There are many misconceptions about SEO and website design. Of of those is that when you hire an SEO Specialist, that person will be able to not only make your website rank in search engine results for certain keywords, but also increase business, no matter what your site looks like, or how old it is.
Unfortunately, this is just not so.
Yes, we can do great things with your website. We can help you update your content to make it more SEO friendly. We can also add titles and meta descriptions to all of your pages according to Google’s best practices, and we can build relevant links to your site to build authority. While all of these tactics are sure to increase your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your site, the effectiveness of our work is often really reliant on the design of your site.
Here are three ways our website design affects SEO:
1. Conversion Optimization
We can optimize your site and build links to it until we’re blue in the face, increasing your traffic as much as possible. But, what’s the point of extra traffic if your website design isn’t optimized for conversions? Visitors must have a clear and concise path for contacting you, downloading or purchasing something from you, or giving you their contact information in some way. Otherwise, that extra traffic we drive to your site isn’t doing you any favors. Unless your site is strictly there to raise awareness for something and not to generate leads or make sales, you need a site that’s optimized for conversions.
2. Content Layout
When search engine robots crawl your site to gather your content, they go in a certain order and look for specific details. If those items aren’t in place, then it is harder to get search engine visibility.
For instance, let’s say you’re a furniture store. You have a store in downtown Dallas, Texas. You want to sell more of your upholstered accent chairs, specifically. Your website design is a little outdated, but it works so you don’t want to redesign it just yet. You want to rank in search engines for “accent chairs Dallas TX”. You have a page on your site for accent chairs, so that’s the one you want to rank for that keyword.
When Google crawls your accent chairs page, it looks at:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Page headings
- Image tags
- The rest of the page (sidebar, footer, etc.)
If your website design was originally done without headings, or without images, or with hardly any content on the page, then it s really difficult to set up that page for success. Sure, we can usually go in and add some of those things after the fact, but it often doesn’t look the best when we put content where it wasn’t designed to go. Internet surfers are super savvy these days, and they want to land on a cohesive site – not one that looks patched together. In addition, if the site doesn’t look top-notch, this decreases the amount of trust and interest a person will have in your business or brand.
3. Site Speed
There are a bunch of different platforms to build websites on, such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify. Depending on the platform your site is built on and how old the site is, it could be slowed down by old code, excessive code, or just the way it’s built, depending on the platform.
When websites are slow, search engines like Google and Bing see that too. Thus, they may not rank you as well in search results because of the slowness of your website. Also, if your website doesn’t load within a few seconds, it’s quite possible that potential visitors will just click the “back” button in their browser instead of waiting.
Sometimes, this is fixable. Sometimes, though, if your website is just too old or poorly built, the speed cannot be upgraded. This is another big hurdle for SEO.
Need help with your website design and/or SEO efforts? Thrive is here to help. We have top-notch SEO specialists and web designers who build search engine optimized websites that have proven success at raising search engine rankings and increasing traffic (and business) to your site. We put a lot of effort into getting to know you and your business so we can set up a site that helps you meet your business objectives. Contact us today!