Web Design + Houston SEO: How Important Is SEO?
Web design is important for any small business that wants to find success online. Optimize the design of your website so that your business can rank higher among the search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engine optimization, often abbreviated to SEO, is the process of optimizing your web presence in order to rank highly in search results.
When your site doesn’t appear in the first few pages of results, potential customers and even your current customers have a hard time finding your products and services. This essentially equates to handing leads over to your competitors. For the best results, your website needs to be designed by a digital marketing agency with a comprehensive SEO strategy interwoven throughout.
However, many small businesses tend to overlook SEO until after they’ve hired a web design agency to craft a new website or redesign their old site. The sites might look good, but they often lack the basic SEO practices and tactics that an experienced SEO agency brings to the table.
SEO-Friendly Web Design
SEO should woven tightly into any web design project. Any web design agency worth its salt understands the importance of basic SEO principles that web design requires. Otherwise, they risk crafting websites that potentially work against the crawlers search engines use to help determine ranking. SEO needs to be incorporated throughout the web design process because this is how your site acquires organic website traffic and ranks well on SERPs for keywords relevant to your business.
User experience (UX) is directly impacted by web design, and it is an essential part of SEO best practices. A web design company with SEO experience knows to create a basic structure of the website that allows the crawlers to find and understand content more easily. This structure makes it easier for search engines to index web pages, which in turn helps your business rank higher.
Below are a few important principles all businesses need to incorporate into their website design. In doing so, your website will be SEO-friendly without sacrificing its unique look and feel. When you choose a digital marketing agency to work on your web presence, make sure they understand the importance of all of these practices.
Mobile-Friendly Responsive Design
Mobile-friendly websites have been an important factor in ranking since 2015. In 2017, mobile traffic as a share of total online traffic was 52.64 percent. This year, Google also announced that by September, every website will be crawled and indexed with mobile-first indexing. This means that your website NEEDS to be responsive for mobile devices.
A responsive design accounts for the needs and wants of mobile users while ensuring the site looks good on a desktop browser as well. When a website utilizes responsive web design, it offers a much better user experience regardless of how you view it. For instance, product images on an e-commerce website should fit properly on a screen no matter what type of device the customer uses.
Content That Flows Well
People often don’t realize the impact that web design has on their content. When the design doesn’t work, readers have a hard time perusing your content. Here are a few negative factors to avoid when your web design agency of choice is at work:
- An abundance of links
- Colorful text on a white background
- Text that is too big or too small
- Fonts that are hard to read
- Content with blocks in strange places
Each of these factors contributes to users leaving your site with no clear understanding of what you want to communicate. It increases your bounce rate, the rate at which people leave your site abruptly, and sends your customers to someone else.
An important aspect of web design is quickly the site loads for users. While some design elements add style to your site, they can slow it down significantly. Animation and large elements might look vibrant and amazing as they appear online.
However, they tend not to matter when people don’t see them, which is what usually happens when a user gets frustrated with long load times. A good site speed ensures a better user experience, which encourages visitors to stay on your website and gives you a chance to nudge them towards conversion.
Speaking of UX, poor usability creates an environment of poor user experience. When usability is high, it means users spend more time on your website, which makes them more likely to order your services or buy your products. Here are some factors to consider to increase usability:
- Visual hierarchy
- Site search
- Contact forms
- Clear, consistent calls to action (CTA)
- Site navigation
- Page layout
SEO-Friendly Information Architecture
One of the earliest principles to tackle in the web design process is a well-defined site structure, navigation, and information architecture. The architecture of your website is the basic structure. The cleaner and clearer the layout, the more user-friendly your site becomes. It entices users and prevents them from bouncing off to your competitors.
The goal is to create an information architecture that is intuitive, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and engage with your content. From an SEO perspective, web pages with a strong structure and internal links that make sense are easier to crawl and navigate. This means longer engagement by your target audience and an improvement to your conversion rate.
Optimizing for Conversions
When your website doesn’t attract users who are potential customers, it doesn’t work. Users are only converted when a website is designed with conversion rate optimization in mind. This helps your site take leads and convert them into sales.
Going back to the information architecture, your website should guide visitors towards the action you want them to take. When a website is optimized for conversion as well as SEO, suggestive buttons are peppered through a slick, navigable design. The action you want your visitor to take will vary with the goal of your business:
- Buy a product
- Book a service
- Fill out a contact form
- Schedule an appointment
With a proper site architecture and SEO-friendly web design, your website has the potential to grow its conversion rate year over year.
Optimize Your Images
Image files play a big role in web design and page speed. Ensuring that your images are optimized is a critical step in the web design process. Here are a few aspects to consider as you utilize images on your site:
- Image name: clear names that describe the image
- Alt text: descriptive alt text that identifies it for sight-impaired users
- File size: don’t slow down your page with large image files
Houston SEO-Friendly Web Design
An SEO strategy that interweaves with a responsive, conversion-focused website design will ensure that your site is optimized. A digital marketing agency can create a website that provides your potential customers and clients with clear messaging, branding, and intention. Keep the principles above in mind as you look into SEO marketing agencies.
At Chaos Theory Digital Marketing, we understand how important it is for a small business to stand out among the noise of the digital landscape. We can design an SEO-friendly website that captures the essence of your branding while feeding holistically into your overall digital presence. Our team develops an SEO-oriented marketing strategy that incorporates high quality visual design in a custom website. When you’re ready to cut through the noise, we’re here to help.