There is always something of a ‘battle’ between SEO and Designers, many simply not bothering with SEO at all. To be fair this is not their job and unless the customer has made it clear that they want to be found on the Search Engines, why should the designer take this area into account.
Public Domain from pixabay
Of course, in my view, any person investing in a website would be classed as slightly mad if they did not want to be found on the Engines, but it does happen.
The issues for a site that wants to be found are more centered around the content and ‘meaning’ of the site (Sementic SEO) than the ‘mechanics’ of the page (This is also called ‘technical SEO’ and forms a part of the old SEO that is still valid and needed today), but it does still matter, especially if the design increases the Bounce Rate as Google WILL notice this and that could mean big problems with ranking.
Interesting article though, so please read on…
SEO is a process that requires ongoing education and learning. And while much of the focus is on building quality inbound links, identifying and optimizing for the right keywords and semantic search terms, and investing in quality content, you can’t ignore the obvious impact of web design on your site’s search rankings.
The Dilemma: Unique vs. Searchable
When designing or redesigning a website, most companies come face to face with a pretty significant dilemma. On the one hand, you want your site to be unique and engaging. On the other, it needs to be easily searchable by the major search engines in order to attract the right traffic. This is the heart of the SEO-web design relationship and something that you need to understand in order to help your website succeed in 2015 and beyond.
How Popular Web Design Styles Affect SEO
In order to speak to the masses, let’s start by analyzing a few of the most popular web design trends and how they impact SEO.
· Parallax design. One of the more popular web design styles this year is parallax design. This trend is defined by building an entire website on a single page. It usually has a very large background image with clean, crisp menus that drop down or appear when the user scrolls his or her mouse over a designated area. While it’s visually appealing, Google and other search engines find it difficult to hone in on specific meaning or themes. Furthermore, your site naturally has fewer pages that can rank – diminishing your potential reach. If you’re only trying to rank for a single search term, parallax design may be okay. However, if you have a lot of content and various products and services, you should probably pursue different web design.
· Infinite scrolling sites. As you may assume, parallax design typically means longer load times. If you like the idea of parallax but don’t want to take a negative hit for longer page load times, you may consider incorporating infinite scrolling. This is the type of design sites like Twitter and Facebook have and allows content to load as the user scrolls. Google seems to like scrolling sites and typically prefers them to standard parallax pages. You can see some good examples of infinite scroll by checking out these award-winning websites.
· Graphic-heavy. Because of the success of infographics and visual marketing content, many brands are attempting to develop graphic-heavy websites that essentially look like large infographics. While they may be visually appealing, you have to remember that Google and other search engines can’t read images (outside of alt-tags and accompanying text).
· Responsive design. That leads us to responsive design – the ideal web design trend for SEO purposes. As you likely know, responsive design allows a web page to be viewed on any device, regardless of screen size. In terms of SEO, responsive design is valuable because it doesn’t require you to create a separate website for each device and helps maintain a consistent user experience (which lowers bounce rates and increases average time on site).
4 Things to Keep in Mind
(see the full post for info on this bit !)