How SEO and Web Design Work Together


At first glance, SEO and web design don’t look like they go together. One is about ranking in search engines, and the other is about appearance and user experience.

But that doesn’t mean they’re mutually exclusive. In fact, if you treat SEO and web design separately, you could be missing out on a great opportunity to improve your site with both options.

Search engines don’t just look at content when ranking pages — they also look at the experience a page delivers to visitors.

A poorly-designed page could provide a poor user experience, and search engines don’t want to give their users bad experiences. That means they won’t show your site if it doesn’t give their users what they want.

The good news is that you can avoid this outcome by bringing web design and SEO together into one strategy. These tips will help you get started.

1. Define a common goal

The goal for SEO teams is to help a website show up better in search engine results pages. The goal for web design teams is to develop an attractive, usable website.

These are great goals, but there’s a disconnect — and the potential to fall short — when both teams work autonomously. By contrast, both goals are easier to reach when your SEO and design teams work together.

Ideally, these goals should be in line with your overall business goals, such as higher revenue or moving into a new market.

If such a goal doesn’t exist, identify a goal both teams are trying to meet, such as increased conversions, and make sure there’s lots of communication between your teams.

2. Design on an SEO-friendly platform

Some design platforms help you create a beautiful website, but not one that works well with search engines. If your site has lots of Flash animations, search engines won’t be able to read and process most of your content since search engines simply can’t read Flash.

Instead, focus on HTML, CSS, and regular text for the majority of your design.

One way to eliminate most SEO design challenges is to employ responsive design on your site. You’ll only need one URL and set of code to create a site that works across multiple devices. This, in turn, ensures your site and content appear in more searches since search engines now prefer sites with responsive design.

3. Keep the design clean and simple

One of the factors search engines consider when ranking sites is usability — and design plays a key role in usability.

A site that looks complicated won’t keep people around or generate conversions. Over time, you’re actually more likely to lose conversions.

But a clean, simple design will do just the opposite.

Make sure the page has ample blank space, attractive graphics, and brief paragraph of text. Place calls to action in prominent areas like the end of a page to compel users to take a certain action, like buying a product or signing up for a newsletter.

An attractive appearance and seamless navigation will increase conversions and time on your site, both of which will result in increased rankings over time.

4. Optimize every element

Web designers don’t just use text for websites — they use lots of different elements. Photos, videos, graphics, headers, footers, and other elements all play into successful web design.

You can optimize each of these elements for search engines. Have your SEO team work with your designers to identify the optimizable elements of each page and optimize them appropriately.

Find an agency that can combine SEO and web design

Marketing functions have to work together to create one cohesive strategy. Although SEO and web design serve two different purposes, they perform better when implemented in a more integrated fashion. Don’t just develop SEO and web design strategies — design a strategy that incorporates both.

Check out our list of the best marketing agencies to find a company that’ll design an SEO-friendly site for you!


Posted in SEO In Depth