When you building a new website, one of the big issues is whether to prioritise the design, the content or the SEO. Stunning web design gets visitors to read your content. In turn, great content supports your SEO efforts but, without SEO, no-one is going to see the beautiful design or read what you have to say. It’s the ultimate ‘chicken and egg’ situation.
Ultimately, a useful user experience – which is what every website should offer – is a perfect trio of design, content and SEO, all developed in partnership.
In this article, it’s your web design that we want to focus on. It’s a crucial part of your on-page SEO.
The majority of website visitors skim read rather than viewing content in-depth. Great website design can help people to navigate their way through your content, drawing them in and encouraging them to stay on the site.
As well as providing a pleasurable UX, your web design can encourage social shares, citations, keep your bounce rate low and your average time spent on site high. These are all positive indicators to Google that your site is worth staying on because it provides customer-focused content.
So, how can you use elements of your website’s design to create a great UX and boost your SEO efforts too?
Did you know that visitors take just three to five seconds to decide whether or not to stay on a website? This is known as the ‘blink test’.
Because you only have this short space of time to grab attention, it’s important to make a strong, positive visual impact. Large, unique images and other graphic elements can help you do this because they show what a web page is about at a glance. Unfortunately, Google can’t see images when it indexes content… not yet anyway.
However, there are steps you can take to make your visual content accessible to search engines and visually impaired users. Alt tags, captions and Schema markup are just three ideas that will help your website look beautiful while still being “crawlable”.