How Web Design and SEO Can Work Together

March, 02, 2016

Good web design can reinforce your brand, create a compelling user experience, and drive more business to your company. These days, the right website design can also boost your SEO strategy.

Search engines consider many factors when ranking websites, including design. A poorly designed page or one that loads slowly may result in a lower ranking than one that’s designed for users and search engines alike.

For many businesses, SEO and web design function as two separate activities. Those that bring the two disciplines together see greater benefits on both fronts.

Keep reading to find out how web design and SEO can benefit a business and what you can do to bring the two together into one cohesive strategy.

What Does Web Design Do for a Business?

Great web design will increase trust in your company — and bad design will do just the opposite. In many instances, your website is the first impression consumers have of your business.

Whether they’re aware of it or not, they’re judging your website based on:

  • Readability of the page copy
  • Whether they can easily find important information
  • How long it takes a page to load
  • Whether they can access the site and interact with it on any device or platform

In other words, your site’s design doesn’t just impact the outcome of one visit — it impacts your ability to attract returning visitors and gain their trust.

What Does SEO Do?

When people start searching for the products and services you offer, they’ll get a list of hundreds of websites just like yours. Most of them will click the first or second site that comes up and ignore the rest. SEO is the only way your site will be one of the first potential customers see.

A higher ranking, however, is only one benefit of SEO. Others include:

  • Greater brand recognition
  • More traffic and conversions
  • Increased credibility and authority

As you can see, SEO and web design can yield some of the same results for your company. That’s why your team needs to think about SEO and web design in as two parts of the same strategy.

How Can Web Design and SEO Work Together?

While web design and SEO aren’t always managed by the same teams, there are plenty of opportunities for the two to work together. Designers, in particular, are focused on many issues that SEO teams can leverage for their own efforts, including:

  • Visual content — Sites with videos, photos and other non-text content garner more attention than sites without them. What’s more, each of those pieces can be optimized so they appear in image and video searches, giving the parent site even more traffic.
  • Text for main elements — On the surface, eye-catching visual headers grab visitors’ attention. However, it’s important that your site’s title and headers are in the text and not just in graphic format. Visual content isn’t readable by search engines, meaning that all important information should be written in a way that is crawlable for SEO purposes.
  • Expandable divs — Your SEO team may want to include detailed copy on the page for the sake of optimization, but the result is often a crowded layout. With expandable divs, you can include this information and key phrases, while ensuring a clean, simple design that focuses the reader’s eye where it’s supposed to go.
  • User experience — Search engines consider usability when ranking pages. If a page takes too long to load, is incompatible with certain devices or includes inoperable elements, the bounce rate goes up while rank goes down. Web designers can make adjustments to ensure a good user experience and SEO boost with every click.

Web design can have a tremendous impact on other marketing strategies, including SEO. Don’t just design your site for aesthetics and usability — design it for greater search engine visibility. The tips above will get your efforts off to a good start.

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