SEO is essential to help people find the right information via search engines in less time. The users make purchases and avail online services after acquiring enough knowledge from the website.
For this, a website requires to be in the top search results. Yes, for that, you need SEO, but apart from SEO, many factors such as design, device compatibility, navigation, and load time affect the ranking of the site.
The intuitiveness in the design and SEO go hand in hand for a website. Both on-page and off-page SEO are essential for the design. You can get it done by an in-house team. However, it will be best to outsource digital marketing to use your resources well for substantial results. Here is how SEO and design work!
Why is design important for SEO?
Design is a critical component for SEO. This is because website design is something that greatly affects SEO. If good practices are incorporated while designing a website, the pages will rank higher, open sooner, and attract more users. That’s what SEO is all about!
The user reaches the website after carrying out a search using particular keywords. They will click on the first few results on the search engine without even visiting the next page. However, what makes them stay and go through the website is the design and navigation. The websites that do not make it to the first page are non-existent to the user.
Besides, the design elements of the website ensure the user spends more time on the website and further increases the traffic. Integration of design and SEO is crucial to increase the readability and efficiency of the content. So, the website design needs to be SEO compatible and search-engine friendly to be responsive to the user.
5 ways design go well with SEO:
Here are ways that user-centric design and SEO increase the visibility of the website.
1. Mobile-friendly design
Google added mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in 2015. Moreover, the search engine followed with mobile-first indexing in 2017 to show how important mobile-friendly design is for a website. However, a lot of websites ignore this factor, and their efforts go down the drain.
As per Statcounter, about 52.94% of web users worldwide use mobile phones and tablets to browse websites, and 47.06% use desktops. Over the years, searches over desktops have declined as the technology has become more portable and instantly accessible. This implies that the design should work on mobile devices for ease of use.
If more than half of users search on their mobile phones, a mobile-friendly design is crucial in getting traffic. This will prevent a high bounce rate from a phone and tablet to ensure Google notices the surge in users. On the other hand, with a high mobile bounce rate, the device will send bad signals to the search engine and impact the rankings negatively.
2. Easy-to-Read design
You may spend a lot of time curating the content to improve SEO. But that is not it. The design of the website also has a massive impact on the readability of the content. Moreover, it affects the presentation and accessibility of the content.
If the website follows a poor content design strategy, the user may not gain any information. Besides, poorly placed blocks of content may make it impossible for the user to understand anything.
Moreover, if you add too many hyperlinks, the user may feel confused. Besides, keep in check all the optimization strategy myths to ensure your website is in the top results on search engines.
It will impact the traffic over your website as people are not going to scan through so much distraction. Furthermore, the color scheme of the text and background impact the content. For instance, light color text over a white background will be impossible to read. Similarly, the small size of the text will scare away the users.
The white space, extra elements, images, and line lengths collectively impact the user experience. Moreover, there will be users with different abilities who may wish to access your site. The web designers need to create a design while following the WCAG guidelines.
The WCAG guidelines ensure that the website is ready for people with reading disabilities, hearing impairment, ADHD users, and limited mobility. It makes sure the website has customizable buttons and tools for user inclusivity. This may include a change in font size, audio files of the content, reducing distractions, and limiting excessive clutter.
3. Easy-to-Navigate design
By streamlining your navigation bar, you can create an organized space for the user. If you have a cluttered navigation menu, the user may feel confused and not proceed with further actions. The website should have a main menu and sub-menu with additional links for easy navigation.
Also, the hypertext in a different color will help the visitors know where to proceed from the content. Moreover, the sidebar must stand out and should be different from other content. The navigation design of the website can be improved by adding colors, white space, and separation between the sidebar and different elements.
The key to an easy-to-navigate design is the reduction in clutter and a good flow of content. There should be a set design all over the website, such as the footer, header, and navigation bar. This will ensure the user sees everything clearly while navigating.
For example, most websites have an about me or us or contact us section for the user to proceed with the services. The same follows for the footer, where users can find different links and contact information.
4. Fast loading elements
The loading time of the website is another design factor that impacts the website. If you are doing everything right but still bad results, your website may just be too slow and making users bounce instantly. A slow website may add to a high bounce rate and plummet the search engine ranking.
The user may not wait more than a few seconds before hitting back on the browser. Ideally, the website should not take more than two to three seconds to load. Fast loading elements such as images, plugins, and content will add to the ranking signal for the search engines. Hence, the loading speed is equally essential to the users and Google.
If Google is unable to crawl over website pages, they may not be indexed. This makes it unlikely for these pages to rank. A meta description may not help in ranking; however, it plays a key role in page optimization.
5. Trustable design
Gaining the trust of the users is essential for a website to rank higher. A website cannot achieve this with malpractice or giving limited information to the users. Honest information, organization, visual design, and serving the user’s purpose add to the trust.
For example, if a website is holding off essential information such as prices of services, the user may not go for the services. Chances are the extra step to learn about the prices via email may add to suspicion and sketchy practices.
Moreover, people take a few seconds to form an opinion over a website, which may lead to a grapevine of such opinions among the masses. You may add simple design elements, contextual links, and the right information for the user to trust your services.
If there are too much vague content and unnecessary links, the user may feel the clutter to be less reliable. So, follow a standard design for the user to stay on the website and get what they are looking for. Besides, use high-quality images, follow color theory, and fresh content for it to be relatable.
Also, remove any broken links or low-quality content from the website that may affect the user experience. Make sure you use correct grammar and no typos for the user to take you seriously. Most users ridicule spelling errors and faults in grammar no matter how good the content may be.
Also, the content should be relevant as it makes the user feel the site is well-equipped. With content relevancy and comprehensive additions, the user favors the website to be informed with current trends. This also applies to images as they are the visual representation of the services. So refrain from using generic or irrelevant images.
All these design features ensure that the user notices the business is putting in ample efforts for online presence. This helps in gaining trust and clients in the long run.
Now you know how intuitive design and SEO work together for ranking your website. Technicalities such as navigation, color scheme, trustable design, and readability ensure the user gets the most from the website. Moreover, mobile compatible designs are a major factor in the design process of the website.
The design should keep SEO in mind and create a responsive website for search engines and users. You may consider being too creative may help in rankings; however, following a simple design with predictable features adds to the user experience. Therefore, prioritizing all these factors is essential to reach maximum traffic and sales.
Web design is beneficial for businesses, customers, and search engines when it is not complex or overwhelming. It should lead to links and content that users need while allowing businesses to reach more people.