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5 Ways the Website Design Affects the SEO of the Website

shutterstock_226628683While esthetics and user experience are important factors in website design, they’re not the only things that matter. The design of your site also affects how likely your customers are to find you in their favorite search engine.

Content organization – Parallax website design, which puts all the site’s content on one long page, may be popular these days, but it’s not great for your search engine rankings. For one, it’s hard to make the most of all your search terms when you have only one page. You also lose the ability to develop a site architecture that helps search engine spiders crawl and correctly index your site. It’s possible to solve this problem by creating parallax designed sites with more than one page.

Site architecture – Dividing your content into subcategories makes navigation easier, but don’t go overboard. Back when Google’s algorithm focused on search terms, subcategories were helpful for SEO because they highlighted specific search terms. Since Google’s switch to the Hummingbird algorithm, however, the greater focus on natural language queries rather than short search terms makes subcategories less important.

Mobile optimization – After April 21st, 2015 Google began giving mobile-optimized sites preference in SERPS for mobile users. Take a look at your traffic statistics. If your site is getting mobile visitors, but you have no mobile version, there are likely a lot more mobile users you’re missing out on. A responsive website design will not only bring you more visitors, but can also increase the time people spend on your site.

Quality of coding – It’s possible for a design to look good in your browser, yet be derived from cluttered, error-ridden code. Bloated code, excessive code fork, and errors increase your site’s loading time, discouraging both spiders and human visitors.

HTML5, the most current website markup code, offers handy tags such as <section> and <article> that have a lot of potential for use in SEO. Improperly written HTML5, however, can leave Google seeing no page at all. Over-reliance on Javascript is another design factor that can slow down your site. Clean, streamlined code means faster load times and higher placement in the search engine results pages.

Graphics content – Visual appeal is an integral part of a good user experience. Too many images, however, can slow your site and worsen its usability. This is particularly true for mobile users. Because spiders can’t see images, your visual content has limited SEO value. Many image-heavy sites rely on AJAX loading, which produces content dynamically. Considerable additional coding is needed to make a crawl able version. A little moderation in your image use will get you the best results overall.

A skilled developer can create a website design that’s attractive and user friendly, but also leverages current SEO best practices that make it easier for your potential customers to find you. It’s for this reason hiring a qualified, experienced designer is so important.