SEO: The impact of web design

By Ivan Serrano

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process by which firms use key strategies to better achieve visibility in search engine searches by potential customers. Many times, SEO will involve writing content based on keywords, which can lead to keyword stuffing and trying to “game” search engines.

However, SEO is more than all that. One underestimated aspect of good SEO is optimal web design. Making your website easily readable and pleasing to the eyes is just as much a “best practice.”

In particular, better design targets the human aspect of our audiences. Technical strategies, like adding canonical tags and ensuring fast load times, may increase your search rank but better design is vital for appealing to the humans we often easily forget about. The people who come to your site are humans, not bots, and they want a site that looks good as well as meeting search needs.

To make a name for yourself in organic search, it is absolutely vital to pair good technical SEO with a great website design that can aid branding and conversion rates.

A recent research study done by Joseph Putnam directly asked consumers what made them distrust a website, particularly regarding health-related queries. Common threads of things to avoid were:

– Complex layouts

– Pop-up ads

– Unreadable text

– Bland web design (especially too little color)

– Slow loading times

We have compiled a list of tips to focus your web design optimization efforts. Here are some things you can do:

Brand yourself

Logos, mottos, packaging, site colors, identifiable advertising, and more can be instrumental in creating and maintaining brand name recognition, something that is vital for consumers to recognize and choose you over comparable competitors.

Make a mobile version

In 2018, Google rolled out its “mobile index,” which values good-looking mobile websites more than desktop experiences. As mobile use grows, it is vital to make sure your online mobile presence is just as accessible as your regular one. Design a mobile site that is readable, engaging, and easy to use for all users. A poor mobile design can create a bad user experience. Over 60% of internet traffic is from mobile devices.

Choose good colors

Bright or unsightly colors may lead to a quick bounce, but choosing a relevant color can be a much more nuanced decision than that. Ultimately, you don’t want consumers to even notice the background color of your site — you want it to blend in and look natural. There are also other considerations, such as which colors appeal to users the best from a scientific perspective. Consider social media — Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr all use shades of blue for their logos. Blue as a color is universally calming and relaxing. For headlines, red is often touted as a color that can grab a user’s attention.

Design your content well

Make sure to use a readable font. Using sans serif fonts for websites for both headlines and content has been shown to increase readability by 50%. Make sure your content also features sentences that are easily understandable and in short paragraphs of text. Include graphics highlighting such as bolding, underlining, italicizing, and numbering to ensure content is scannable for readers.

Make your site easy to use

The harder your website is for consumers to use, the higher your bounce rate will be. You want to make your users have to do as little as possible to find what they are looking for and what you’re offering. In particular, your site structure should be understandable and simple and your URL structure should be short and memborable. It is vital to focus efforts on increasing navigational ease.

Optimize your images

The use of relevant images throughout your website can increase your readability and interest readers more by giving them breaks between reading. Furthermore, it is important to assign alt attributes to all images to make sure that crawlers can access them. Do not put text inside of images — crawlers cannot access it. Also, size matters in terms of loading time, so be careful with the images you choose for your site. (Other files, like PDFs, can also contribute to a high loading time).


Ivan Serrano is a writer specializing in technology. He is from San Jose, California, and attended high school at Valley Christian High School (go Warriors!). He moved to San Francisco State University (go Gators!), and graduated with a double major in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and Journalism (with a concentration in photojournalism).

1 comment

  1. Amit Sharma says:

    Thanks for sharing such beautiful information about SEO. I hope you will share some information about google analytics. Please keep sharing.

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