If Your SEO Strategy Isn’t Working, Your Web Design Could Be to Blame
It’s the news no business wants to hear. You’ve invested heavily in a website, but your traffic isn’t where you need it to be. Time to bring in an SEO specialist to help breathe life back into your fading website. Unfortunately, though, the answer isn’t always so straightforward.
Despite the hype, SEO isn’t some magical tool capable of performing miracles. There is no quick fix to poor online rankings. Sure, a new SEO strategy can give your website a boost, but SEO is more of a long game strategy – and it starts with your web design.
When most people envision a new website or a website re-design, they picture how it will look. Maybe they even have content ideas or a theme in mind. However, almost everyone fails to consider the importance of what’s under the hood – the system design.
Businesses spend a lot of money on their website design, hoping to wow their audience and entice users into taking the desired action. Likewise, many businesses also invest heavily in attracting web traffic with original content, sharp copy, and SEO. But how are the two connected, and does a website or app really need expensive website design – and website redesigns – and SEO to succeed?
The System Design is the Foundation That Will Shape Your Entire Website
Underneath all the fonts, graphics, images, content, and copy is the system design that brings it all together. However, this unsung hero not only impacts nearly every aspect of your website but also exerts significant influence over your position on SERPs.
Your designs system is crucial to your website user experience. People crave structure and system organization. No one wants to decode your menu or scroll through endless text; finding what they are looking for should be intuitive. If your website has a high bounce rate, low conversions, few returning users, and limited page views, these are all signs that people are either not finding what they want or are not enjoying their experience on your site.
Google pays attention to how users respond to your website. If they don’t like it, your website will lag in its rankings. Design systems play a key role here, helping to ensure that you are not losing traffic due to common but very fixable mistakes, such as poor navigation, broken links, slow load times, inaccessible pages, or failure to cater to mobile users.
It isn’t only users who desire structure and organization in a strong system design. Search engines like Google prefer it as well.
To provide users with the best results for their query, web crawlers like Googlebot crawl through websites to determine which sites should appear on the SERPs. The easier it is for these crawlers to access and index your content, the more likely it is that your website will show up on relevant searches.
Solid site structure also increases your website’s chances of winning Sitelinks – indexed links to internal pages on your site that appear under your main page. Sitelinks are a huge advantage that can help significantly increase your traffic, but they cannot be requested, bought, or manipulated; the only way to get them is to earn them with a great site structure.
Digital Marketing and SEO Should be Part of the Development Phase
Don’t wait until you have invested in a shiny new website to start thinking about your SEO strategy. That’s like running a marathon with a backpack full of bricks dragging you down.
Design and SEO are essential to a high-ranking, well-performing website, and ideally, your website should be designed with SEO in mind; it should not simply be added as an afterthought. In a perfect world, we can avoid the chicken-before-egg or vice-versa argument by having web designers and content creators work together right from the beginning, ensuring there is no disjoint between copy and design.
So, where exactly does SEO come into play within your website’s architecture? Everywhere.
Keyword targeting is the bread and butter of SEO; however, getting it right is much easier to do when it has been woven into the fabric of a website’s architecture. Pages designed with a natural progression of keywords make navigation easier for both users and search engines – both of which are crucial to SEO.
This extends to the title tags, meta description tags, heading tags, and content and copy. The more optimized copy that can be worked into the design of your website, the less work you’ll need to do later. Once a solid foundation has been laid, creating impactful, search engine optimized content flows much more naturally.
When your website structure is developed with SEO in mind, it makes implementing your SEO strategy easier. It improves its effectiveness and ultimately reduces costs by eliminating the time and money lost going back and forth making changes to what has already been done.
So, to go back to the question we asked at the start. When it comes to the success of your website, do you really need to invest in both the design structure and SEO to achieve optimal results? The short answer is yes; there is no either-or. To get the most value from your website, a well-planned design and a strong SEO strategy are both essential. Skimp on one, and you are severely undermining the performance of the other.
Wherever you are in your web design, whether you have an existing website or are starting from scratch, Nirvana can help ensure your site is optimized from the inside out.