Your website is the central hub of all of your online marketing efforts.
Whether you’re promoting your site on social media, driving traffic using paid ads, or using search engine optimization techniques, having a website that enhances those efforts is essential.
However, what many businesses fail to consider is the crucial link between web design and SEO.
Businesses design their website and think they’ll figure out how SEO works once the site is launched, only to have to overhaul the entire website later on because it isn’t being optimized to its best ability based on Google.
But what’s the link between web design and SEO?
Let’s explore below.
Why It Matters
When thinking of web design, most companies usually think in terms of how the website looks, how it matches up with their brand, and how it represents the products and offerings in the best way possible.
Some might consider the web design SEO aspects such as making the website mobile friendly or optimizing the scripts and images for faster load time, but unfortunately, these steps just barely scratch the surface of what’s required for a website to maximize its chances of getting ranked at the top of SERPs.
Today’s search engine algorithms are designed to analyze websites from the perspective of the users.
That means that search crawlers explore your site just like an average user would. So if your website isn’t convenient and easy to browse for people, you can be sure that Google will notice it as well, significantly reducing your chances of succeeding with SEO.
Therefore, your SEO website design efforts must revolve around the User Experience (UX) of your target audience.
You need to find out how your site’s visitors behave, continually tracking their actions, looking for areas or pages where they seem to drop off, and using the insights to optimize as much as possible.
For a website to be successful, it must be able to guide users forward organically and conveniently, offering them the next steps and helping them discover pages and content that are the most relevant.
In the end, the way that your site is structured will likely become the deciding factor in the results that you achieve – SEO websites that understand this will always rank higher than those who focus all of their attention on off-site SEO efforts.
But what specific aspects of search engine optimization should you focus on?
Read on below to find out.
Most Important Website Design Aspects for SEO
Even though SEO web design is a complicated process that will require a thorough analysis of your audience, as well as the implementation of the current best practices that the best SEO website designers use, it can be boiled down to three underlying principles that you need to consider.
As mentioned before, a large part of SEO web development involves making sure that Google crawl bots have an easy time going through and understanding your site.
Therefore, one of the primary goals of when combining web design and SEO is to make sure that your site is as easy to crawl as possible.
But how can you do that?
Well, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for.
You should also eliminate any broken pages (404s), make sure that your robots meta directives are in order, and look for other aspects that could make crawling more complicated than it needs to be.
Another crucial aspect that you need to consider is the navigation of your site – in an ideal scenario, navigation will help to solidify and clarify what each section of your website is about, improving the User Experience and helping crawl bots evaluate every page more accurately.
You need to make sure that different parts of your navigation framework work together and help guide users forward in their journey.
Whether they’re seeking more information about your services, learning about a topic on your blog, or are comparing product options, your navigation needs to make it as easy to get to the next relevant page as possible, basically providing them a link to click on that they are the most likely to want to click next.
Your main navigation, footer navigation, and sidebars must all be consistent and have a clear purpose.
What’s more, you need to use breadcrumbs navigation to show how your site’s sections and subsections correlate and allow users (and crawl bots) to navigate both laterally and vertically between categories.
Finally, when thinking of web design and SEO, you need to take a step back and think in terms of your site’s architecture.
You need to answer questions such as, what sections will your site have? How will the URLs be organized? How will users find these sections and what type of anchor text will they use to link to each other? What keywords and search intents will these pages be targeting?
All of these questions lie at the intersection of SEO and web design, and the answers that you find will ultimately dictate every web design decision that you make as you develop your site.
A sound architecture will not only ensure that your site is designed with your target audience in mind but will also help Google see the logic behind your framework and navigation, giving you a much better chance to get ranked at the top of the search engine results pages.
Designing your website in a way that helps your SEO efforts isn’t an easy task – with Google and other search engines becoming more sophisticated, you need to not only make your site informative but ensure that it’s easy to navigate and use for your audience.
At Sandbad SEO, we know exactly what it takes to develop a site that can rank for even the most competitive keywords and can help you avoid some of the common roadblocks that prevent companies from achieving success online.
Call us at (415) 621-9830 or use our site’s contact form. We’ll help you figure out the best way to move forward with your web design project. And for more helpful SEO information, guides and tips, subscribe to our blog below!