At a glance, it might seem that web design and SEO have nothing in common. After all, search engine optimization deals with how a site can be found, while design deals with visual aspects, right?
The relationship between web design and SEO is more complicated and more involved than it might seem. Read on to find out how and why.
How are web design and SEO related?
Despite dealing with entirely different fields and offering specific services and demanding another type of knowledge, the two actually go hand in hand.
While designers focus more on the aesthetic components of a site and SEOs concentrate more on the aspects that help it rank well in search engines, their ultimate goal is to provide users with a great experience. The desired aim is the same: creating a site that gives visitors what they want and helps your business succeed.
A well-made site, the kind that turns visitors into customers, is both functional and visually appealing (that’s the designer’s part of the job), while simultaneously being easy for potential customers to find (this is the responsibility of SEO.)
Which matters more?
The answer to this question is: neither. They are both equally important, each for their special reasons mentioned above. Strong SEO brings users to your site, but good design compels them to stay there.
There is no point in having a beautiful site if no one gets to see it while having a website with a high SEO ranking is useless if the poor design choices will make the visitors leave (which, in return, will hurt the site’s ranking.)
Overall, using two separate companies to handle these deeply intertwined tasks can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and disappointing results.
SEO and web design, combined from the start
As you’ve seen, a synergy between web design and search engine optimization is crucial to an efficient and productive web presence.
Before launching a site, you should make sure that it is reliable and that the SEO makes it easy for potential customers to find it right away, as soon as it goes live. An SEO plan must be built into the website before launch as Google will index your website and begin ranking it right after launch.
Using one agency for both site creation and SEO means dealing with one team whose members are already adept and experienced at communicating with one another. It also means simplified planning and a quick response to any problems that might happen during your site’s creation and the buildup to the launch. When designers and programmers work together with the SEO team, the final result will be a well-rounded collaborative product.
What happens once the site goes live?
Even if the initial stages of the project go smoothly, this is just the beginning. Even if you have separate and capable teams that deal with the design and SEO, very few problems belong entirely to one side or the other.
After all, the effectiveness of a site’s SEO depends on that site’s content and construction. Besides, if you are dealing with two distinctive companies, both know they’re not entirely responsible for the site’s performance and they might not be particularly motivated to make things right.
Here are some areas where web design and SEO go hand in hand:
Good web design includes more than just graphics and other similar design elements. Designers must choose fonts and sizes that are easy for your visitors to read.
Also, it is up to the designers to leave plenty of space for copy. You’ll need lots of informative, optimized content to rank well, and a design that only looks good with a few sentences of text will frustrate the SEO team.
Images’ names and alt-tags
Having concise, descriptive names for your images makes it easier for them to be “seen” and recognized by Google and other search engines. Logical names also help the search engines put those images in context.
Alt-tags are the descriptions that pop up when visitors hover over an image. These also help boost the site’s SEO ranking, as they help search engines determine what is being depicted. Alt-tags also help visually impaired users (and users whose browsers do not support your files) understand what is being shown, which is essential for increased accessibility.
The correlation between the ease of finding the content on your website and the customers’ satisfaction is reasonably straightforward – the easier it is for your site visitors to discover what they need, the more likely they’ll be to stay there and do business with you.
Intuitive navigation also decreases the chances that your visitors will get confused and leave your site, thus lowering your bounce rate and improving your rankings.
This is one more trick that makes your website more understandable and accessible to search engines.
Each page should have a descriptive URL that exactly explains what the content of that page is. Words should be divided by hyphens (as opposed to underscores). For an additional SEO boost, you can include a few relevant keywords.
URLs with descriptive words (as opposed to a string of random numbers and letters) will help search engines understand your pages. Not to mention the fact that they will also be more comfortable for your site visitors to remember.
The relationship between web design and SEO is complex and intricate. A functional and successful website is built with the knowledge that these two elements are co-dependent and must rely on each other to thrive. That is why having the same team dealing with both aspects of website maintenance is a good idea.
If web design and SEO are dealt with in the same place, you’ll end up with just one group of people dedicated to working together to ensure the continued growth and success of their projects. Find a skilled web designer in Dublin or wherever you are. Someone who knows how important it is to have these two elements working together can really help your business bloom and grow.