How Does Web Design Impact SEO?

Every business website should have a clear goal. In most cases, the goal should be one of two things: either converting visitors into leads, or converting visitors into actual customers. The former generally applies to businesses that sell larger products or services like swimming pools, while the latter applies to businesses that sell products that can be purchased online and then shipped.

A great design is crucial for a site to accomplish either goal. Experienced designers understand how to use elements like a web site pricing table in order to maximize conversions. But an awesome design isn’t the only thing a business site needs to succeed. It also requires a steady stream of visitors that can be converted into leads or customers.

While it’s not the only source for visitors, organic search engine traffic is desired by businesses from just about every industry imaginable. The main reason businesses of all sizes want organic search engine traffic from Bing and Google is because it’s highly targeted. When a visitor arrives via a targeted keyword search, they’re much more likely to be converted than if they had just stumbled on the site through a random referral.

One commonly overlooked fact is not only will a site’s design impact conversions, but it can also affect search engine rankings. Let’s look at some examples of exactly how quality web design can aid SEO efforts:

Proper On-Page Structure

While the technology Google uses to crawl web pages is extremely sophisticated, at the end of the day it’s still just an automated bot. Because bots can make mistakes, it’s important to make content as easy to parse as possible. Quality designs that utilize structural elements like H1 tags ensure that Google doesn’t have any trouble crawling a site’s pages and understanding exactly what they’re about.

Consistent and Accessible Navigation

Search engine crawlers often use the links on a website to decide where to go next. By ensuring that a design has an optimized navigation structure, it not only makes visitors happy, but also allows crawlers to find all of a site’s pages.

Fast Loading Speed

Google has acknowledged that a page’s loading time can play a role in its ranking. Since elements like non-optimized images can significantly slow down a page, smart designers can identify and fix page components that may have this effect.

No Questionable Elements

For years, Google has made it clear that sites shouldn’t contain elements like hidden links. While some sites employ deceptive design elements may skate by and never got caught, any site that takes this approach is always at risk of being penalized. It’s simply not a risk that businesses should take, so hire an experienced designer to ensure that your finished work is in full compliance with all standards set by Google and Bing.

Adrienne Erin

Adrienne is a blogger and amateur designer. When she’s not blogging, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.

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