4 Ways Web Design Affects SEO

June 14, 2018

A poorly designed website impacts your business more profoundly than you may imagine. While design affects the appearance of a site, it also helps search engines determine where to place your company within search results. Here are four practical ways website design influences your company’s SEO.

1. Poor website design negatively influences a user’s opinion of your company.

Design can be powerful in influencing the level of trust given to a website. Nearly 94% of participants in one study said specific design elements contributed to wariness or mistrust of a website. Specific design elements that contributed to mistrust included busy or complex layouts, popup ads, flashing ads, illegible font choices, and boring design.

Color can also affect how users engage with your website. For example, because of its pleasing and inviting tone, green tends to acquire better conversion rates than a harsh red color. Learn more on how color affects your site performance and rankings here.

Ultimately, bad design can decrease trust of your website and lead to a drop in overall engagement. That lack of engagement then registers with search engines, leaving your business with a worse ranking in search engine results.

2. Design affects how people navigate your website.

Since Google wants to provide its customers with the best websites, it often rates a website’s value based on the amount of time users spend on a site. This is where easy site usability and navigation help out. An intuitive site structure encourages users to continue browsing, increasing the time spent on the site—and the overall conversions. Remember, if users cannot easily navigate your website, they’re not likely to stick around.

3. Mobile-responsive design changes how search engines rank your website.

Since 52.2 percent of all website traffic occurs on mobile, a responsive website designed for smartphones is a must. The recent rollout of Google’s mobile-first index has only compounded the importance of this by using the mobile version of a website as the starting point to rank that website.

A mobile-responsive design provides an improved user experience for on the-go users. This leads to more time spent on your website and, again, a better position in Google search results.

So if your business hasn’t invested in a mobile-responsive website, it will likely take more hits in its ranking over the next year.

4. A beautiful, clean layout can make all the difference.

Although it may seem like a small design element, text structure plays a role in SEO. Take a moment to look at how the written content on your website is designed. The most important items to examine are text font, text color and text layout.

Illegible font choices, spacing errors, crammed content, and sizing issues should all be avoided. A beautiful, clean layout often increases engagement from customers, reducing the chance they’ll exit your page quickly.

It’s also important to avoid using imagery to convey large chunks of text. Google crawls your website to pick out keywords for ranking, so placing comprehensive text content on your site will also help to benefit your rank in search results.

Good website design allows your company to gain more exposure, site traffic, and user trust. Consider the design choices and colors, site usability and navigation, mobile responsiveness, and overall layout of your own website. If you think you’re falling behind, contact us here.


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