps in. By paying close attention to details in your web design, such as loading speed, Call To Action buttons, and utilizing keywords, you are allowing the science of SEO to do its magic for you. 

How Web Design Impacts SEO

Elements to adapt to web design and SEO

Now that we understand the dynamic between the two, here are some specific elements that set the foundation for a well-optimized website:

Code

Choice of code is extremely important as it has a tremendous impact on all further aspects of your website performance, such as site load and general user experience. It is the single thing that search engines and social media sites can see. With that being said, the matter of coding represents the most important aspect when it comes to optimizing the search engines and ensuring a high SEO ranking for your website. Without an excellent code function, you lose the opportunity for your website’s visibility and recognition, which will greatly affect the overall user experience and ultimately cause potential customers to click off your page. Although using themes or builders may sound convenient, it’s now clear that custom-coded websites are the only way to go if you’re striving for high quality, scalable, SEO, and PPC-friendly site for your business.

Mobile accessibility 

Research shows that in this day and age, the majority of the population access the Internet via their smartphones or tablets due to constant WiFi availability. Taking this into account, it is of great importance that your website design and overall content translates well into mobile formats, as that will greatly improve the website’s SEO and ranking. Without accessibility on a broad range of devices, you essentially lose clicks and visits that might cost your business noticeability and general website traffic, making the search engines uninterested in your page and flunking it to a lower spot on the SEO ranking board.

Page speed

The search engine ranking algorithm prefers highly responsive sites, whose said responsiveness greatly depends on the loading speed of your page. To ensure web traffic, you should make sure to pay close attention to this detail as the general population’s attention span seems to become shorter by the minute. It is possible that users may be impatient or simply not have access to a good mobile data connection. Making sure that you’re not overcrowding your code with unnecessary information will greatly improve the speed at which your page loads, both on desktop and mobile. Additionally, it’s vital to remember that site speed and SEO are inextricably linked; decreasing your website loading time is bound to impact your SEO positively.

File names and size

As we previously mentioned, loading speed is of huge significance when ensuring web traffic and excellent user experience. To further help this problem, focusing on file names and file size is a small but effective way to help search engines take notice of your page and put your photos in context with your site. Another helpful suggestion is to keep file sizes as small as possible. For example, smaller-sized images will look as good as the sizable ones but won’t take as long to load, therefore keeping the user’s attention and compelling them to stay on your page.

URL

It’s easy for context to get lost in the long stream of the site’s URL link. In order to maximize its use, it is highly advised to create a custom URL that will be straight to the point, allowing the SEO algorithm to pick it up faster and rank your page higher. Working out the keywords that are the most related to your content will help you sum down to the simplest URL, which will help the overall placement of your website, not only on the ranking boards but also amongst a certain content niche, making it easier for potential customers to find your business and all you have to offer.

Website structure

The overall appearance and usability of your website are what will make it a hit or miss for your users. First impressions are always important. When focusing on the general quality of its service, your main interests should be:

Easy use

Overcrowding your website with information and making it hard for potential customers to find what they need is a common mistake. With that being said, your main focus should be on presenting only the most important information on the landing page but also creating an easy way for your users to get around the site and further learn about what you have to offer. Keep in mind that not everyone is overly familiar with the virtual world and its complicated inner workings.

Simple design

On the other hand, what might repulse users from further investigating and participating on your page might be the over-the-top design of your webpage. Uniqueness is always welcome, but make sure you’re not scaring users away with poor color coordination, outdated fonts, and an overall shabby and messy appearance. What initially meets the eye is what will lead users to decide if they will stay on your site, so it is of great importance to make sure it is a pleasant first sight.

Navigation

Following up the advice on simple use is a well-structured navigation service. Creating a thought-out network of links and call to action buttons and strategically placing them across the screen will ensure your visit rate and allow the SEO system to pick up on the activity, placing your page higher on the ranking board. The idea is to have a navigation system that flows, allowing your customers and users to surf your webpage mindlessly, without having to put too much thought and effort into it.

Algorithm updates that are Web design and SEO focused

With the growing importance of being well aware of all aspects of your website performance and quality, Internet tools have been created to enable simple tracking and insight, making sure you’re on top of your game.

Lighthouse Speed algorithm

Google Lighthouse is a free performance analysis tool that allows in-depth insight into crucial areas such as load speed and mobile experience factors that significantly impact your business’s online presence and user experience. The recently updated process of evaluation is based upon examination of six factors:

  • First Contentful Paint, which marks the time at which the first text or image is painted;
  • Time to Interactive, which represents the time it takes for the page to become fully interactive;
  • Speed Index, which shows how quickly the contents of the page are visibly populated; 
  • Largest Contentful Paint, which marks the time at which the largest text or image is painted;
  • Total Blocking Time, which represents the summation of overall time spent between First Contentful Paint and Time to Interactive, when the length of a task surpasses 50ms (milliseconds);
  • Cumulative Layout Shift, which measures the movement of visible elements that are in the viewport; 

Lighthouse Speed allows a thorough overview of what your website might be missing and lacking while also offering you general information on how your website is doing overall. This platform is of massive value, considering the fact it is free and always evolving to offer you the best service and experience when wanting to improve your website quality.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are a variety of metrics used by Google to score the general user experience when loading your webpage. They are a part of Google’s overall evaluation of “page experience,” which, similarly to previously mentioned Lighthouse Speed, offers you an in-depth overview of how the customers are experiencing your website and its services. 

It is calculated through three main metrics, which are: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the duration of the loading performance. Meaning the time it takes for the website content to fully load. Statistically, this action should take about 2.5 seconds within the initial page loading;
  • First Input Delay (FID), whose role is to measure interactivity. To make sure that users are provided with the best experience, the pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds; 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which measures visual stability. Have you ever visited a site, and the whole layout shifted with each time something loaded on the page? That means your CLS is bad. It basically means that there is content that loads after the overall main content. So you see the whole layout load over and over again, causing it to seemingly glitch and move. To keep this from happening, you must go through your content and eliminate those who lag in loading speed or simply resize those files, so they fall perfectly into the loading process. Generally, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0,1. 

Having free access to these ever-evolving platforms certainly makes the job of producing an impressive website way easier as it supplies you with all necessary information and data, giving your business’s website a greater chance at being noticed and picked up by the SEO and ensuring a higher rank on the search boards. 

Final thoughts

Web design and SEO are two extremely important but also highly intricate elements of the website building sphere, to which you must pay attention when building a virtual empire for your business. Properly utilizing both party’s aspects will surely lead you to great success for your business and its online presence and further recognition. 

Make sure to book your meeting with our team of experts who will help you get started on building a bright future for your business. 

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Brian is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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