Can Website Design Affect SEO?

Written by Kevin Liew on 24 Aug 2015
42,005 Views • Web Design

While building links and reaching out to influencers is essential to good SEO practices there are other things that can affect how a website ranks in search results, and one of those things is web design.

It stands to reason when you think about it. Google has over 200 ranking factors that it takes into account every time it makes a judgement on where to place a site according to the search term used. Would it really overlook how the site has been laid out and its performance? It’s unlikely.

What are the key points in web design that we need to bear in mind so that we can get the most organic traffic possible? Let’s take a look:

Don’t confuse the issue

Making any website easy to navigate is essential if you want to keep visitors engaged and increase the length of time that they spend on a given site. Similarly, when the search bots visit you need to make your site as easy for them to crawl as it is for human visitors to get about.

Things such as JavaScript navigations or the hugely popular Flash intro can adversely affect how the engines crawl and index sites. Be wary of using anything that stops these bots doing what they do – without them your site is risking never being found.


Poor coding

Poorly coded sites can also give the search bots a degree of confusion that may affect how they rank your website. Just as Host1Plus VPS Hosting will improve your page load times, a coding spring clean will also do wonders for your sites performance.

Ensure that your code is directly related to your content and hasn’t got any hidden surprises left over from a quick copy and paste from your word processing software. Correct HTML will go a long way to getting your website back up to where it belongs.


Link well

Intelligent internal linking is vitally important as it not only gives human visitors an opportunity to read more of your content, it also gives crawlers the chance to see how your site fits together. Simply by having the right internal links pointing to the right pages, your site will be seen by search bots as having utility and value.

A good internal linking strategy will ensure that all of your pages are properly indexed and that those who wish to view them find even the oldest posts on your site.


Be responsive

Mobile devices are still growing in popularity so it is extremely important that your website is compatible with them across the board. Responsive design ensures that this is the case and it gives your website the opportunity to be read by everyone, rather than just desktop users.

50% of all internet searches now begin on a mobile device so the benefits of catering for these devices are clear to see. Lowering the bounce rate from users viewing your pages on mobile devices will increase the chances of your site being served to other searchers whenever they perform a search on a smartphone or a tablet.

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