Understanding the Impact of Web Design on SEO
To assume that web design is meant to make a website aesthetically pleasing is absolutely correct. To say that that is what web design is all about, however, is very wrong.
Web design impacts many aspects of a website, including its SEO. You can optimize a site as best as you can, and still end up not getting a decent amount of traffic, much less ranking high in the search engine results pages or SERPs for the simple reason that there’s something off with the web design.
In short, bad web design will hurt your SEO. All your efforts to drive traffic to your site, from building backlinks from authority sites to writing meta titles and descriptions, will likely go for naught if there’s something about your web design that turns people off. It will only take a few seconds of bad user experience for visitors to decide to close your page and move on to another site, which could be your competitor.
Here are some of the possible reasons visitors have an issue with your web design.
How can a webmaster expect visitors to stay longer on their site when they spend most of their time getting lost between pages? This can only happen when the navigation structure of the site is cluttered, or when there is no functioning search feature or even clickable navigation elements. People will have no problem leaving your site despite your best SEO efforts.
The website isn’t easy on the eyes
The first thing that an Internet user notices about any website is its looks. When they cringe the moment the page loads, no amount of expertly-executed SEO optimization will stop them from adding to your bounce rate.
Web designers should use the right color, the most appropriate fonts, and eye-pleasing graphics, among other things, on their work at all times.
No where is this focus more important than on your homepage design. Get this one right, and you will dramatically increase the chances of keeping users hooked on your site and staying for a longer read.
Music or video that plays automatically
Few things about surfing the net are more infuriating than sites that auto-play music and video the moment its homepage is done loading.
If your web design has this feature, then you can expect to lose more visitors with each passing day, unless you do something about it. You can either tweak your web design to remove it, or you can keep it with the autoplay disabled. Adding an on and off button would also be a nice touch.
Bad content that doesn’t speak to users
Your website has lousy content if visitors find nothing but articles that have little to no use to them. And no, sales pitches aren’t exactly the most compelling content for a website, especially when they make up most if not all of the site’s content.
Bad content that is overly salesy will of course also have an impact in how well you can make money from your own website. So do be sure to actually put in some effort when creating your content. People want to connect with what they read, and that will go a long way.
Aside from useless and relevant content, people also hate typos, misspelled words, and atrocious grammar. Their existence in your content smacks of unprofessionalism, and will definitely turn off people.
The site is not responsive
It’s puzzling how many websites are still not responsive even though mobile users have outnumbered desktop users for some time now.
When mobile users have a hard time viewing your site on their smartphones and tablets because it’s not responsive, you are running the risk of losing traffic, rankings, and potential sales, all in one go. Your visitors won’t care one bit if the site’s perfectly optimized, but not for mobile.
As you can see, web design does impact SEO. A webmaster must strike a balance between good SEO and web design to get the best results. Anything less than that, and a webmaster will be hard-pressed to achieve his or her business goals, whatever they may be.