How Web Design Affects SEO
We’ve talked about web design in previous posts. We’ve previously covered how good web design can help your business. And how web design impacts content marketing but what about how web design affects SEO?
Read more on what web design is about.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a collection of tools and techniques that you can employ to help your website appear high up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The first thing most people think about when they consider SEO is keywords. Meaning, keyword research to work out which magic words they should be targeting. And then there’s on-page SEO to make sure they’re using those keywords in all the right places.
But there are some more fundamental aspects of your website that you need to get right first.
Web Design Affects Page Speed
And page speed matters! Of course, your users care about page speed. But we’ll get to that later. First of all, let’s look at why Google cares about page speed too.
(A note about Google: It isn’t the only search engine out there. But it is used for almost 90% of searches in the UK! So we’ll be mainly talking about Google but the information’s relevant to other search engines like Bing as well.)
Google has a whole host of ‘ranking factors’ that it uses to determine where to position your website in the search results. There’s no published list of all those ranking factors but we do know that speed is one of them.
Most of the factors that affect your page speed result from decisions made during the website’s initial build. So if you want a fast website you need to start with good web design.
If you want to check your website you can use the PageSpeed Insights tools provided by Google. Just put your URL in, click Analyze, and Google will give you a speed score for mobile and desktop.
A Mobile-Ready Web Design Affects SEO
Another of Google’s ranking factors is whether your website has been optimised for mobile devices. This means that if your site is non-responsive (designed only for desktop screen displays), you’ll really struggle to feature amongst the treasured 1st-page positions on Google.
Again Google has provided a handy tool to help you check whether your website is mobile-friendly. It will show you how your website looks on a mobile screen and warn you of any elements that need improving. Every new website should be mobile-friendly by default. But if your web designer doesn’t mention it then it’s definitely worth double-checking.
Bounce Rate Affects SEO
Both of the above factors, speed and mobile-friendliness, can also impact your bounce rate and bounce rate affects SEO. Bounce rate is a measure of the number of people who arrive on a page on your website and then leave again without visiting any other pages.
Google wants to provide people with the best possible search results. And a high bounce rate is an indicator that a site is not a good result. The fact that people go to the site and immediately ‘bounce back’ is a bad sign. Google’s algorithms will learn from that and, consequently, not to send people to your site.
A high bounce rate can be the result of any number of design errors. So, good web design will positively impact your SEO by encouraging people to visit more pages on your site. Therefore, keeping them on your site for longer. And another huge factor in bounce rate is the quality of your content itself.
You can find out your bounce rate by looking at your Google Analytics. This should have been set up when your website was first created. But you can add it at any point if not.
A Professional Website Gets Results
We know that good web design helps business by demonstrating to potential clients that you are a legitimate and professional business.
These same elements of trust in your business also have an impact on your SEO. If your website is designed such that it demonstrates your trustworthiness (showing you know what you’re doing), other businesses and organisations are more likely to link to your website. These links are called backlinks. Importantly, Google uses them as a measure of your authority which is an essential ranking factor.
So, from your website speed to how professional it makes you look, you can see now how web design affects SEO. Another reason to invest in good web design.
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