Your Guide to Web Design and SEO and How One Affects the Other

Sep 3, 2019 | SEO

A wow-worthy website inspires people to click around, explore, and get to know your business. An unattractive website, on the other hand, will scare visitors away.

38% of website visitors will stop using a website if the layout is unattractive. 

That’s 38% of your customers leaving to do business with one of your competitors. 

It gets worse. Bad website design can also impact your search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO helps people find you online when they’re searching for your product or service. If your web design is scaring off visitors, it can also make it challenging for future visitors to find you online. 

Web design and SEO go hand in hand. Keep reading to discover how bad design hurts SEO, and what you can do to fix the issue. 


web design and seo

How Bad Design Hurts SEO

Your content, page design, and page speed can also hurt your SEO. Get rid of these elements we often see on badly designed websites before it hurts your ranking.


Pop-up Pains

When someone visits your website, they’re probably there for a reason. Maybe they searched for your product, found one of your recent blog posts, or want to hire your company.

Either way, pop-ups can scare them away.

Don’t get us wrong; pop-ups have their uses. They’re great for directing website visitors towards forms, content, or other webpages. Too many, however, can become a pesky inconvenience.

Make sure you’re using pop-ups sparingly—and not the moment someone arrives on your site.

Otherwise, a visitor might leave your website before they take the time to click around. This is called “bouncing.” A higher bounce rate can negatively impact your SEO ranking.

Google and other search engines have criteria for ranking websites. These algorithms take a look at details such as click-thru rate and bounce rate.

You want people to click around and explore your website. This data tells Google you’re an informative, helpful resource. It also tells Google your content matches the user’s original search intent.

If your pop-ups are scaring people away, however, it could hurt your ranking.


Can’t Read It

Teeny tiny fonts are exhausting. They make it difficult to read page content, which is the entire reason people are on your site. You can’t tell them about the benefits of your business if they can’t read the page!

Illegible text can send site visitors packing.

A painful colour scheme can cause them to click away, too.



Pop-ups aren’t the only annoyance that can scare people off your website. Make sure there aren’t audio tracks or videos that play automatically. If a video clip does play when the page loads, make sure it’s set to mute.


Slow Loading Stresses

Giant images and videos can cause your site page speed to lag. No one wants to wait around for a page to load. Again, people might click away and leave, further impacting your SEO ranking.

Use this tool to check on your website’s page speed.


How Good Design and SEO Work Together

Now that you know what to avoid, let’s talk about ways you can bring your website design and SEO efforts together.


Read-Worthy Text

First, feature unique, compelling content on your website.

Google will crawl and index your website, searching for unique content. If you’re copying someone else’s work, you’ll get penalised.

Don’t forget to add links to helpful resources within your content. These links will encourage your visitors to click around. It can also help you can links from other websites, so you can draw in more content.


Colour Psychology

Studies show that colour impacts 60 to 80% of a customer’s purchasing decision.

From the page background to the text, every colour on your website makes an impact.

Focus on your headlines, CTA language, and buttons. Your buttons should stand out from the page background. That way, you’re drawing the eye and encouraging people to click.

Try using a colour emotion guide as you choose the colours for your website. Make sure you stay on-brand, too. Your brand colours will help customers recognise you on and offline.


No More Clutter

White space can improve readability and keep people on the page.

The longer someone explores your website design, the more it helps your SEO ranking.

Give your text and images room to breathe. You can also use headlines to break up the text and improve readability.


A Quick Call-to-Action

Remember the CTA we mentioned before? Make sure you position your CTA in the right place.

If you choose to place the CTA above the fold, make sure there’s headline text before it. This will give readers context. Highlighting your product or service’s value before asking people to take action will further encourage them, too.


A Menu to Match

An easy-on-the-eyes menu can make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for. Add a menu to the top of the page or sidebar menus below the fold. These menus will encourage visitors to click and explore.

As they explore and spend more time on your website, they’re also benefiting your web design SEO, too!


Make It Mobile-Friendly

This one is important! Your web design and SEO ranking can both benefit from responsive design.

Make sure your visitors can view your content on desktop and mobile devices. People check their phones throughout the day, including when they’re in the middle of shopping. This allows them to compare products and prices, whenever and wherever they are.

A mobile-friendly website can help you gain a sale, even while the customer is in someone else’s store.

Google also indexes mobile-friendly websites first. In other words, a mobile website will improve your rankings and your ROI.


Speed It Up

What’s slowing down your website? Are the images too big, or is the page too long? Audit your pages and decide what you can cut.

Don’t forget to compress images, too.


Web Design and SEO: A Match Made in Heaven

Together, web design and SEO can help you attract new website visitors and business. Update your website today to start using good web design to your favour.

Ready to make a match? Get your free design quote from us today!


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