Search engine optimization (SEO), when adequately woven into the fabric of a website, provides higher page rankings on Google. People often ask: Does web design affect SEO? Web Design impacts SEO directly, especially considering that Google relies on Core Web Vitals algorithm update to evaluate the visitors’ user experience they are sending you. In other words, it can place your web page on the first search page for its respective keywords. Imagine that your users don’t have to find themselves 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.
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:
Choice of code is crucial 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 crucial aspect of 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, significantly affecting the overall user experience and causing 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 strive for high quality, scalable, SEO, and PPC-friendly site for your business.
Research shows that in this day and age, most of the population access the Internet via their smartphones or tablets due to constant WiFi availability. Without accessibility on a broad range of devices, you 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. Taking this into account, it is of great importance that your website design and overall content translate well into mobile formats, as that will significantly improve the website’s SEO and ranking.
The search engine ranking algorithm prefers highly responsive sites, whose said responsiveness dramatically depends on the loading speed of your page. To ensure web traffic, you should 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 not have access to a good mobile data connection. Ensuring that you’re not overcrowding your code with unnecessary information will significantly 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 will positively impact your SEO.
File names and size
As mentioned previously, loading speed is of colossal significance when ensuring web traffic and an 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, keeping the user’s attention and compelling them to stay on your page.
It’s easy for context to get lost in the long stream of the site’s URL link. 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 most specific URL, which will help the overall placement of your website, not only on the ranking boards but also amongst a particular content niche, making it easier for potential customers to find your business and all you have to offer.
The overall appearance and usability of your website play a crucial role in your search rankings. First impressions are always important. When focusing on the general quality of its service, and especially when aiming for a blog post that ranks highly, your main interests should be:
A common mistake is overcrowding your website with information, leading to slow load times, especially on mobile devices, and making it hard for potential customers to find what they need. With that being said, your primary focus should be on presenting only the most essential information on the landing page and 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. This is a critical ranking factor to consider if you aim to rank higher.
How your design affects the user experience is pivotal. 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 it’s crucial to understand how your design affects SEO. 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’s essential to ensure it is pleasant at first sight.
Following up the advice on easy use is a well-structured navigation service. Creating a thought-out network of links, avoiding any broken link, 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 most significant 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 offering you general information on how your website is overall. This platform is of massive value, considering it is free and constantly 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 the 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) measures the duration of the loading performance. Meaning the time it takes for the website content to load fully. 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 means that there is content that loads after the overall main content. So you see the whole layout load repeatedly, causing it to glitch and move seemingly. To keep this from happening, you must go through your content and eliminate those who lag in loading speed or 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 a unique website way easier as it supplies you with all necessary information and data, giving your business’s website a greater chance of being noticed and picked up by the SEO and ensuring a higher rank on the search boards.
You must pay attention to when building a virtual empire for your business. Web design and SEO are two essential but also highly intricate elements of the website building sphere. Properly utilizing both parties’ aspects will surely lead you to great success for your business, its online presence, and further recognition.