Any SEO expert would tell you how crucial content is for the success of your SEO strategy. Similarly, there are several other factors that can help determine whether all the hours you spend doing off-page are going to have any positive impact or not. Of course, internal linking and heading structure can never be ignored but all those things are secondary to the point I want to discuss. The very first step when you want to focus on website optimization is web design.
Many web designers today are well versed in SEO best practices to ensure that their designs are as per those practices. Regardless of whether your website is built on WordPress CMS or any E-Commerce platform, web design is a constant that needs to be worked on to provide the best results for your SEO strategy.
The following are some of the ways that web design plays a critical role in SEO:
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design refers to a design that works perfectly on all devices regardless of their screen size. Since these days there are many users that browse sites using their smartphones or IPads, creating a responsive site is crucial for improving customer experience. Search engine algorithms also consider responsive design as a factor when determining website rank.
For years SEO experts have been telling businesses that they should create websites for users and not search engines. If the sites are satisfactory for the users and promote better user experience, it will also rank better on search engines as algorithms can pick up on that.
A website’s navigation is important to help visitors reach all the crucial pages of the site and see all relevant categories as well. Just like the above point, navigation also helps improve the user experience. A site with a simple and user-friendly navigation will have a lower bounce rate as well because visitors will be able to locate the pages that they are looking for with ease.
A site with good navigation is deemed SEO friendly and thus such sites have a better chance of ranking higher on Google and other search engines.
One of the key factors that also have an impact on SEO rankings is the page loading speeds of the website. Sites that take too long to load have a negative impact on the users and in many cases, visitors do not return to the site again. That is why, no matter how well you have optimized the content of the site, if its loading speed is terrible, you will always lag behind in the rankings.
That is why it is considered one of the best practices for designing an SEO friendly website to not have too many images in the design. If you must use images, optimize their site at least. Also using videos and flash based content can negatively impact loading speeds.
Error Free HTML
Search engine crawlers or bots scan through all the HTML coding present on your website. This coding plays a crucial role in your site being indexed and displayed in the search results for all search engines available across the internet. If there are any invalid HTML codes in the site, it will lead to your site not getting indexed properly and can cause it to take a serious hit in the rankings too.
This is why many companies these days offering web design in India double check their HTML coding and get rid of any errors during the web design and development process.
Using Right Colors
Now the color scheme used on your site may not help it rank in search results but it can help with conversion. Your SEO can help your site rank and bring relevant traffic to it. However, all that hard work goes to waste if after landing on your site, the visitors simply bounce away without converting. The right color scheme of the site along with the color of the call to action buttons can actually make a big difference and help improve conversion rate.
This is especially important in e-commerce sites where the ultimate goal is to make a sale to the visitor. Hence whether it is Magento, Shopify or BigCommerce web design, color combination, and implementation is carefully considered.
Implementing Proper Visual Hierarchy
By visual hierarchy, we mean the correct page structure or order in which the content, images, logo and other elements of the page are shown on the web page. Just like all the points discussed above, this is also important from two points of views- the user and search engine. A good visual hierarchy helps users stay engaged with the site and get all the relevant information that you want them to have about your company in proper order.
Some ways to implement good hierarchy is using sliders to enhance the overview of the site, showcasing the main products or services above the fold of the page, meaning in the top half of it and placement of the contact forms etc.
Search engine optimization is a skill that requires staying up to date with the changing trends and algorithms that can help you gain a competitive edge above others. Along with all the important elements of SEO, implementing SEO friendly web design is essential as, without it, your plan of action will remain incomplete.