By Ritu Sharma
SEO and web design are like a worm and hook on a fishing line. SEO is the worm that baits the customer and design is the hook that keeps the customer on the line. You can look at it this way, your website needs to be found, so you apply the best SEO strategies, then when a person clicks on the link, what they see is the design and it will determine whether they stay or leave.
The two, however, go together even when it comes to technical aspects of your website, but the bottom line is that it has a lot to do with the user experience that the visitors to a site have. Let us take a look at five of these aspects.
- They determine how users navigate the website
- They influence responsiveness
- Design affects loading speed
- Aesthetic appeal depends on design and SEO
- They make a site Google-friendly
Determine How Users Navigate the Website
Designing a website in itself is part of SEO, usually, you will have to decide where to put particular content and how that content will be found. A well-designed website enables users to find whatever they are looking for fast and without any confusion.
On the other hand, if the website is poorly designed, navigation becomes a problem. When a user finds a site hard to navigate, they will leave the site within a few minutes and if many users keep on doing this, the website will end up being ranked low.
Even if a website has great content, if navigation proves to be a problem, its bounce rate will be high and that leads to poor ranking.
Having a responsive website is something every website owner needs to do. There is a lot of demand for mobile-friendly websites. A mobile-friendly website will be given priority by Google over one that is not.
A responsive website will be made possible once you get the design right. You need to determine how the text will appear, how big the font will be as well as the buttons. If you make the font too small, it will be hard for users to read the content and if buttons are similarly small, it will be hard to navigate the website using the mobile phone. If on the other hand, you stick to a desktop design, then the content will fail to fit on the screen.
Designing a website for mobile needs careful thought about how a user will use the phone, sometimes you also have to ensure that the information that users search for often is easy to find without having to scroll too much.
Designing a responsive site means you also take into consideration people who might use both mobile and PC to access the site, so it should be comfortable for all, if you fail to do so, your site will not feature among the top search results.
Design Affects Loading Speed
Another major aspect of SEO is the page loading speed. These days no one has time to wait for a page to load, the days of dialup internet are long gone so you have a maximum of 5 seconds before users lose interest in your site. Most people will lose interest after 2 seconds.
Design plays a major role in determining loading speed. For example, if you choose to use flash images for your site, the mobile view may fail to display them and if your images are too heavy, the load speed will be reduced.
One of the first things to check if your site is ranking poorly is the loading speed and chances are it is being affected by design issues.
Aesthetic Appeal Depends on Design and SEO
What does someone see when they get to your page? Can they read the text with ease and is the page cluttered? Are there so many highlighted calls to action that they feel like you are shouting at them? If your site is not easy on the eye, your bounce rate will be high and your ranking will be low. Choosing a pleasing design and font makes a big impact on SEO.
Make A Site Google Friendly
SEO is both about the user and the search engine. A well-designed site can appeal to Google because it can crawl the site faster and return results quickly. Technical SEO is part of the design and can affect the ranking of a website.
It would be a big mistake to try to choose between SEO and design, they are both important aspects in the ranking of your website and one cannot do without the other.