Does Web Design Affect SEO?

Poor web design manifests into a poor user experience, which will lower your SEO rankings. Since user experience is a top ranking factor, and web design is so intricately tied to user experience, implementing SEO-focused web design best practices is critical for any website hoping to rank in search engines.

So, how does web design affect SEO and what issues should be addressed?

When trying to identify what web design issues should be addressed, think of it this way: what’s bad for humans is bad for search engine rankings. One of Google’s core philosophies is even “Focus on the user and all else will follow”. So, if there is an element of your web design that will negatively affect a user’s experience on your website, it should be addressed. 

Additionally, engagement is another priority ranking factor, so the better your engagement metrics, the better your rankings will be. If your web design is preventing users from staying engaged on the page they have landed on or clicking through to other pages on your site, this will reflect negatively on your website. In fact, one study found that 90% of users will immediately exit sites with bad web design. So, if your website is poorly laid out, does not have a clear navigation path, or uses unappealing colors or fonts, this could have an impact not only on your SEO but on your overall business revenue.

3 Web Design Practices That Impact SEO

1. Poor site navigation

Ensure that your site navigation is easy to use by using simple language to label your menu items (instead of technical terms), making sure the menus are accessible on mobile devices, and limiting the number of menu items to avoid confusion. A/B tests or focus groups are effective ways to identify how well users respond to your site navigation

2. Delays in load time

A page that takes awhile to load leads to more bounces from your website, less engagement, and therefore poorer rankings. If you’re not sure how fast your site loads, use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.

3. Bulky images

While images are a great way to improve the look of your website, too many images, images that are too large, or images that take a long time to load can negatively affect your web design. If you are including images, make sure that they are properly sized and are not crowding your pages. Also, consider using compressed images to reduce loading time.

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