4 Ways Your Website Design Impacts SEO
Search engine optimization remains one of the most crucial components in long-term content marketing and organic exposure for businesses and brands. Without search engine visibility, the vast majority of entities would be forced to either delve deep into more nuanced marketing tactics (such as email marketing) or paid enormous sums of money on PPC campaigns via search engines and social media.
As such, optimizing every aspect of your website and its content matters. Search engines offer a meaningful platform through which select audiences can be reached – but it’s not all about optimizing content with keywords and links. Even the very structure of a website can impact performance in search results.
Today, we’ll look at 4 ways in which your website design can impact SEO outcomes.
Navigation and Internal Links
While much focus is paid to pinging links directly to search engines for more traffic, how search engines view the links that connect your individual pages matters just as much. The quality of navigational elements and internal linking helps visitors and search engines alike smoothly locate your pages, ensuring they’re indexed by search engines in the first place. If there is any content currently not linked to one or more pages on your website and you want it to rank (or simply provide additional SEO juice for your website), then make sure to add links internally.
Years ago, websites could copy and paste data across multiple pages without any fear of retribution. Today, duplicate content poses a big risk to long-term SEO prospects, however. The use of duplicate content is sometimes unavoidable – for instance, contact information included on each page – and search engines generally can detect the context of it. However, it is crucial to use tools such as Search Console to locate instances of duplicate content on your website and remove it ASAP.
Virtually nobody uses a mobile device to initially build or tweak a website: the need for full-featured, versatile access and comprehensive input devices means desktop and laptops are the go-to for site design. Despite this, search engines absolutely need to see mobile responsive design implemented in your website’s design. Mobile responsiveness ensures that each visitor is served the most ideal version of your website based on their OS, screen size and resolution, and overall hardware. Without such, search engines will rank your pages much lower in relevant search results for mobile audiences.
User experience is a huge metric for search engines, and one of the most important elements of user experience is page speed. Websites that load slowly due to poorly optimized design will have difficulty ranking well in search results: it doesn’t matter how often you’re pinging links to great content, your performance will be underwhelming relative to what’s possible. Because of this, using a fast hosting provider, optimizing images and multimedia to have smaller file sizes, avoiding excessive plug-in use and more can improve the overall speed of any website.
While transforming SEO outcomes overnight isn’t necessarily possible, making just a few simple changes to the design of any website can lay a strong foundation for future improvement. These 4 areas illustrate just how much overall design can impact SEO performance for websites of all sizes.