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How Web Design Affects SEO

Jul 14, 2017
How Web Design Affects SEO

Search engine optimization is more than using keywords to attract potential customers. Granted, keywords are an integral part of any properly executed SEO campaign, however, an adequate design and user-experience also have a major role to play regarding how search engines will ultimately rank your website. Poor design choices can result in less traffic coming towards your website, decreased conversion and an overall loss in revenue. That said, go over some of the most important design elements a website needs to possess in order to have a positive impact on your SEO efforts.

Content and Web Design

Relevant, high-quality content is an important factor when it comes to SEO. But no matter how informative and well-written your content is, it falls straight to its back if your website’s design prevents visitors from reaching, accessing and consuming said content. Even if your content is easily reachable and accessible, it also has to be legible and easy to read and good web design can help them consume your content more easily. Poor web design, on the other hand, can make even the most interesting text seem forgettable and not worth the time needed to read it.

SEO and Web Design Trends

Utilizing web design and development with SEO in mind requires long-term thinking. There have been numerous design trends that have been around for a couple of years, only to be completely forgotten afterward and replaced with the latest and greatest web design has to offer. Design trends are is a double-edged sword and placing too much focus on current, oftentimes fleeting trends can prove to be rather problematic in the future. At the same time, completely ignoring current styles can result in your website feeling and look outdated.

The best example of this trend-related duality has to be parallax design. It has been used extensively over the last couple of years as it keeps the users engaged by allowing them to scroll continuously through your content. But as much as users and website owners prefer parallax scrolling, search engines absolutely hate it. It removes the traditional page structure that Google and other search engines use to crawl and spreads out a website’s worth of different keywords across a single URL.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have responsive design. Ever since Google announced that more than half of all search queries now come from mobile devices, the giant has taken steps to ensure that mobile friendliness becomes one of the staples of current SEO practices. And responsive design caters to mobile users by having the website respond to the device being used to view it and rearrange content and various page elements in order to allow content to be consumed more easily.

Web Design Elements and Their Relation to SEO

There are dozens of factors web developers have in mind when designing a website, as the great majority of them has a direct impact on search rankings. From the HTML structure and the amounts of Flash on your website to the aesthetic design and various on-page elements, every feature needs to be carefully thought out and implemented into your design efforts.


Reorganizing existing navigational structure is a time and resource-consuming process, which is why it’s better to do it right in the first place. Experts from WebDel Wordpress development state that all the most important aspects of your website, including content and the URLs are connected to the navigation. It guides the users through your brand experience and helps search engines discover and prioritize your content. Try to keep your website’s navigation simple and user-friendly, professionals. This means keeping only the bare essentials needed for visitors to navigate through your website and removing any unnecessary distractions that would prevent them from reaching the desired page.


Once you have navigation under control, it’s important to provide your visitors with a consistent experience no matter where they might end up on your website. This means keeping all the design choices consistent across the entire website and providing just enough white space by removing any additional clutter and excessive content. Make sure you use a font that keeps the text clear and legible and refrains from using flashy colors and images that would distract visitors from your content.

HTML Headings

HTML headings are used to define the function of textual content in relation to other pieces of content on the page. The main text, for example, should always be tagged using H1 or Heading 1 tags, while the subheaders should be tagged in a descending order based on their importance, using H2, H3, and H4 tags. These tags allow search engines to figure out which parts of the text are considered to be the most important and which ones are less important but still related to the main part. Without proper headings in place, your page will either be displayed inaccurately in the results or not at all.

Title Tags

Title tags are HTML elements used to specify the title of a single web page. These titles are what you’re greeted with in the search results when you enter a search query and as clickable headlines, they need to describe the content on your page concisely and accurately. Title tags are displayed at the top of your browser tab and act as a type of a placeholder, making them extremely useful for those who have multiple tabs open at the same time. Although Google allows for tags up to 600 pixels long, the optimal length for a title tag should be around 50 to 60 characters.

Meta Descriptions

Although Meta keywords and tags have no real effect on search engine optimization, they do however have a significant impact on your click-through rates. Search engines use Meta tags in your local listings and you can think of them as short sales pitch placed under the Title tags. This alone makes them worth mentioning as a vital part of website design. Meta tags are a bit longer when compared to Title tags and should be around 150 characters long.


Relevant content should be accompanied by relevant images. All images on your website need to be compressed in order to prevent them from hogging up the connection and increasing the page loading times. Besides optimization, each image needs to be assigned to alt HTML attributes.

These attributes are used to provide search engines with a textual description of an otherwise visual content and help them index them more easily.

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