Your website is your first impression – and first impressions are everything. You want it to be designed well, easy to navigate, user-friendly, and explain all the ins and outs of what you do. It’s a real chance for you to show who you really are – and why you’re the best. But that’s not all – you also want it to show up on search engine results so people can find you in the first place. That’s why website design is so important. Website design can significantly impact SEO.
Okay, But What Is SEO?
And How Does Website Design Impact It?
In short, search engines do not rank poorly designed websites. They demand websites that are easy to navigate, user-friendly, quick, and have a great mobile design as well. Here are some ways that website design can impact your SEO.
1. Human Experience and SEO Go Together
Human experience and SEO go together like PB&J. But no, really. They go hand in hand. If your website isn’t simple, clean and easy to navigate, it will lead to a poor human experience. Ultimately, if your website is bad for human users, it is going to also be bad for search engine bots. Search engines are smart and will be able to tell if people are leaving your website. If your site has a high bounce rate, and you’re not getting a lot of visitors – or a lot of visitors that want to stay on your site – then you will drop in rankings. Make sure your website is designed well for humans, and it will pass the test with search engine bots.
2. Mobile-Friendliness Is Essential
Speaking of human experience, when designing your website, ask yourself this question: is it mobile-friendly? Most of your customers are likely viewing your website and doing research for businesses like yours on their mobile devices. In fact, according to HubSpot, mobile devices generated 54.4% of global website traffic at the end of 2021. Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is absolutely essential to your SEO success. If your site isn’t built for the mobile world, then you’re likely going to be losing a lot of customers – and your spot on the first page of Google.
3. Quality Images and Videos Are Key
Images and videos on your website can increase your engagement and drive conversions. However, you want to make sure the images and videos you choose are of high quality. Huge image and video files on your website can take an extremely long time to load if they’re not optimized correctly. Not only that, but if you have flooded your website with a ton of images and videos, it can also slow things down. According to Google’s research in 2020, if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it could increase your bounce rate by 58%. As we mentioned above, the goal is to encourage users to stay on your website for a good amount of time because high bounce rates will signal to search engines that your site isn’t providing a good experience. At this point, you’ll find your website drops in search engine rankings. Make sure when designing your website, you have high quality images and videos that don’t bog down your site and decrease the time it takes to load. Also make sure these images are optimized.
4. A Slow-Loading Website Isn’t Good
Let’s cover more on this topic. Huge, unoptimized images and videos (or just a lot of images and videos in general) aren’t the only things that can cause your website to load slowly. There are other reasons your website might be slow to load. Those reasons include:
- Excessive Flash Content
- Too Many HTTP Requests
- Low-Quality Hosting Services
- No CDN Being Used
- Code Is Too Heavy
- Caching Issues
- And more
Site speed not only impacts your SEO, but it can also impact the overall user experience, conversion rates, and bounce rates. You can always conduct a site speed test before going live so you can catch any problems early on and address them before they negatively impact your search engine rankings.
5. Impacts Website Crawlability
Truth be told, no one really goes beyond the first page of Google unless they become desperate. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re ranking number one. One of the ways your website design can impact SEO is the crawlability. Crawlability is what allows search engines to access (and crawl) your site. Crawlers, also known as bots or spiders, look at websites and follow links, a lot like you would if you were browsing the internet. They then will bring data from each link they’ve visited back to Google’s servers. If you have broken links, duplicate content, or anything that might indicate a poor web design, it will impact your rankings. This is why a site audit is always a good idea every now and then to make sure your website is performing as it should be. Some ways to improve the crawlability of your site include:
- Avoid duplicate content
- Improve site speed
- Regularly update and provide new, engaging, high-quality content
- Strengthen links and fix broken ones
Having a good website design makes it easier for crawlers to index your site. A poor web design, on the other hand, makes it harder for crawlers to index your site, which in turn, leads to poor SEO rankings. This is where a web developer comes in handy. A web developer can improve your website’s crawlability by formatting URLS, content, and images in a way that makes crawlers be able to index it quicker – and easier.