Why Web Design is Critical for SEO

Check out four reasons why not using your web design team for SEO can be disastrous.

When you read or hear people talk about  website optimization , you are more likely to hear them talk about content and links. It’s no surprise considering that  Google itself  has said that content and links are two of the three most important ranking factors (Rankbrain being the third).

However, while these three may very well garner the most attention, you’re also likely to hear that there are “over 200 factors” that influence a site’s ability to rank in the SERPs (search results pages). These can range from title tags to Google mobile first readiness. You might even hear someone tap into integrated marketing campaigns where hype or social media marketers work alongside the SEO team to deliver results.

Teams working together generally show more progress.

Over the past decade, website optimization has come out of the shadows and into one of the top solutions in  digital agencies . It was just a matter of time as Google tried to take over the world! Either way, global domination aside, means that search results have become an increasingly competitive arena, requiring a  specialized SEO agency to  utilize all the tools available to them.

About website design

On a Friday  at Moz Whiteboard  , Rand Fishkin talked about how structuring content on your pages can help deliver SEO results, which got us thinking about how we use  web design  to create a more successful SEO campaign. So, here you go, four reasons why not using your web design team for SEO can be disastrous.

SEO is about conversions

While having a high ranking for your keywords is great, it’s not the main factor for a successful campaign. For agencies and in-house teams, if the high ranking doesn’t result in the ultimate business goal being achieved, then you could argue that the campaign was not successful. If you subscribe to this theory (as we do), then addressing issues within your website design is a critical factor for any SEO campaign.

This subject is a little more complex. There are a number of factors to consider when  creating a responsive website  and individual pages that have high conversion rates, including UX/UI, image usage, site speed, and content usage. The thing is, without analyzing site pages and user flow throughout your site, you run the risk of not capitalizing on organic search traffic.

Regardless, investing in  conversion rate optimization  is not specific to organic search traffic. If buyer personas have been accurately identified, changing the design of your pages will help convert traffic from multiple sources. Especially if your teams are talking to each other as part of an integrated marketing strategy!

optimization at home

A recent study showed that in-house SEO teams and agencies valued both technical optimization as the most influential factor for campaigns. Don’t worry, content and link building were also featured! The thing is, if both website designers and developers don’t have a clear vision of the optimization that will be implemented on the website, you run the real risk of having to go back and redo parts of the website to include them.

A classic example of this was played by Drew Hendricks for Forbes.com. A few years ago, parallax sites were “the beast”, but they were SEO junk. The lack of clearer site structures and individual page URLs to target specific search terms with highly targeted content meant that performing optimization on a parallax site was notoriously difficult. Difficult, but not impossible, but difficult nonetheless.

Usage and User Data

Google keeps their cards close when it comes to the exact metrics they take into account when ranking sites. They give some of the key information, but not all. However, there is a school of thought in the SEO world that user and usage data is utilized by Google in its ranking algorithm, although some might argue that Google would only take into account data directly related to SERPs such as CTR.

If you believe that Google considers user and usage data strongly or only to a limited extent, it is still worth addressing as part of your SEO and therefore your website design. Along the same lines as producing conversions, you don’t want to see high bounce rates or low site dwell times as part of analytics for your site.

If you’re  revamping your site , you can use Google Analytics data from your previous site to highlight issues to avoid on the new site, or if it’s a new site, make sure the correct amount of thought has been given to the experience. of the user (especially above the fold).

Don’t wait to make changes!

If you’re creating a new website or revamping your current website, it’s much easier to pick up some of the details from this article into your design process rather than looking to cover them further down the road. You have a great reason to work, allowing designers and marketers to work together to  develop a website  that not only looks great, but also delivers on your broader marketing strategy.

There will have to be compromises. There is always. Designers and SEOs often butt heads when it comes to the amount of content, heavy images or videos that can slow down loading speeds, and call-to-action buttons that can have an effect on the site’s true aesthetic. If you can manage these compromises, you will avoid a beautiful site that receives less organic traffic because of its inability to rank, or a site that ranks well but fails to convert its traffic.

Implementing changes to a website after it has been designed will not only cost you more in time and money, but will also deliver a worse quality product than if these considerations had been part of the strategy from the start!