Web design and SEO are often treated as separate aspects of an online business. However, as user experience becomes a more integral part of search engine optimisation, these two aspects have intertwined a lot more than ever.
Today, web design can have a definite impact on a site’s SEO strategy and performance. So, in this blog post, we take a look at six web design and web development practices that affect SEO, and how to make sure everything works in sync for the best possible results.
1. Poor navigation
Navigation is one of the most important aspects of website design, and it plays a crucial part in increasing engagement rate and average time on the website.
The ideal navigation system is intuitive, user-friendly, and easily accessible. If a user has to think about how to navigate to a particular page or link, then you have failed as a web designer.
Also, sometimes, creative choices in web design may have a negative impact on the site’s SEO. For example, while a hamburger menu might look good and in line with your minimalist site design, it is not very user-friendly.
But navigation also goes beyond having a menu bar at the right spot. Web designers should work with marketing to identify the most popular pages and put them on the front.
You also have to think of navigation on smaller mobile devices. How does the smaller screen size accommodate your current navigation menu and overall structure? Are the elements easy to click on with a finger? Is the menu visible and easily accessible?
Think holistically and make it as easy as possible for first-time website visitors.
2. An easy and pleasant reading experience
Most online users are looking for information when they search for a website. If they can’t find or read the content easily and comfortably, you will abandon your site and look for another source.
This is why creating an easy-to-read experience is of the utmost importance. Choose the right font, font size, and colour scheme. Here is a good example from Medium.
Notice how clean and user-friendly the entire web page is. It is built from the ground up for a good reading experience. Also, make sure that the reading experience is equally comfortable on desktop and mobile devices of different screen sizes.
3. Missing or confusion over call-to-action sections
Every web page should have a call-to-action. It could be about purchasing a product, getting in touch, or signing up to a newsletter.
Whatever it is, make sure that the call-to-action is prominent and easy to click. If the CTA is missing or not easily visible, it may confuse users and encourage them to bounce off your website without taking the action you want them to take.
Also, some websites feature multiple calls-to-action. Although this may work in certain cases — for example, sign in and sign up — it is not a very good practice.
Ideally, each web page should have one prominent call-to-action that the user can’t miss.
4. Annoying popups
Most websites and online businesses are built for revenue generation. However, it does not mean that lead-generation pop-ups can start affecting the user experience on your site.
Too many pop-ups is a design choice that will have a negative impact on your site’s recurring traffic, credibility, conversion rate, bounce rate, and even its search rankings in the SERPs.
Create a nice balance between marketing and user experience to have the best results. Look for creative ways, such as exit-intent pop-ups, to minimise frustration.
5. Too many uncompressed images
Websites use images in some way or form. However, relying too much on images — especially, uncompressed and web-unfriendly images — may have a negative impact on your site’s performance and search rankings.
First, do not use images if they are not necessary. Second, when you do use images, make sure that they are web-friendly, compressed, and of the right size, so your website doesn’t take forever to load.
6. A slow-loading website
Resource overload is another problem that many websites suffer from. Your website code and design should be clean, so the loading time can be as fast as possible.
The loading speed of websites has become one of the most important search engine ranking factors in the last few years. It not only affects the site’s rankings in the search engine results pages, but it also has a negative impact on the engagement rate and conversion rate.