For some reason, a lot of people still think that web design is all about making a website look attractive. While taking care of a site’s aesthetics is one of its primary objectives, web design also impacts SEO in a significant way.
Let’s put it this way: a well-designed website gives SEO a boost. Bad web design, on the other hand, will hurt your SEO.
Bad web design turns people off
So your SEO team has done everything it can to drive traffic to your website and boost its rankings. The back-links gained through exemplary off-page SEO work are of high quality and are plenty at that. The meta titles and descriptions are in place, and only the right keywords are being used.
The way things look, your website is already poised for success, and pretty soon it sees a spike in the number of visitors.
Then most people led to your site by your SEO efforts suddenly leave after just a few seconds of looking around. The likely reason? They took issue with the design of your website.
So what could be so wrong with your web design that people won’t have any qualms about dropping it despite being fully-optimised?
The web design doesn’t look good
Internet users expect a lot from a website, and they are pretty good at deciding whether or not a site meets those expectations. One of the first things they would notice about a site is the way it looks.
Users are likely to click the close button if a website’s aesthetics—or lack of it—rub their tastes and sensibilities the wrong way. The wrong use of color, inappropriate fonts, amateurish graphics—all these can drive a visitor away regardless of the effectiveness of the SEO work that got them there in the first place.
Navigation isn’t easy
Making navigation easy is easily one of the best ways to keep a user engaged on your site. The moment a visitor gets lost and confused because of a cluttered navigation structure, he or she will likely bounce off to another site out of frustration. Your brilliantly-executed SEO efforts won’t be able to do anything to stop that.
Automatically-playing music or video
No amount of good SEO can prevent people from angrily leaving your site if that auto-playing background or video on your website startled the bejesus out of them, especially if they’re wearing headphones at the time.
As much as possible, don’t integrate auto-plays into your web design. However, if you have to for one reason or another, don’t make them play automatically. Visitors would also appreciate if they see an on or off button for the music or video.
The site is not responsive
Mobile users now outnumber desktop users, and the Google Mobile First index is in full swing. So why are so many websites still not responsive?
You can optimise your website all you want, but if you haven’t gone for a responsive web design and optimised for mobile, it still cannot be viewed decently by smartphone and tablet users. That is traffic, ranking, and potential conversions down the drain.
There are just some of the ways web design impacts your SEO. If anything, we can safely say that SEO and web design must go hand-in-hand for the best possible results. Slack off on either, and achieving your goals is going to be an uphill climb.
Anthony Tisara is the Outreach Manager at My Biz Niche, the go-to Phoenix-based digital marketing agency specialising in effective SEO and stunning web design solutions built to capture your target audience and generate more leads. He enjoys travelling with his family and organising weekly trivia events with his friends.