Many people, especially those who might not have digital marketing knowledge, see website design and search engine optimisation (SEO) as separate elements of their website. However, this is wholly incorrect thinking. The fact is that to do both SEO and website design successfully, both have to work together. 

Why? Because Google, and other search engines, care about how your site looks and feels, as well as what content it is delivering to users. If you are working with a website design agency the front-end of your website will look stunning, and the chances are that they will implement SEO on your website too. But, if you have opted just for website design and are not concerned with SEO, you might find your new website not performing as well as it could be. 

In this article, we look at how SEO and website design can work together. 

 

Making Mobile Matter

 

Recently, Google announced that it was going to start indexing mobile sites above desktop versions, which has had a significant impact on how websites were designed from the get-go. While this might seem like a strange decision, statistics from the same announcement show that almost 70 percent of all website traffic came from smartphones, and that was in 2017. 

If you would like to optimise the design and SEO elements of your website, you will need to think mobile-first. Think about how responsive your website is and look carefully at the loading times of each page. And be sure to tag everything the same way it is tagged on your desktop site so that it is indexed the same by the search engine. Be sure to use the mobile site as your main testing site to ensure all website design and SEO elements work correctly. 

 

User-Friendly Is Of Utmost Importance

 

If a website designer does not create a design with the user in mind, it is highly likely that the website will fail in achieving its goals. When someone clicks onto your website, browses around, and leaves without taking any action, Google sees this as a “bounce”, which can have a negative effect on the SEO ranking of your website. 

When designing a website, you will need to have a clear design that is easy for users to navigate, allowing them to find exactly what they are looking for in a short amount of time. This leads to more time spent on your website, more engagement with your content, and an improved search engine results page ranking. User-friendly and intuitive design is an underrated component of SEO, and if your site is difficult to navigate, this will cause problems for clients and Google. 

 

Image Optimisation

 

In terms of SEO, you might think that the only aspects that can be optimised are the copy and your meta-descriptions and title tags. While these are vital elements to have a stunning website design that is also search engine-friendly, you should never forget about optimising your images. This is done by entering alt-text into your website for whatever image you might have on that page. 

The alt-text that you enter should be easy-to-understand and should describe the image clearly. Another aspect of image optimisation is to use the correct file size for the images you are using, as large files can slow down page load speeds significantly. The file names should be labelled in the same way that your alt-text is, so that Google can “see” what the image is and put it into context for those browsing your website. 

 

Sitemaps That Make Sense

 

A vital component of any website design is the site map. This is used by designers and developers alike to build a website with a flow and layout that makes sense and is intuitive for users. If your internal linking structure does not make sense to your website designers, the chances are it will not make sense to your users…or to Google. 

You will need to take time to think about the structure you would like to follow, carefully considering your anchor text and making sure it follows best practices. Your design should lead people intuitively to the right places, and this will help to improve your SEO. Instead of creating a sitemap that looks like an octopus flailing its tentacles about, build one that is logical and that puts the users above everything else. 

When website design and SEO collaborate, there can be truly exciting results. Remember to always think about mobile responsiveness first and keep your user in mind for the entire journey. Be sure to optimise your images and build a sitemap that makes sense. 

If you would like a website that is both gorgeous to look at and has built-in SEO, contact NetMechanic today to find out more about how we can help you.