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5 Ways SEO & Web Design Work Together

Increasing traffic and improving your website’s performance should be a top priority of any business. After all, most people spend hours each day online, and an increasing amount of purchases and business transactions are online-based.

If you’re like many people with a website, you’ve probably already heard of Search Engine Optimization or “SEO”. But the truth is that website success goes beyond just that. In order to reach your maximum online performance goals, you need to focus on multiple areas simultaneously. That said, it primarily all comes down to a combination of SEO and Web Design.

While your business quality and services will play a major role in your online success, you’ll struggle to reach the right audience without the right web design and SEO methods in place. Here are 5 ways that these two areas of focus go hand-in-hand:

1. Web Design Affects How Effective SEO Practices Are, and Vice Versa

Good SEO practices focuses primarily on developing content with specific keywords and phrases that boost search engine results. And of course with high search engine results, you can expect higher traffic numbers to your website. However, this will not work if your SEO efforts are buried in poor web design. The design of your website determines how easy it is for your audience (and search engines) to find content (articles and blog posts, products, descriptions, services, photos, etc.) that is targeted towards them.

Your website should therefore be laid out cleanly and in an easy-to-use, easy-to-search manner. Massive chunks of texts, too many outgoing (or internal) links, and poor page flow should be avoided at all costs. And when it comes to website design, you should also take a serious look at your color scheme. Colors should not be too bright or too dark, and users should be able to look at them for long periods of time. While it can be tempting to use loud colors as a means of drawing attention to your content, the truth is that this often has an adverse reaction. Dark letters on a white background is used so often because it is a time-tested scheme that does not get in the user’s way of viewing and understanding content.

…Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua ollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor!

2. Good SEO and Web Design Help Establish User Trust

User trust can be a difficult area to measure. Aside from offering the occasional survey (and even then you cannot actually force anyone to take it), there is no real way of gathering metrics that detail your audience’s level of trust in your website, your company, and/or the products and services you provide. That said, a user-friendly website layout with clear sections, an ‘About’ section and easy-to-find contact info will go a long way in fostering user trust in you. Likewise, good SEO practices will help users quickly locate content that is applicable to them, without appearing too “salesy”.

If you’re unsure of what exactly you should be going for here, it never hurts to browse through other websites with similar objectives and services to your own. What stands out about them? Do you feel welcome when you visit it, or do you feel like someone is constantly trying to pitch a product to you? The most successful websites will feel welcoming, be easy to navigate, and they will never feel manipulative.

As your audience begins to rely on your website as a trustworthy source of quality, you will start to see a lot of returning traffic in addition to newer users. If you have ads, make sure that your website design keeps popups to a minimum (it’s usually best to avoid them altogether, especially when your website is newer or looking to build traffic) and that no ads get in the way of content viewing.

3. Mobile Friendliness Must Be Taken into Account for Both SEO and Web Design

It’s important to keep in mind that many online users are on their phones for a good deal of time. In fact, a lot of people do the bulk of their online searches via their phones. So, this means that you need to make sure both your website design and SEO writing are friendly for mobile devices. Your layout should easily scroll up and down, and if you have multiple pages, the mobile version of your website should include them all from one easy access point in the top corner.

When it comes to SEO content and text in general, it’s more crucial than ever now to avoid massive blocks of text. On a phone, every paragraph looks bigger. Your font should also be simple and a general size that is easy to read for the majority of users. It’s also worth noting here that in-text links can be difficult to click on a phone, especially if the text is too small or in a big clump of words.

4. Make Sure Your Website is 'Up to Speed'

Did you know that one of the biggest reasons your SEO tactics may fail is if your website speed is too slow? These days, websites load instantly, and switching between internal pages or hitting links also takes nothing more than a click. If your users are sitting there just waiting for things to load, or the page keeps sticking when they try to scroll, there’s no reason for them to wait long. Instead, they’ll just go try a different website while you quickly lose traffic and your reputation.

Even all of your other website design efforts will be moot if your website speed isn’t what it should be. So, be sure to regularly test your website from your audience’s point of view (both on a computer monitor and a mobile device) and make efforts to keep things nice and speedy. This will be increasingly important as your website grows.

5. Your Sitemap Design Helps Search Engines Find You

Going along with the above, your sitemap needs to stay updated and neat, or search engines won’t even recognize all of your SEO activity. Make sure that it is clearly laid out and that your SEO efforts are also updated frequently. This will also help users navigate your site in addition to helping them find you in the first place. Sometimes it helps to enlist the help of a tech expert or website design pro to make sure your sitemap is laid out properly.

TL;DR

Both SEO and web design need to be made priorities in order for your online success to be realized. Keep in mind that this doesn’t just happen overnight. Rather, it takes time and effort. By recognizing all of the ways they go together and acting on them, you’ll boost your online traffic and start climbing the website rankings.

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