Liubov Furseeva

    Web Designer/Art Director

    APRIL 11, 2019

    The Impact of Web Design on SEO

    To achieve maximum result in search engine optimization, you need to adhere to some rules and recommendations starting from the web design stage.

    • Create a brandOne of the laws of modern SEO is simple: the more unique the name of your business, the greater chance you have to reach the top of the search list.
      It is necessary to focus on creating a brand and name, which will later be recognized by people. A graphic designer can help your business with this issue by creating a logo, brand book and style guides you may use.
      Example: if you open a dental clinic, whose name will be “Dentistry” or “Dentist's”, the chances to reach the first position in the search list are very small, since most clinics use one of these words, and sometimes even word combinations.
      A totally different result can be reached by the site with the original brand name. For example, you can use personal name "Dr. Bennett’s Dentistry".

      Famous Brands
      Source: http: //designbump.com/10-famous-logo-designs-and-how-much-they-cost/

    • Responsive web designIn 2015, Google released a new algorithm for ranking sites called Mobile-Friendly, the essence of which lies in the fact that the advantage is given to sites with the responsive or adaptive design. In 2018, Google released the Mobile First Indexing algorithm. Now search engines separately index versions for mobile devices. As a result, your site may have a top position in the search from desktop, but this effect may be lost for search in browsers for mobile devices.

      According to various statistics from 60% to 90% of people use browsers on mobile devices every day. Mobile SEO is now more relevant than ever. To reach the best result in mobile SEO it is necessary to pay no less, and perhaps even more time to the design of the mobile version than the desktop one.
      The designer is faced with the task of conveying information as concisely as possible without losing the essence and functionality that the site carries.
      To check if your site is optimized for smartphones, you can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

      Example of the responsive web design in Web Rock Website

    • Work on the contentContent is the main element of the site, which reflects its essence and performs the main business objectives: the sale of goods or services. Key recommendations for working with content in the context of SEO:
      1. Bet on uniquenessThe fight against pirated and duplicated content and the laws on protection of intellectual property allows Google to filter out a lot of sites. To avoid this, you need to make interesting and unique content: original texts, your own photo and video materials.  2. Don’t focus only on the keywordsNeural networks now understand whole phrases, not just keywords. Therefore, the use of keywords randomly scattered in the text to the detriment of the semantic load will only worsen the result.
      3. Structure the information
      The use of multi-level headings, sub-headings and lists in the text makes it possible to set them when the site is designed, which has a positive effect on the page ranking. In addition, elaborated levels of headings significantly improve the readability of the text for users.
      Pay attention to the file names, in particular, the ALT attributes (alternative image title) and Title (image description when you hover over it).
      Image search will quickly lead the user to your site if they have appropriate titles.

      4. Attractive visual
      This kind of content includes not only photos and good typography. It also comprises a nice color palette, icons made in the same style, illustrations and so on.
      A separate niche can be taken under the animation. You can make it massive or limit the parallax effect. It is also worth paying attention to micro-animations (hover buttons, loading screen design, movement of individual objects and icons). Elements which are responsive to the user’s actions create a positive impression from visiting the site.

      An example of unique illustrationsImage source: https://www.chronicled.com/

    • The above recommendations will help you increase the rank of the site regarding the four main behavioral indicators:
      - Bounce rate: if a user quickly leaves your site and does not interact with it, then Google qualify it as poor quality. Accordingly, if you involve users in interaction - your site will rise to the top.
      - The average time on the site: try to keep the user's attention as much as possible with the help of good content and thoughtful usability. Thus, this indicator will increase.
      - Visit depth: the inner pages should not be something insignificant. Devote to the design of inner pages as much time as to the home page to increase this indicator. Use interlinking to increase the "visit depth". Leave links to the inner pages on your home page.
      - Conversion: a quality indicator that demonstrates the ratio of visitors of the site and those of them who have become your client. In fact, this is the main goal of any business, and high quality content in most cases affects the implementation of this goal.


      Optimization vs. Creativity: the golden mean
      In the continuation of the animation theme and other effects, it should be noted that it is worth implementing them in such a way that it does not noticeably affect its speed. The speed of site loading directly affects its promotion.

      Example of 3D illustrationImage source: https://loveiko.com/

      Review the weight of the images on the site, it may be worth using a tool for compression. Google evaluates positively a fast loading site and improves its position in the search results.
      You can check the speed using the Google PageSpeed Insights test. The check will be based on two indicators: FCP and FID. FCP shows the time from the start of loading to loading the first byte of information. FID - the time from loading to the first user interaction with the site.


    • Google PageSpeed ​​Insights for our site


    • Social networks and sharing buttons
      One of the indicators showing the high quality of content is social cues. These include referrals to your website from Facebook and pages sharing through widgets.
      Google qualify referrals to your website from Facebook as a positive indicator of interest in the content that you publish. This also increases your position in the search result. Therefore, you need to pay attention not only to the site design, but also to the design of social networks.
      It’s better to make a profile similar to your site style: an avatar, a page header and a visual part of posts should convey the same color scheme and general style. Do not forget to leave links to your social networks in the header and footer.
      As for sharing, everything is simple: the more your page is shared, the more likely the number of visitors will increase. Links also show priority for bots: the more links and shares you have, the more significant your content is qualified by the search engine. Starting from the design stage, you must foresee the opportunity to share an important part of your content in all popular social networks.



    • An example of using one style for the site and social networkImage source: https://www.behance.net/Web-Rock-design

      Popup windows
      Let's talk about pop-ups. Sometimes they can significantly help a business to implement the necessary functions on the site, while not overloading it. But this should be done carefully. In order not to lower your rank in search results, try to avoid the following pop-ups:
      - Pop-ups that appears immediately when you go to the site. In this case, the user had no time to familiarize with the content and a new type of information is already displayed on the screen.
      - Pop-ups that block the content using the background fill. Their essence is to prevent the user from using the content until you get something in return. For example - a subscription to newsletter or purchase something.
      - Pop-ups of large size, which block the content and close only when you click on the icon in the corner.

      The following are considered safe for SEO optimization:
      - Pop-ups for receiving consent to the use of cookies
      - Pop-ups to confirm age (18+)
      - Registration and Login Forms
      - Small pop-ups that can be easily closed