It is pretty difficult to work in either business or marketing without hearing the term search engine optimizationor, more simply known,SEO. As the best SEO practices and prioritizes are constantly evolving, while many people might have heard the term, few can accurately explain what it entails. Most experts believe that SEO has been around, in some form, since the birth of the internet. While the off-site advertising and marketing SEO practices are ever-changing, one SEO focus remains constant, the link between SEO and website design.
Why Do Websites Need SEO?
Before explaining the connection between SEO and website design, it is first necessary to explain exactly why your business website needs SEO. As ALT Agency explains, SEO is vital for any business website as it will increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your site. This means that utilizing on-site SEO practices can help you to obtain more targeted traffic to your site. This can lead to an increase in your customer base, boost in sales, and sustained business growth.
What is the Connection Between SEO and Website Design?
Most people are aware of the common on-site SEO practices, like content marketing. However, when you talk about SEO and website design, it is not the on-site practices being discussed but rather the very makeup of the website itself.
There are many ways in which your website design can affect the potential success of your SEO and digital marketing campaign. To more clearly understand the connection between SEO and website design, it is useful to break down the specific design practices that have influence.
The Power of Loading Speeds
The way that your website is designed can have a very big impact on its overall loading speeds. Search engines pay attention to website loading speeds, and for a good reason. A study conducted by Google found that most internet users would click off a page that took more than three seconds to load.
Search engines are offering a service to their users; that service is to recommend the best and most relevant to a user. Knowing that internet users will do not stick around if a site takes too long to load motivates search engines to penalize slow loading sites with a low search ranking.
Search engines host billions of different websites; this means that it is not realistic to assume that Google staff sit there and determine the ranking value of all their sites. So rather than using staff, search engines like Google use programmed bots, known as crawlers or search engine spiders.
Crawlers will review your website to determine its worthiness for a high ranking. This is why marketers use practices like backlinking to make your site appear more trustworthy to a crawler. However, getting a crawler to your site is only part of the battle; to ensure that you gain a positive ranking, you need to ensure your website design is compatible with crawlers.
To ensure your site is compatible with crawlers, you will need to do various design practices. For example, you will need to provide a site map, build links, optimize meta descriptions and title tags, ensure NAP consistency and add alt tags for all images.
Over 50% of all internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices, and this information has not gone unnoticed by search engines. If your site is not optimized for mobile, then you risk being penalized in the search engine rankings. You will need a responsive website design to ensure you offer the highest quality experience to all visitors.
Make the Right First Impression
It takes the average internet user less than two seconds to make a first impression of a website. Your bounce-back rate, the time it takes for a visitor to leave your website, can have a big impact on your overall SEO success. To ensure that you can keep visitors on your site for long enough to make a sale, you need to make a good first impression.
Creating a good first impression relies on a mixture of technical and aesthetic website design. Your site needs to aesthetically appeal to your target audience, be visually appealing by not overwhelming and crowded. Your website also needs to be clear and functional to make a good first impression.
Intuitive Design Functionality
The functionality of your website has a big impact on the amount of time a user is willing to spend on your site. High-quality website design can seamlessly motivate a customer to transition from product page to checkout without the user noticing a lag in their journey. Building a website with an intuitive design will help you increase your time on site and work with a conversion funnel to increase on-site purchases and create return customers.