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Web design and SEO: How to optimize your website

Introduction

Web design and search engine optimization (SEO) are more closely linked than many website owners realize. In an attempt to get their website to the top of search results, most focus on keyword research, creating quality content, and acquiring backlinks from high authority websites.

Web design affects the speed, appearance, usability, and accessibility of your website on mobile devices. A good design is flexible and can be easily updated for SEO purposes, while a poor design can make it difficult to change content. These factors affect your search engine ranking and your ability to implement an effective SEO strategy.

In this article, we explain how the design of your website can improve or worsen your search engine ranking. Finally, we take a look at a simple decision that can greatly simplify your SEO web development.

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Web design & SEO tips for your website

How web design influences SEO

Understanding how web design and search engine optimization are related can help you avoid mistakes that can lead to a slow start or an unexpected drop in website traffic. This section explains five aspects of web design that affect search engine optimization.

Fast websites are loved by search engines

The design of your website affects the speed of your website, which is important for two reasons: usability and search engine optimization.

User expectations of websites are high. Data shows that 50 % of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less. When visitors leave your site because pages load too slowly, it weakens your search engine optimization. The bounce rate increases and sends a negative ranking signal to search engines.

Slow websites are more difficult for search engines to crawl. Search engines use automated processes that try to access your website several times a day. When web crawlers encounter slow pages, some of your content may not be indexed. If this happens frequently, your website could be deemed untrustworthy.

Disappointed users and confused web crawlers are SEO mistakes you should avoid. To avoid this, you should make sure that your website is designed for performance.

Better positioning of websites to attract and retain visitors

A visually appealing website that encourages visitors to engage with the content has a lower bounce rate and higher ranking.

A common mistake in web design is the lack of a balance between form and function. If little attention is paid to appearance, a website that focuses only on business can turn users off. On the other hand, a design that emphasizes appearance over utility can have the same effect.

When the web design is geared towards search engine optimization, the focus is on readability. This ensures that white space and images are used well. The content is categorized for easy navigation and everything is accessible through a simple menu.

By taking into account the factors that influence the time visitors spend on your website, an SEO-oriented web design ensures a low bounce rate and thus a consistently high ranking in search results.

Read also our article: How to create an SEO-friendly website

Search engines use mobile-first indexing

Google made mobile usability an important ranking factor back in 2015, but has gone much further since then.

Most people searching on Google use a mobile device, so Google spends less time checking the desktop version of a page to assess its relevance. The ongoing effort to implement mobile-first indexing was complete in March 2021. Website owners will no longer be able to rely on the desktop version of their content to improve their SEO.

SEO-focused web design ensures that search engine crawlers can see your content by making it the same for desktop and mobile versions. Since mobile-first indexing evaluates your website based on the mobile version only, you need to make sure that your web design displays all your content to Google's web crawlers.

Websites that are easy to navigate achieve higher rankings

The usability of your website influences the user's impression. If the website is confusingly structured or lacks navigation aids such as menus and internal page links, users will leave the website. Every time this happens, the bounce rate of the website increases and its ranking in search results decreases.

A web design focused on search engine optimization (SEO) takes into account what visitors are most interested in and makes it easier for them to access this content.

However, a consistent website structure has an even more direct impact on SEO - it improves the crawlability of a website. Behind every easy-to-navigate website is a structure that helps web crawlers index content. Especially with a sitemap, the content is easier to find and index if the website has a crawlable structure.

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SEO web development for your website

A flexible design allows flexibility in SEO

If your website's design is geared towards search engine optimization (SEO), it's easier to get to the top of search results for a new important keyword. To pick up on current trends and experiment with new keywords, you can insert new landing pages or blog articles. Inserting keywords in the right places is made easier by the structure of the website.

WordPress themes offer a smart shortcut to SEO web development

WordPress supports search engine optimization (SEO) in many ways, and with useful WordPress themes and plugins, SEO support can be extended even further.

The most important SEO benefit of WordPress is the optimized content. The native WordPress content editor and the editors built into the available themes support the creation of properly structured HTML that is optimized for search engine crawlers. WordPress makes it easy to create and edit long content with keyword-driven titles, headings and meta tags.

WordPress offers numerous ways to optimize images for search engines, simplify resizing, and create alt tags. You can also define SEO-oriented permalink structures and meta descriptions.

WordPress themes exist for every niche and most are created with SEO in mind. With the right theme, you can achieve fast load times, high visitor activity, and a mobile-friendly layout without having to become an expert!

If you choose a WordPress website, you can also take advantage of SEO plugins like the one from Yoast, which help you search and use keywords, create sitemaps, and much more.

Choosing a WordPress website can be a quick way to SEO web design.

Focus on web design and SEO.

The design of a website isn't always the first thing we think of when we think of SEO, but it can have a big impact on how well you can execute your SEO strategy. The design of your website influences ranking factors such as loading speed, optimized content structure, visitor engagement, and keyword usage.

Regardless of your niche or experience level, you should seriously consider WordPress for a simplified approach to SEO web development.

Include web design as part of your overall SEO strategy, and you will be rewarded with a good ranking!

Read also the article: A beginner's guide to the principles of website creation

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