There are many different reasons why businesses consider redesigning their websites, whether they contain outdated information that is no longer accurate, or they want to update their branding to better reflect who their business is today. One of the other reasons why some companies are investing in new web design is search engine optimization, also known as SEO. Understanding the role that your website’s design plays in your search engine ranking is critical before you embark on the project. What should every business owner know about the connection between web design and SEO?
Before you can review the impact that your web design decisions have on search engine rankings, it’s important to remember what factors into SEO. Search engine optimization refers to practices that adjust components of a website to improve the rankings on Google and other search engines. Conventional wisdom holds that the higher your ranking is, the more traffic will come to your website and potentially convert into sales. The goal of all SEO campaigns is conversions. Conversions for your business may look different than others, including things like starting a chat on the website, calling your business, scheduling an appointment, or filling out a web form. Smart SEO decisions do not just improve the ranking on search engines, but they also improve the results that you see on a daily basis.
SEO Goes Hand in Hand with User Experience
A good web design will get great results, and a good search engine optimization campaign will also get great results. However, a good web design with no visitors is much harder to get the most out of than a good web design that receives an influx of web traffic. In the same fashion, a great search engine optimization campaign that leads to a poorly designed website will never be as effective as it could be. When you have effective SEO and a great user experience, it’s easy to reap the rewards of both investments. It’s important to remember that, while robots are the ones crawling your website to determine the ranking, human users are the ones who will be operating it on a daily basis.
Good Design Makes Indexing Easier
The indexing process is conducted by search engine crawlers that will look at different aspects of your website, the content of your website, and a variety of other factors. Websites that are confusing or poorly organized are much more challenging to index, which will reflect in a poor search engine ranking. If your website is clearly organized and following web design best practices, it will be much easier for search engines to get an idea of the information that you are presenting and the value that you offer to consumers. This will boost your rankings and get you more clients. What are some examples of things that can lead to a poor experience for crawlers?
- Navigation that is cluttered, confusing, or inconsistent from page to page
- Small fonts, pale colors that are hard to read, or design elements that are visually abrasive
- Design that is not responsive, or that does not adapt to whether the user is on a desktop computer or mobile device
- Images and content that are large in size or challenging to load in a short amount of time
- And more!
When you work with an experienced team, it is easier to get transparent and informative advice about the best ways to modify your web design to meet the needs of both your prospective clients and search engines that look for certain components on different web pages.
Follow Best Practices for Navigation
Navigation is critical, as it helps users quickly find what they are looking for. Proper navigation structure is the difference between someone who rapidly finds what they need and someone who leaves your website in order to look elsewhere. Some of the statistics that you should look at when determining if your current navigation structure is effective include the bounce rate, engagement rate, conversion rate, and average time on each page. What are some of the best ways to improve navigation on your website?
- Make sure that your main menu options are clear and simple and avoid using terms that might be confusing
- Keep the main menu accessible on every page of the website
- Ensure that the menu can also be easily found and clicked on on mobile devices
- Do not use technical words or complex terms in the menu
- Add a search function so that users can directly look for what they need if it is hard for them to find in the menu
- Whenever possible, make the URL for each page something that is descriptive so that the user can tell whether or not they are in the right place
- Use anchor text for all internal links on your website
Don’t Forget the Content
Finally, many companies are so focused on the structure and design of their websites that they forget that content is king. A beautiful website that does not make sense, that has poorly written content, or that has inaccurate content will be ineffective and not get the results that you were looking for. Working with a skilled team like Gauge Digital Media grants you access to content experts who know how to convey what you are looking to share in a way that meets the expectations of search engines and customers alike. You do not need to make your website alone!
We Are Here to Help Grow Your Business Online and Through SEO
Working with a professional digital marketing company is the best way to make the most of your website and all that Facebook Pixel, LinkedIn ads, Google Analytics and other digital advertising platforms have to offer. To learn more about the best digital marketing strategies for your company and reach a bigger audience than ever before, work with Gauge Digital Media. For a quote or to schedule a call, contact us at (443) 201-7709.