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The Web Design/SEO Connection

The whole point of your website is to be found!

There are so many different kinds of websites that you could build to represent your business online. But, whether you decide to pay thousands of dollars to have someone build a fully custom site for you or you decide to save money by building your own website, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what kind of website you have if it doesn’t show up in the organic search results.

You can put all of the time, energy, and money in the world into your website, but if no one sees it, what’s the point? But, how do you ensure that your website is visible online? Through SEO (search engine optimization)!

SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of your web site by improving its ranking in the SERP (search engine results pages), therefore, increasing both the amount of traffic to the site and the quality of that traffic.

When most people think of SEO, they think of writing keyword-rich page content. Content is king when it comes to SEO, and I’m not debating that, but content also isn’t everything. There are many things that can affect how your website organically ranks in the SERP, and believe it or not, that includes the design of your website.

3 Ways the Design of Your Site Affects SEO

#1. The User Experience

Too often, when business owners are trying to ensure that their website ranks well organically, they get caught up in doing things solely for the Google bots. However, it’s important to remember that the goal of Google’s bots is to attempt to mimic the experience of your users, which means that, when you want to please the Google bots, the first place you should start is by working to please your users.

The design of your website plays a big role in how users experience it. A site design that is easy to navigate and pleasing to use will be beneficial for both your users and your SEO. On the other hand, poor website design can have the opposite effect.

When you provide your viewers with a poor user experience, they’re going to start leaving your website in droves and probably without looking around too much. This affects your bounce rate, which goes on to affect how your site ranks in the SERP.

One of the many things you can do to ensure that you’re providing your users with the best possible experience is to make the navigation of your site clean and simple so that your users never have to dig to figure out where they need to go. Your users should have no trouble figuring out what they’re looking for, and it’s essential that you make your site as intuitive as possible to navigate.

#2. Mobile Friendliness

Anymore, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional. That’s because, these days, the majority of searches don’t happen on a laptop or a desktop computer; they happen on a mobile phone or a tablet. And, if you want your website to rank well in the SERP, you need to ensure that you’re giving your users a positive experience regardless of what device they used to find your site. Google is all about giving its users the results that offer the best possible experience, because that’s how it keeps users coming back again and again, and it’s why it ranks mobile-friendly websites at the top of the SERP.

There are many things that go into building a mobile-friendly website, but the first and maybe the most important thing is having a responsive design. A design that is responsive is a design that will automatically reconfigure for the optimal display on whatever device it’s being viewed on. With a responsive design, you’ll have a single website that is equally functional, attractive, and accessible regardless of whether it’s being viewed on a desktop computer, a laptop, a mobile phone, or a tablet.

Having a responsive design is very important, but more goes into a mobile-friendly website than just having a responsive design. For example, your buttons need to be large enough that they can easily be clicked on a mobile device. Another important thing to think about is how you’re formatting your content. Long paragraphs on a desktop computer tend to look like walls of text on a mobile phone, so be sure to break it up when possible.

#3. Page Speed

Do you remember the days when just connecting to the internet took several minutes? Back in those days, it was not uncommon for a website to take five or even 10 minutes to load, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, people expect websites to load almost immediately, and if your website doesn’t meet their expectations, there’s a good chance that they’re going to move on to a competitor’s website that will.

When people visit your website and immediately click away from it because it’s loading too slowly, it affects your bounce rate, which affects your SEO rankings. Another way that a slow site can affect your standing in the SERP is by reducing the number of pages Google will be able to crawl. Websites that are slow for users are also slow for Google to crawl, and because Google only has so much time to crawl your site at any given time, the slower your site is, the fewer pages Google will be able to crawl.

There are lots of things you can do to make your site faster. Learn more when you check out my previous blog — How to Make Your Website Faster.

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