Web design plays a key role in search engine optimization more than people realize. After all, user experience is a factor that is usually considered when it comes to rankings in the search engine results pages or SERPs. Businesses that are looking to elevate their online presence and boost their inbound traffic need to understand that it takes more than aesthetics to keep people engaged. The services of a Seattle web design company is also necessary. And we’ll be discussing a few ways in which its overall design can affect its SEO performance and a few tips on how to improve them. Read on to find out more.
- The website’s structure of navigation
The website’s navigational structure has an impact on several SEO metrics that include, but aren’t necessarily limited to, the abandonment or bounce rate, engagement, and conversions. And these areas don’t just affect its search engine rankings, but also the profit and revenue of the business. If users are unable to browse the website and find what they’re looking for easily, there’s a good chance that they’ll leave and find another site. And this will end up losing the company’s potential customers and the desired sales. So how can this be avoided?
- Keep things simple. When it comes to web design, simplicity is better than complexity. The efficiency and efficacy of an uncomplicated approach lead to much better results, after all. And with a straightforward design, the risks of confusing users and losing them are effectively minimized.
- Avoid complicated and technical terminologies. Many people confuse complicated and technical terminologies as reliable or deep. But the truth of the matter is that its jargon serves little purpose than to confuse the layman. Instead, stick with familiar words and terms, especially in the site’s menu. The better the users understand how to navigate the web pages, the more engaged they’ll be.
- Make the menu easily accessible. In web design, it’s a general rule of thumb always to make the navigational menu accessible, no matter which page the user is currently browsing and incorporate a search bar if possible. The extra layer of convenience can go a long way in maintaining user engagement.
Developing a creative and well-designed navigation structure for a website goes hand-in-hand in supporting its search engine optimization performance. It’s as important as a Seattle web design company. And by making sure that both form and function are given the level of attention they need, the website will have a better chance of ranking higher in the search engine.
- Broken links
While not uncommon, broken links and 404 error pages usually result in abandonment. After all, a website that can’t be bothered to update its links is likely unreliable. The good news is that this issue isn’t difficult to rectify. In fact, a little creativity in how these non-existent pages are designed can potentially encourage users to stick around and browse through the website. Here are a few strategies on how to make these web pages work for the business.
- Avoid bland and generic designs. When designing a 404 page, it pays to be creative. To avoid a bland and generic look and try to make it aesthetically appealing. It may sound like a lot of work for what is essentially an error page. However, it’ll make a difference.
- Add a search option and a navigational menu. To make the life of visitors much easier, it’s always a good idea to add either a search option or a navigational menu that they can use to find what they need from the error page instead of having to go back to the home page. It’s a small addition, to be sure, but the added convenience will keep them from leaving for another website.
- Speed of loading
While a commonly overlooked factor in web design, the speed in which a website loads plays a crucial role in its rankings. Visitors are likely to leave if the site and its pages take too long to load, after all. And search engines are likely to pick up on the bounce rate and lower its position in the SERPs as a result. Ideally, the amount of time for a website to load should be less than a couple of seconds. And to achieve that, here are some tips.
- Opt for compressed images. One of the reasons why websites load too slow is because it’s trying to open too many images. And if their removal is out of the picture, one way to get around it is to compress them instead as it’ll allow the site to load quicker.
- HTTP caching. Caching is another way to speed up the loading of a website because it allows browsers to essentially keep a copy of certain files within the page so that it loads faster. And it’s well-worth considering, especially for sites with a lot of content.
- Image optimization
These days, it’s hard to find a website that’s devoid of images. And for a very good reason: they help maintain user engagement. However, they’re not without their fair share of disadvantages. For example, too many images can slow down a site. And if they aren’t relevant to the site’s content, it may turn off visitors. But by choosing the images carefully, compressing them if needed, and adding tags and descriptions to each one, a website will be able to make good use of its images.
- Avoid pop-ups
Pop-ups might be fairly common in many websites, but they’re a bad practice that can end in high bounce rates. Not only does it make a business lose trust and credibility with its target audience. But it can also add a level of frustration that’ll turn away prospective customers. So keep its use at a minimum and utilize them only when visitors are about to leave the site.
- Visual experience
Aesthetic appeal might not be all there is to web design, but it still matters. And the ability of users to browse through the website and read through its content will determine how engaged they’ll be. For this reason, it’s imperative to make it as visually accessible and user-friendly as possible. From using light colors to choosing larger fonts, the easier it is for visitors to mentally digest the information that they’re looking for, the higher the website’s SEO rankings will be.
Both SEO and web design used to be separate areas of business. In this day and age, however, the lines have become blurred. A well-designed site with user experience as a priority directly affects its SEO performance. And by adopting good web design practices and hiring a capable Seattle web design firm, a business can elevate itself on the SERPs and make its website more visible to the right people as a result.