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How Website Design & SEO Work Together

By Higher Information Group on January 8, 2021 | Marketing Solutions

You likely already know the importance of optimizing your website for search engines, such as Google and Bing. However, that isn’t where the process stops. The truth is that you need a beautiful and easy-to-use page with engaging information before you can start to successfully convert the organic traffic you’re sending to the site into leads or paying customers. What does this mean? Simply put, the look of your page determines whether or not your digital marketing efforts are successful. A difficult or outdated website can easily counteract all of the time and money you’ve spent on search engine optimization. Here’s what you need to know about how website design and SEO work together.

Visual Aesthetics Play an Indirect Role

Let’s be upfront here. The visual aesthetics and overall user experience (UX) of your website design matters, but maybe not in a way that you think it would.

Sure, you can have a gorgeous page and still get zero traffic from Google. The bots the search engine giant uses to crawl pages to determine ranking do not entirely see visual concepts, so from that standpoint, it doesn’t matter how great the wow factor of your website design is.

But, there’s a catch to this. Backlinks on social media from past customers, positive testimonials on review platforms, and other websites make a difference in your ranking. So, if your website looks like it belongs in 2001, your professional appeal goes down. In turn, fewer people are likely to promote your business page.

See how this works? An easier to navigate page and better overall user experience indirectly affect your SEO.

Page Speed is a Big Factor

What’s the biggest cause of a website that loads too slowly? Poor design. There’s a good chance your target audience is pretty impatient, as most consumers are. If it takes too long for the information to come up on the screen or swapping between pages is difficult, they’ll abandon your website in a hurry and never return. And, sadly, we’re talking milliseconds of waiting.

From an SEO perspective, it is important to remember that page speed is a commonly known ranking factor for Google. If it takes their bots too long to load, they’ll demote your page further down in the search listings.

How do you know if you have a site speed problem? There are tons of tools and WordPress plugins out there to help you figure it out. Google also has a few handy tools as part of their search console dashboard. Of course, your friendly SEO and website design expert can help pinpoint the issue, too.

Your Website Design Needs to Be Mobile-Friendly

Google made it known back in 2015 that mobile-responsive websites take priority over those that are not. If your page isn’t responsive to a variety of different screen sizes or takes forever to load on a smartphone, then you’re likely paying for it on your search engine ranking positions (SERPs).

Further, you have to look at the human aspect, too. More people than ever are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to browse the web. If you aren’t taking this into account in your website design, you could alienate a big chunk of them. In the end, that equates to a ton of lost leads and sales for your organization, which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

Your Sitemap is a Crucial Part of Your Website Design

Did you know that there’s a specific page on your website that details the location of every single post and subpage? It’s true and most commonly referred to as a sitemap.

While this piece of information is usually hidden away in your page and not intended to be seen by the general public, search engine bots pay very close attention to it. This is what they use to find the various aspects of the content on your website.

It’s also what you submit to the search engines when you’re ready for them to start showing your website up in search listings. Think of it as inviting friends to a party with a map to your home; they can’t find you if you don’t tell them where to go!

Wrap Up: SEO and Website Design Matter

As you can tell, it is important to have a website that looks great, offers a positive user experience, and meets the needs of search engines. By working with a dedicated and knowledgeable team of experts that understands both SEO and web design, you can rest assured that everything discussed here meets the mark.

Ready to learn more? Please contact us today to discuss your website project.

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