Gone are the days when search engine optimization used to be a straightforward process. With each passing day and year, it’s getting complex and difficult to understand and boost your site’s rankings. Thanks to the rising technology and user demands, there’s a new world order taking place.
Today, search engines like Google rank user-oriented websites with great aesthetics and user experience. It has increased the demand for web design and development services as everyone wants user-friendly sites. But does it have real implications on how your website ranks? This article provides a different take on how web design affects your SEO ranking and how you can improve it.
But first, let’s understand what’s the correlation between web design and SEO ranking.
How Web Design and SEO Ranking are Connected?
Web design and SEO ranking are two faces of one coin as one cannot function without the other. Web design is more concerned with the attractive and pleasing aspects, whereas SEO deals with website accessibility and visibility.
They aren’t independent components of your website as many believe if they can excel at one, it can help outweigh the other. However, this is far from the truth.
Understand this, great site SEO will help you rank better and attract more customers. And an excellent website design will keep them there, which further increases the likelihood of your website ranking higher.
Did it shock you? Take a minute to digest the truth… Feeling better now?
In order to perform better, both aspects of your website need to collaborate and work in sync. Indeed, it’s vital to build a user-centric and SEO-friendly site that increases your presence on search engine result pages (SERP).
Now that you understand how web design and SEO are connected, let’s get to know the factors that impact your SEO rankings:
Factors that Affect Your SEO Rankings and How to Improve them
1. Poor Navigation Affects Your User-Friendliness
The first element that impacts highly on your website’s user-friendliness and SEO is navigation structure and hierarchy. It affects multiple engagement metrics like average time on page, bounce rate, and conversion rate that Google accounts for when determining your SERP position.
Streamlined navigation helps improve these metrics and also contributes to your business’s revenue and profit growth. If not optimized properly, your site ranking and conversion will take a hit.
Here are a few tips to ensure your website design has a good navigation structure:
- Keep the menu simple and limit the number of icons to avoid confusion
- Use familiar terms instead of complex and technical jargon
- Make your navigation at the header and footer accessible for all device types
- Provide a search functionality to help users reach the desired page easily
- Design navigation in a way to reach your main service/product page within 3 clicks
2. Website Responsiveness Affects Page Experience
Responsive web design & speed is another factor that highly affects your search engine rankings. Your website’s responsiveness is directly proportional to how it’s designed and structured, and how fast your site can load. Ideally, your website should load between 1 to 3 sec.
As per one statistic, 1 sec delay reduces the customer satisfaction level by 16%, and 1 in 4 visitors will abandon your site if it takes more than 4 secs to load. Let’s see a few tips to improve your site’s responsiveness and page experience:
- Improve the Core Web Vitals of your website
- Compress and minify your CSS and JS files
- Use a caching solution
- Upgrade your site hosting to a faster and better service provider
- Use Content Delivery Network
3. Design Layouts Impact Your User Experience
Search engine bots love to crawl, index, and rank websites designed with well-structured and aesthetic layouts. It makes your content’s relevancy easy to understand for users and improves their experience. Since it’s good for your users, it is also great for search engine crawlers.
Also, an expert web design team is careful when implementing layouts to avoid any major cumulative layout shifts when users try accessing your site. They help you implement a consistent and engaging website layout that draws more customers in and compels them to explore more.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve your site layout:
- Utilize minimal web design principles
- Make your layout consistent with uniform colors
- Keep your layout content cohesive
- Users should feel conducive when accessing your site
- Define layout visuals properly
4. Media File Optimization Affects Your Website Speed
It may be tempting to use high-resolution media files given the impeccable video and camera technology out there. But unfortunately, large media files have a great impact on loading speeds and user experience. Another website error is including too many images that make your site sluggish and cause a drop in your rankings.
As we learned, search engines consider site speed while determining your SERP rankings. Thus, properly optimized media files positively contribute to your website’s experience. Here’s how you can optimize your media files:
- Compress your images to a web format that reduces the load from the server and enhances the website speed.
- Embed your video file from third-party platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
- Add relevant & keyword-rich ALT tags to your images for search engines to understand the context.
- Keep in mind that according to the accessibility rule, you should have some text content, including a transcript of what’s being displayed so that readers having a hearing disability or sound turned off can view the content. A few years back, sound-to-text transcription was troublesome, but today you can utilize automatic audio transcription services like Happy Scribe to simplify the process of converting MP3 to text.
5. Mobile-Friendliness to Affect Your Engagement
The digital world that once was driven by desktops and computers has now shifted to hand-held mobile devices. According to Statista, around 60% of the global traffic uses mobile devices to access websites. Also, users today want mobile-friendly sites for quick and easy access to information.
However, since mobile devices have small viewports, adjusting your web graphics, UI, visuals, and other elements is a bit tricky. But a professional web design team with proficiency to develop mobile-friendly websites can make it seem like a cakewalk.
Here are a few tips to ensure your website is mobile-friendly:
- Use pre-built mobile-optimized and responsive templates
- Avoid using popups
- Focus on improving website load speed
- Implement PWA if possible
- Cut down on using flash animations
6. Visually Appealing Elements Impact Your Website Quality
Visually appealing elements are not only made up of images and videos, they also include animations, GIFs, micro animations, and other graphics that skyrocket your engagement. Also, visual content like infographics can get you high user engagement and contribute to your rankings.
According to Venngage, over 33% of marketers spend most on visual design and around 10% spend on creating animations and interactivity.
If your website doesn’t look appealing and eye-catchy to users, they’ll bounce off instantly, affecting your engagement metrics. Also, due to poor visuals and poor metric performance, Google won’t consider increasing your ranks. This will negatively affect your business revenue and profitability.
Here are a few tips to avoid the impact of poor visual design:
- Understand the intricacies of appealing designs
- Ask your web design team to come up with informative and insightful designs
- Implement visual designs that speak for your brand
- Don’t use stock images
Web design isn’t only a factor that affects your user experience but also plays a vital role in boosting your organic SEO rankings. The poorer the website design, the lower your chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages.
As we learned, the quality of your website design has great implications on how your users and search engines perceive your brand. Thus, you must pay heed to the above-mentioned factors and implement tips to improve your web design and SEO rankings.