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Feb-12-2021 15:43printcomments

How Web Design Can Impact Your SEO

How to easily fine-tune your current custom web design to help boost SEO results.

web design
Photo: picjumbo.com, Pexels

(SALEM, Ore.) - Marketing experts often focus on which techniques yield the best results. SEO is one of the most effective, yet time-consuming marketing techniques.

There are many factors that can affect SEO rankings, one of which is web design. But most people fail to harmonize design elements and SEO best practices, which limits the possibility of getting higher rankings. With custom web design, for example, it’s possible to achieve excellent marketing results.

Of course, as long as you incorporate the right elements in the design, you don’t need to spend much in designing a responsive and visually appealing site.

Why custom web design matters in SEO

Yes, the primary focus of SEO is keywords. But, there’s more to it than that. Google has evolved throughout the years where all factors are considered in website rankings.

The user’s experience, design, and overall optimization techniques play pivotal roles in boosting site ranking.

Which specific codes should every custom website design have? There are many technical aspects that matter when Google ranks a website. The focus of this article is the codes that you can easily incorporate into your current custom web design that will help boost SEO results.

  1. The title tag. Browsers used to show title tags, but not anymore. Although most browsers today use tabs, title tags are still important because they signal to website crawlers which specific pages are essential. Also, adding unique title tags describe each page's content.
  2. Headings. Headings help with SEO because it gives the reader an overview of what the article and each section discuss. Usually, readers scan articles and focus only on what interests them. Search engines use headings to indicate context, and which topics are worth focusing on. The first heading has the most impact on SEO as it signifies what the entire page is about.
  3. Meta description. Meta descriptions don’t necessarily affect rankings. However, these are still vital in achieving high click-through rates. Think of meta descriptions as the sales pitch that will get you better rankings.
  4. User experience. User experience matters now more than ever when it comes to SEO success. Google aims to provide the user with the best and most relevant listings to their searchers. Since keywords aren’t reliable in gauging the quality of content, Google focuses on two indicators which are: time spent browsing and bounce rate. Bounce rate occurs when the user clicks on your site from the search results but then results in the results shortly after. On the other hand, the time spent browsing refers to how much time the user spends reading the content or browsing your website. You can improve these two indicators by focusing on custom web design. Of course, aesthetics are critical, but so are readability and load times.
  5. Mobile-friendly interface. There’s no need to emphasize the importance of designing a mobile-friendly website. Every marketer knows that a responsive site makes browsing efficient and convenient regardless of the user’s preferred device. Google has also launched mobile-first indexing in anticipation of the trend that majority of people will prefer browsing using their mobile phones.
These particular web design elements are easy to integrate to an existing custom web design. If any of these aren’t included in yours, then now is the time to discuss these with your developer.

Web design practices to avoid

When you talk about web design that helps with SEO, of course, there are also some practices that interfere with ranking results.

Not only do these make the job harder for marketers, but not changing them will further interfere with overall site performance. Here is an overview of specific elements to focus on if you want to avoid these practices.

  • Navigation menus that aren’t intuitive.
  • Dropdown elements in the navigation menu that require the user to select a sub-category.
  • Accordion-style navigation menus.
  • Extensive navigation menus that are confusing and cumbersome to the user.
  • Custom web design that feature oversized photos on the main page.
  • Lengthy scrolling time
  • Not enabling the option to use alt text when uploading images.
  • Using the site logo as a heading tag.

These examples are only a few of what you need to avoid. By paying attention to each detail in the interface that affects usability, crawlability, accessibility, and readability, you can make better web design choices.

How web design affects SEO results

Now that you know why web design plays a vital role in SEO, here are specific instances when your custom web design impacts SEO and what you can do to improve.

  1. Website navigation structure. Is your website navigable? How long does it take for each user to find what they need? The answer to these questions will determine conversion, bounce rate, and time spend on each page. And if the user finds your website slow or frustrating, they are likely to leave. A well-designed website focuses on simplicity. Users should be able to navigate well and not get confused by complicated menus and technical terms. And when you think about custom web design that supports SEO, it’s necessary to sacrifice some of your creative visions to achieve results.
  2. Website loading speed. Another factor that affects search engine rankings is site loading speed. The ideal time should be less than a minute, and that includes internal pages. What can you do if your site fails to load quickly? One tip is to compress images. You can also try minimizing site redirects. Another helpful technique is to reduce JS and CSS files. Lastly, using a better hosting solution can also speed-up loading time.
  3. How to use images, alt text, and choosing the right image size. All websites need to use images. But the caveat here is that too many images can slow down the entire site or some important pages. What you can do to optimize images is by adding keyword to the image title. Alt-text descriptions should be keyword rich as well. Of course, reducing the size or compressing the image helps a lot in faster loading.
  4. What to do with pop-ups. Pop-ups can reduce the interest of the viewer and make a site look less credible. If you can, try to minimize using pop-ups on your website. If absolutely necessary for promotion, consider using a pop-up that only appears before the user exits the page.
  5. Reading experience. Effective SEO strategy banks on the user’s reading experience. The primary goal of SEO is to ensure that users get the information they need at the soonest possible time. A website that wants good SEO results will ensure that the user finds what he needs in the most efficient manner. Specific design elements make reading easier. Examples include using white space, larger fonts, darker background, and using a simpler font.

These days, there are plenty of resources available that help marketers and web designers test specific aspects of the website. For example, you can test page loading time before launching the site to ensure that there are no lags.

Final thoughts

In the past, SEO and web design were seen as separate aspects that every online business needed. Most of the time, the business owner had to deal with two separate teams that worked independently and had different goals.

But over the years, each aspect has evolved and intertwined in a way where one can no longer succeed without the other. A custom web design that takes into account the best practices discussed here guarantees better SEO results.

Also, making sure that marketers and web developers are working together to achieve the same goals will prevent potential problems.

Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.

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