In business today, where your site ranks on a search engine can mean your company's life or death.
You know the old idiom, "If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it does it even make a sound?" Ask yourself this: "If your website launches online and nobody visits it, does it even exist?"
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of making sure your website can easily be discovered. The easier it is to find your website, the more visitors you will have. But, did you know that a major factor in SEO is the design of your site?
It doesn't make sense if you think about generally. A search engine can't "see" your website, so why does it matter what it looks like? One factor of your SEO is based on how many people actually view your site. The more eyeballs, the higher your ranking. Those eyeballs don't like to visit slow, boring, or out of date sites.
Though you may have never considered it before, web design and SEO are actually a perfect pairing. They have a synergistic effect on one another that makes each one stronger. Read on to learn how the two influence one another.
What's In a Name?
This is the first question you must answer when designing your website: What is its domain name?
You want to pick a name that's relevant to your business. But, you don't want that name to get lost in the midst of all your competition. For the best SEO, you want a name that stands out and leaves a lasting impression. Long names tend to be forgotten or miss typed. A short name might be too ubiquitous.
One major trend in domain naming is to remove a letter from a common world. For example, taking the 'a' out of water and making it "wter." This uncommon spelling means people will only find your site when they are looking for it.
After you have a domain name, it's time to build your website. If you have hired the right web designer, they should be coding the majority of the site from scratch. Even though you will probably never see this code, it still has to be easy to read and up-to-date with today's web standards. Search engine ranking algorithms favor websites with easy to read code. They can tell that the website has been built efficiently. An efficiently built website will also be more stable, meaning it won't freeze or crash.
Sites with clean coding are more trustworthy. Trust is a main factor in getting the most out of your SEO.
Bad Design Equals Bad SEO
Back in school, you wanted to wear the coolest outfit so you could fit in with the popular kids. Don't you want your website to be popular too? You need to have an aesthetically pleasing website to boost your SEO. If you have competition for your business, people are going to always pick the site that looks the best. You need to follow design trends to keep up with the times. A site that looks outdated has no chance of gaining popularity. No one wants to stay on a page that doesn't look good. The longer people surf your site, the better your SEO.
The Longer People Stay On Your Site the Better
Dwell time is a key factor in SEO. This is the length of time that people spend surfing around your site. The longer they stay, the higher your site ranks in searches.
How do you keep people on your page? All roads lead back to the design. A streamlined, easy to navigate site will keep people clicking internal link after internal link. If your site is easy to read and direct to its topic, people will want to hang out there all day long. They'll stay even longer if your site loads fast, too.
Your Site's Speed is a Big Factor in SEO
Nobody likes a slow website. The days of dial-up modems are long in the past. Users won't put up with anything less than lightening fast internet speeds. You can't expect your website visitors to wait more than about two seconds for your site to load.
That means scaling back on large, high definition images and video. Instant play video can be a great way to lengthen dwell time, but they can also slow down your load time. The sweet spot is to have a fast loading site filled with great content.
Great Content Will Be Rewarded With Higher SEO
At the end of the day, content is king. Good content is what brings people to your website and it's what keeps them coming back. The main aspect of your web design should be how to best integrate this content. If you're playing videos or music, you need to make sure that streaming is optimized. Text should be laid out neatly and easy to read. If the content you provide is high quality and it's easy to access, then your SEO will catch fire. It should also be comfortable to read on your phone.
You Have to Go Mobile
Today, mobile internet searches far outnumber desktop searches. It makes sense. Why wait till you get home to search the web when you have a little computer with you at all times? Google reflected this change in 2015 when it started prioritizing mobile-optimized websites in its ranking algorithm. That means if your site is not optimized for mobile use, then it's going to fall behind the pack.
Many web designers are going mobile first in their design approach. So your site is actually built for the phone and then adapted for a computer screen. Going forward, if you want the best SEO, you have to go mobile.
Web Design and SEO Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly
They both make each other better. Web design that's optimized for SEO will look better and get more views. There are people out there that can help upgrade your web design and SEO. Contact us for more information!