Monday, March 16, 2015

Does Web Design Play Any Part in SEO?

As we tread along the New Year, it is only suitable that we learn and reinforce the latest trends in web design and online marketing, especially SEO.

Even in 2015, the newcomer to the world of search considers SEO to be a game of keywords, and quasi-spamming still seems to the general practice in the cyberspace, despite Google’s algorithm updates.

The pre-2011 SEO methodology of inserting web content in keywords (and not the other way round) is taken to be good enough.

Savvy content marketers know how faulty and wasteful this approach is. They know that text isn’t enough, and even while writing content, special regard is being given to long-tail and voice search terms. And now there is proliferation of video marketing, and the use of infographics is common-place.

But the real question is: Does web design play any part in Search Engine Optimization?

Web Design Attracts Attention to Content

Even if you are blogger extraordinaire and hold unique solutions to the problems of your target market, you still need to attract online visitors to your website. They wouldn’t come running to you.

And while content plays the major role in this respect, web design shouldn’t be disregarded.
Killer web design is what creates the necessary first impression that converts visitors into readers/viewers, and then it is the job of the content to convert these into customers. In that respect, web design becomes a crucial part of SEO, in that the former provides the environment in which the visitor chooses to consume or ignore the optimized content.

Some Examples

To illustrate my point further, I am going to provide some examples of modern web design trends and how they can successfully hinder or boost your search efforts.

Let’s start with parallax design. This is where you have all your web content on one single page, much to the user’s convenience. Parallax offers you to take your visitors through an elegant storytelling process and it does have a proven track record of improving conversion rates.

However, parallax design can sometimes clash (or so it seems) with SEO. For example, if you want to leverage a variety of search terms along with other optimization processes to attract visitors to your page, the parallax design can make things difficult.  

But, it doesn’t have to be that way, for the simple reason that you can use parallax design for more than one page. Not to mention, you can even incorporate parallax designed pages as part of your main website.

Another example is that of responsive design. Basically, responsive design means that your website adapts to the type of device users are accessing it with. A website that performs optimally for multiple devices is especially favored by Google. Another SEO benefit of responsive web design is increasing your external back-linking count to each page instead of you trying to juggle links between two different websites, one for desktops and other for mobile devices.  

Other types of design schemes can be referenced here along with their relation to the optimization experience, but these will suffice.

But what we have learned from these two examples is that user convenience is where the intersection of web design and SEO lies.

What Really Matters in SEO

The best way to optimize your website is not just in inclusion of the most relevant keywords.
Yes, that is important. But what you need to understand is that while ranking your website for popular keywords may bring visitors to your website, if the content is not up to the par, then you will find your Google search position decreasing over time.

Bounce rate (the number of times people visit a web page but leave without navigating the rest of the site) is a good measure of optimized landing pages. The keywords compel visitors to click on the landing page, but if the content does not meet their expectation, they will leave and never return. Hence, SEO is about making life easy for your prospect.
In the same way, a clear and lucid web design attracts visitors and makes site navigation a breeze.

So, make web design a part of your SEO strategy today. ‘Follow’ our blog to get all new posts by email.

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