What Does Design Have to do with SEO? A Quick Primer for Designers in 2018

To the uninitiated, Website Design and SEO often appear to be two vastly different field with their own set of rules and specialties. After all, how does a beautiful design have anything to do with SEO? Isn’t SEO all about placing tags, and fixing codes and choosing the right keywords?
While this may have been true a decade ago, the World Wide Web of today has become so increasingly complex that search engines have to rely on thousands upon thousands of factors to efficiently rank websites – yes, even the design!
So how exactly does SEO matter to a website designer?

The Problem

User Experience is one of the key factors that Google considers for website ranking. If Google determines that a website is useful to the user, it gets prioritized over other websites. This user experience can be defined by things like Page Load Time, Navigation Experience, Content Relevance, Bounce Rate and much more.

Hence it is of paramount importance that any website you create has User Experience at the core of its design.

Design for The Little Guys First

As internet speeds skyrocket thanks to fiber optics, and computing devices become faster and more capable by the day, modern day websites have started to feel the impact. It is not uncommon to find sites that are bloated, slow and loaded with non-optimized images and code.

Add to that the exponential growth of mobile devices and there emerges a problem that no one could have anticipated – that of screen sizes becoming smaller. Beautifully designed website that look gorgeous on a laptop, can look like a complete mess on a smartphone. Merely making a website responsive isn’t enough anymore, the design needs to be mobile first to have a chance at ranking well in 2018.

In fact, Google will start prioritizing websites that have a mobile first design from start of Q3 – 2018!

Small Gestures Make All The Difference

When you think of your favourite mobile app, what are some of the things you like best about them? Is it the endless clicking on icons and then the back button, or the confusing navigation? Why should your website be any different?

Don’t put a button where a swipe will suffice! Use negative spaces and accents to highlight actions and try to recreate an app experience on your website. Your visitors will thank you for it!

Optimize. Optimize. Optimize!

Optimization is so much more than just streamlining your codes and minifying scripts! Pick design elements which can be repeated for aesthetic design but don’t need 4 MBs to load. Images are great, but so is usability! Don’t put too many images on one page, when they can easily be divided into subpages and called later through lazy-load.

P.S: You may not be coding the website, but having a basic understanding of how a website is coded is an invaluable skill which will greatly improve your skills as a designer. It is a useful tool to have in your repertoire!

Need a little professional help designing your next website? We can help! Use the contact form to tell us your requirements and get a free quote today!

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