Any business looking to invest in SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, to get them to the first page of Google would do well to understand just how important the symbiotic relationship is between web design and SEO. Although you will be told that SEO is all about using the right keywords with just the right amount of competition to get you there, that’s only half the truth. You may get there in the short term through organic searches but bounce rate will also have a huge effect on Google rankings and this is where web design becomes a major player.
Never Underestimate the Importance of UX
According to Carter Douglas, Director of SEO at Marketing One in Brisbane, Queensland, “It is recommended that websites have great UX as well as clean code for SEO purposes proven to get results.” Here, Douglas is referring to “User Experience” and this is something that Google takes very seriously, indeed. In fact, to give you just one example of how strongly the search engine giant feels about UX, look at the Mobilegeddon algorithms of a few years back!
Now, in order to rank highly in mobile searches, a website must be responsive and easily viewed from mobile devices or it will not rank highly. The same holds true of any website. If it isn’t user-friendly, don’t think that effective SEO will keep you at the top of organic searches for long!
Beyond Search Engine Optimisation – The Next Step
Actually, SEO is aimed at getting traffic to your site but that is not what is keeping it there. If you want your website to work for you, it is imperative that you keep visitors there, often following internal links to information they are seeking. However, that isn’t always easily accomplished. Visitors need to land on a website or landing page that is easily navigated and, for all intents and purposes, aesthetically pleasing.
This means that much research must also be directed to such things as colors, layout, ease of navigation, and important elements like banners, headers, sidebars, and other key elements which must be worked into the design in a visually pleasing way. When asked why they quickly bounced off a site and back to those SERPs, Search Engine Results Pages, visitors often say they were unable to navigate the site and were put off by things like misspellings and poor grammar.
It’s All About Engagement
Have you ever been invited to a party that upon arrival you wondered why you were even invited? You were not made to feel welcome, starting with the fact that no one greeted you and introduced you around? That’s pretty much what happens if a website fails to engage visitors. They land there through their invitation (first page on the SERPs) but once they get to the party (a website) they have no clue why they were invited and can find nothing they came to see. That’s what happens when a website doesn’t give equal credence to design as well as SEO.
Don’t be the cause of losing customers when all it takes is making them feel welcome. If you spend as much on design as you do on SEO, you will see bounce rates drop and your client base will quickly grow.