SEO & web design – bridging the gap
15 February 2022
Every business desires an all-singing, all-dancing website that performs well, runs flawlessly and offers impressive design. It is possible to achieve on all three of those fronts, but of course, it’s important that we don’t over-prioritize sleekness over usefulness and accessibility.
Keeping that in mind as a general point is certainly a good baseline manner in which to think about your web design. That said - it’s also important to think of the many necessities involved in ranking your website competently in line with Google’s SEO requirements.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, a list of healthy practices used to ensure your website is more favorably rated by Google’s algorithm. Consistently put out good content on a fast-to-load, accessible page, and Google’s ranking system will automatically rank you higher in local search results.
After all - it’s in Google’s interest to constantly deliver informative, clear, concise content to their users.
Web designers are known to enjoy putting all kinds of interactive frills in their design process, but these must be justified by SEO practice if you’re to bring in organic traffic.
Ultimately, a keen effort towards bridging this gap will work in your favor. Let’s consider a few techniques for achieving that:
Keep the layout varied and digestible.
Simpler is often better. That doesn’t mean you have to subdue nice graphics, just make sure they’re compressed well to avoid quality loss but to reduce the time it takes to load a page.
Articles that use rich media like YouTube embeds, headings, subheadings, lists, and an appropriate number of keywords are best. Increasingly, well written content and professional landing pages help your website the most.
Always consider mobile users.
All websites must be designed for two aesthetic purposes - desktop and large screen use, as well as rotatable mobile screen viewing.
Over 70% of people use their smartphones and tablets to interface with the internet - and so always ensuring you invest in great mobile design as well as a larger desktop layout is key. It will also aid your SEO marketing.
Your web designer will be able to implement SEO-readability plugins such as Yoat SEO or DIVI. This will help you automatically structure posts in line with what Google’s latest SEO requirements may be.
Remember the E-A-T factors, standing for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The more you can refine your content, the more it will be linked to, raising its authoritative standing. A great web design layout aids with that - such as by adding bio pages to each article published.
Be careful of graphics, popups and banner images.
It’s important to recognize that some may or not be able to view your larger graphics and banner images depending on the device or web plugins they have installed. A good SEO compromise is to offer non-intrusive banners, timed chatpots and popups that only display after some time, and are never vital for the functional use of your page.
This way, you can avoid forcing your visitors to miss out on the context of your content, which is where web design could work against you.
Note that a healthy balance of these measures, as well as a constant refinement in how the user experience is measured via metadata (such as time on each page and the success of your conversions) is key.
With this advice, you’re sure to bridge the gap between SEO and web design.