Web design is crucial to your website’s SEO performance. It’s a quality score factor in the way search engines view your website. When hiring a web designer or developer, you need to think more about the technical aspects that go way above keywords alone. While you might think that SEO is all about content, you might be surprised to find out its more about user experience, speed, and device compatibility. Google is a smart cookie so let’s look at what type of design it considers to affect SEO.
Why does a strong website design improve your SEO and search engine rankings? Google takes the view of your site from a visitor’s perspective. Rankings improve if a site has a responsive design, easy navigation, loads fast with optimised images and back end technical SEO.
Responsive Web Design for Mobile Improves Rankings
We are a web development agency in Surrey and we live in a world where more people are now browsing websites using smart devices more than ever before.
In fact, more people now use smart devices than they do laptops and PCs. As a result, Google released its Mobile-First update or the Mobilegeddon update as it is also known. This update now continues to analyse websites to determine how responsive they are.
For those that are considered to be mobile optimised, they will be ranked higher. Essentially, Google now considers mobile responsiveness to be one of the most crucial factors when ranking a website.
Mobile devices are varied and they come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. When you consider that users use tablets, laptops and smartphones to view websites, it’s imperative that your website responds to the devices that people are using.
Users don’t want to have to zoom and pinch the screen when trying to find information and buy products from eCommerce pages. What you need to remember is that a responsive design allows users to connect with your website and read your content with ease. If they have to work hard to read your content then they are going to look elsewhere and as a result, Google will penalise you.
Any easy way to check is to view your own site from the mobile, note any misalignments or oversized pictures & copy and go back into the site’s dashboard and amend picture widths & fonts, and re-center module headers. Those are the common culprits.
Around 58% of all search engine traffic now comes from smartphones and naturally, Google will make sure users have the best possible experience on all pages when using these devices. You must think Mobile-first.
As a result, Google will rank your website higher if you place a focus on responsive design while your users will also be grateful for the smarter design if they can easily navigate around it. This will mean bounce rates drop and users will spend longer browsing your site, all of which will also help to improve your SEO.
Improve Your Website Ranking Infographic: 4 Text Book Solutions
Parallax Scrolling Website Design Lacks SEO Benefit.
Parallax design is where the entire website is displayed on one single page. The background of the page can also move slower than the foreground, giving you that floating effect. This kind of design has become highly popular in recent times. They offer smart menus that allow users to intuitively move to other parts of the page while pages are broken up using headers and taglines.
Here is an example Parallax site we created for a London based PA, who required a very simple website for her business identity (i.e business card). The menu on the left automatically descends as you scroll down.
Despite websites that adopt a Parallax design being simple to use, they don’t offer much when it comes to SEO. One of the reasons for this is that crawlers will consider the website to consist of one page and even if the website utilises multiple keywords, this kind of design can cause problems when it comes to keyword optimisation. Consideration here is required to rectify any potential keyword stuffing.
There is no denying that strong web design and SEO work together and if you want your website to rank high then you need to get your SEO right. However, Google considers user experience (UX) to be crucial when it comes to ranking and that means that your website has to be well designed and laid out with a good link structure.
An elegantly designed website ensures that Google sees you as a legitimately, across more than one page, with content and authority in its niche.
Use Image Optimisation To Earn SEO Points
Your website consists of many different elements and all of those can have an impact on your SEO rankings. However, you might not realise that your images are also recognised by search engines and this includes how they are uploaded to your website, such as how you name them, the tags, and even their size, all of this plays a significant role in your Google rankings.
There are some easy development tasks that you might want to consider in order to ensure that your images are optimised.
- The image name (name.jpeg) has to be identified by relating to the actual image and therefore, it must not be misleading. Keep this simple without too many keywords.
- Alt-text is vital as it tells Google what the image is. Use again limited keywords to describe the image in front of the user.
- File size can slow your website speed. You need to consider improving the file size of the image because if you make it too large Google won’t consider it to be user-friendly. File size of approx. 30kb is fine, but watch out for image quality and adjust if required. Adobe Photoshop can help with this process by adjusting High to Low Jpegs sizes and picture scale.
Social media also plays a role in image optimisation because it provides users with the ability to share images via their social media platforms to improve rankings. Despite all of this, image optimisation is not difficult but small, simple tweaks can improve SEO and help your website to rank better.
Optimising Website Page Content Improves Overall Design and SEO
Strong Web design also includes the content that you use on your website. In the world we live in, information and content is everything and so, it’s really vital that you get it right. Never overlook the importance of optimising your content.
Every single page on your website will be crawled by search engines and that means that content should be clear, concise, engaging and useful. This stands true regardless of how insignificant you might think the page should be. Whether it’s the contact page, sales page or about page, they all have to provide valuable information.
As a result, every page has to be completed with a Call to Action, using the right keywords with Headers, Titles, and Meta Description locked down.
Ultimately, your entire website is more than what you can see on the surface. Web design is not just about a sleek design or layout and it’s certainly more than the colours and brand message. Of course, all of these things carry a significant weight but if you want your website to stand out then you have to make sure you tick every box.
Be wary of overloading your site with plug-ins you don’t research first. They can be web developers/designers fastback way to bring the site together. It’s not really the QTY of plugins that are the issue, more like the bad ones. It only takes one to slow you down, so review their ratings and testimonials before you install.
For a detailed read on Page Speed, click over to Moz.com, their definition below.
Page speed is often confused with “site speed,” which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either “page load time” (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or “time to first byte” (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).https://moz.com/learn/seo/page-speed
One oversight can significantly impact your Google rankings and that can result in searchers completely missing your site. As a result, traffic will drop and that in turn will affect rankings again and ultimately, conversions will reduce. It’s a never ending spiral.
Is Your Design & SEO Up To Speed?
Ensure your website is up-to-speed with strong web design and back end coding. We will talk about coding in a future article. The front end (customer view) and back end (your dashboard) support each other hand in hand. Spend time getting it right and understanding what is required and you will improve website search engine rankings.
Search engines are demanding more, they behave this way because they understand how important it is to online searchers to find what they are looking for with ease.
For a casual chat or just some free advice – (we do give it!), contact Cream Soda Multimedia at email@example.com or Tel +44 (0)1276 490448.