In the digital age, having a website for your business is crucial. But it’s not enough to merely have a website. Your website also needs to align with your branding, educate your customers, and offer a convenient means of service – all while providing visual appeal.
That may seem like a tall order, but it’s what customers expect. Furthermore, it’s what search engines expect. And if you can’t deliver, your business could suffer as a result.
We don’t say that to scare you. We simply want to express how important it is that your website checks all of the necessary boxes.
That means you need to address both form and function. In other words, your site needs to be well-designed in order to appeal to consumers and The Powers That Be (a.k.a. Google).
To put it another way, your website’s design can and will affect your SEO. Let’s take a closer look at the connection between the two and how you can improve both at the same time.
What’s the Connection Between Web Design and SEO?
First of all, how are SEO and web design connected?
Web design refers to the appearance and functionality of a given website. It can cover the visual look of a site (including its layout), as well as how a visitor interacts with the site in question. SEO, short for search engine optimization, is essentially how Google ranks your site in relevant search results.
These two elements aren’t interchangeable, but one can definitely impact the other. Your site’s SEO is determined by hundreds of different factors, ranging from backlink quality to keyword usage. But your site’s ranking can also see gains or losses as a result of the visitor experience you provide.
Ultimately, it all comes down to UX. Shorthand for user experience, UX refers to the design process used to create a product that’s relevant and useful to others. In this case, your site’s user experience involves how well your site provides visitors with what they’re looking for. A site that offers a stellar user experience will address a number of considerations, including branding, usability, and overall design.
Remember those ranking factors we mentioned earlier? Google cares about how well a site addresses the needs of web visitors. If your site doesn’t address those needs, your site’s rankings might not reach their full potential.
Consider the following scenario: say a potential customer stumbles upon your site looking for the kinds of products or services that you offer. But your site is impossible to navigate, creating a frustrating experience for the customer. Understandably, the customer will likely give up on your site and look elsewhere for solutions.
Google evaluates UX-related factors (like site speed, navigation, interactivity delays, and security) and takes them into account when serving search results to users. If your site’s design is lacking, it won’t show up at the beginning of search results. And since we know that sites that appear on page one receive a greater share of traffic, you could subsequently miss out on sales and overall brand awareness.
Simply put: a poorly designed website won’t rank well in Google. So what can you do to change that?
How to Improve Both Web Design and SEO
Of course, the best way to improve both your site’s overall design and your search rankings is to work with the professionals.
While there’s a lot you can learn online, there’s no substitute for getting the support you need from a white label SEO company or experienced web design agency. Whether you’re getting ready to launch a new business or your organization has been around for years, having an attractive, functional website – and having the ability to appear prominently in relevant search results – is worth the investment.
That said, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve your site’s design and your SEO at once. Here are some quick recommendations that you can put into action today.
- Assess your site speed: Customers expect a website to fully load in only a couple of seconds. Even tiny delays can have big consequences. Use a free site speed test to see how yours stacks up. You can often decrease load time by compressing large images, using browser caching, or switching servers or web hosts.
- Learn about Google’s Core Web Vitals: Google introduced its Core Web Vitals fairly recently, but the principle shouldn’t surprise anyone. The CWVs pertain to page loading speed, interactivity delays, and unexpected layout shifts, all of which can disrupt the user experience. Read about these metrics, run a report, and follow Google’s recommendations for improving them.
- Conduct a mobile-friendly test: According to Think With Google, over half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. It’s more important than ever that your site addresses the needs of mobile users. If you aren’t sure whether your site is mobile-friendly, chances are that it needs some updates. Run a mobile-friendly test to be sure and make responsive design a priority.
- Obtain SSL certification: Site security is a big concern for both customers and search engines. One of the easiest ways to show your brand cares about protecting your customers is to obtain an SSL certificate for your site. This will provide you with an “HTTPS” web address and encrypt valuable information to keep data safe.
- Fix your 404s: Website navigation errors are a pain to deal with. Minimize frustrations by fixing those pesky 404 errors that show up when pages can’t be found. You can fix broken links, redirect the page, or even rebuild the page if appropriate. Whatever you do, don’t leave customers out to dry – or they might leave your site at the first sign of trouble.
LeadWorks Provides the Web Design and Digital Marketing Services Your Business Needs
Although there are minimal improvements you can make on your own, you deserve to have a professionally designed website that’s built for SEO. To get started, get in touch with us today. LeadWorks is one of the leading web design agencies in the Southeast.
LeadWorks has been recognized as one of top South Carolina SEO companies by DesignRush.