Despite the multitude of changes that today’s digital world brings, some things have remained the same, including the importance of first impressions. The COVID-19 pandemic has made one thing abundantly clear; an online presence isn’t just important to have; it’s essential. While digital marketing techniques can put your business on the map, they won’t do much if great SEO and web design aren’t a part of the conversation.
SEO and web design might sound like separate, independent disciplines, but in reality, they’re complementary, necessary components of a great digital experience. One brings in the audience, and the other keeps them intrigued. However, there’s more to the relationship between web design and SEO that you must understand as both a website owner and a business owner.
To compete with larger online retailers and businesses, you need a large digital presence. This article will cover the importance of SEO, web design and how these seemingly distinct elements act to complement each other and increase your brand’s power and awareness.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
The Importance of SEO
When users search for a product or service, over 90% of them will turn to Google first as their search engine of choice. Businesses gain and lose customers on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), and for a good reason.
One of the biggest draws of eCommerce is the convenience it offers to online shoppers. If customers have to scour multiple results pages to find your business, it might as well be invisible.
With 4.66 billion global internet users, it’s no surprise that digital presence is mandatory for companies, but competing against the literal hundreds of thousands of websites out there is an arduous task that demands specialization – it demands Search Engine Optimization.
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, optimizes a website to make it easier to find on search engines by looking up keywords. SEO is an involved process, and many retailers and businesses will have a dedicated SEO specialist member or an entire team to help them climb the rankings.
In a nutshell, SEO makes your website search engine friendly and helps users find it. SEO entails a variety of processes, but here’s a list to name a few:
However, while SEO helps make it easier for users to find your site, it does nothing to make them stay and make a purchase. On the contrary, it’s excellent web design that keeps users engaged – and coming back for more.
The Importance of Web Design
Good web design is essential for a good user experience. Users won’t want to spend a long time on your site if your site has slow-loading pages, a cluttered navigation bar, and overall poor visual design. Browsing should be a seamless, enjoyable process, not a frustrating one.
Web design is so essential that Google has made visual design and user experience (UX) two of the most important factors for ranking high in the search results.
SEO relies on great content, but your optimized page won’t amount to much if it’s not optimized to deliver a great experience.
With mobile internet traffic accounting for more than half of total global online traffic, it’s not just about the desktop experience but mobile, too. Websites need to accommodate mobile and smartphone users as aggressively as they adapt to desktop browsers.
However, as with SEO, having the prettiest, easiest website to use won’t accelerate your site to the top of the Search Results Page if the content isn’t on the same level as the design. `
SEO and Web Design: A Perfect Union
SEO and web design rely on two entirely different skill sets, so it’s natural to wonder how they work in unison. With that being said, here are some of the ways that SEO and web design can work together to complement one another:
Could you imagine looking for an item at a grocery store that has unlabelled aisles and a maze-like floor plan? That’s what browsing on a site with poor navigation feels like.
If users can’t find the products they’re looking for, they’re likely to grow frustrated and leave your sit. The easier it is for visitors to browse your website and understand its layout, the more pages they can visit and lower the chances they’ll bounce.
Easy-to-use navigation doesn’t end with your product pages – proper site indexing and navigation for users is also beneficial for ranking your site high. If your site is easy to navigate, Google and other search engines will be more readily able to index your site’s many pages and make them visible on the SERPs.
Effective web design doesn’t just focus on the visual components of a site. Great visual design will also consider how well readers can understand and read your site’s textual content.
Digital content marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to optimize your site for SEO while also providing value for your site’s visitors. Search engines will rank your site higher if your site has content authority on various topics within your business or industry’s niche.
However, content marketing relies heavily on content and a lot of it. Blog articles and guides are great but white papers that showcase your business’s knowledge on a subject are better. There is one caveat, though – these content pieces have significant word counts, and if it’s presented in a non-visually pleasing manner, users won’t be likely to read it.
Excellent search engine content needs excellent presentation. Otherwise, nobody’s going to stick around to read it, even if it ranks highly in the SERPs.
How fast a page loads is another critical factor for ranking a site high in the SERPs. If Google’s web crawlers have to wait longer than two seconds, it’ll reflect poorly on your SEO rankings. Google implemented these changes with its Algorithm Speed Update, which factored in page speed and responsiveness into their Core Web Vitals.
Web design directly impacts how fast or slow your website’s pages will load. If high-resolution images, videos and hero banners are used, your page’s load times will become agonizingly slow. At that point, it doesn’t matter how excellent the design is – your users will bounce before they even have a chance to see it!
Key Takeaways on SEO and Web Design
Without a doubt, the relationship between SEO and great web design is mutually dependent. SEO increases visibility for search engine users while web design keeps them there. Without both disciplines working together, you’re unlikely to attract and retain visitors to your site, let alone convert them into making a purchase.
If you’re developing an eCommerce website and hire a designer to help you in the process, it’s imperative that you also onboard an SEO professional to aid in the process. Implementing SEO as an afterthought isn’t effective if you want your site to be SEO-native. Better yet, consider hiring a full-service eCommerce agency to work together with you on your site.
Digital eCommerce and marketing agencies have established teams of designers, developers and SEO specialists working together in tandem to ensure that all aspects of your site, from its design to its branding and its SEO, are cohesive. Branding services can also give your business brand a strong identity and increase user trust.
Although we live in a digital-first world, the relationship between digital design, marketing and branding is complex and multifaceted. The above list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give an idea of how closely related SEO and web design are. If you’re curious about increasing your site’s performance, wondering how to rebrand or just want to increase your sales, Advesa Digital is here to help.
Our international, interdisciplinary team of dedicated designers, developers, writers and SEO specialists has been helping businesses not just survive but thrive. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about our SEO, marketing and design services!