How Does Web Design Affect SEO

How Does Web Design Affect SEOWhen a user visits a website from Google search results and does not find the content or website layout engaging enough to grab his attention within first 2 seconds, he tends to return back to SERPs (search engine results pages). The search engine in this case assumes that the users’ query did not get answered by the visited page, and if the latter persists over a long period of time for many users, the ranking of that site will begin to drop due to poor user experience and web design.

In most cases, you should be extremely careful using the following design elements when building a website:

  • popups
  • hardly visible text due to your color choice (grey text on white background for example)
  • hard to read font styles and sizes
  • excessive use of contrasts
  • poor spacing
  • sound effects
  • large files that negatively affect the page loading speed

Use Social Media Icons

Social media elements in web design tend to boost conversion rates, because they can provide a social proof that your site is important. When designing your website, make sure that at a minimum you include the main social media icons such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • CrunchBase
  • LinkedIn

Optimize Images for the Web

You should not only optimize your text copy but also ensure that you use engaging images to support your content. The image sizes and dimensions play an important role in how your visitors feel while visiting your site. Here are some basic tips related to image optimization:

  • Image size should not exceed 100kb
  • Do not use more than 10 images on a page, and if you do, implement some lazy loading scripts so that you do not load all of the images on page load
  • Images should have a reasonable resolution and quality
  • Put relevant keywords in the alt text to describe each image
  • Put relevant keywords in the image file name and metadata

Do Not Overuse JavaScript

JavaScript causes crawling issues for search bots while they try to index your site. In addition, many smart phones are not rendering web pages correctly if these pages are loaded with heavy java scripts that references multiple dependent libraries.

Use User-friendly URLs

Make sure you use user-friendly URLs. For instance, a URL like is not an SEO friendly URL as it contains not keywords to indicate what that page is all about. You should consider using something like Some more tips related to URls:

  • A lot of categories do not work well with search engine bots so try to use a limited number of categories/levels in your page structure
  • Avoid using underscores when separating words in your URLs
  • Use hyphens to make your URls more SEO/human friendly
  • Select URL names/keywords so that they are relevant to your business
  • Try to keep URls as short as possible

Ensure Proper Use of Keywords

Integrating keywords into your web design properly is a science that can greatly improve your search rankings. Some of the key areas to use keywords are:

  • Alt text for images
  • Title tags
  • Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, etc)
  • Bullet points
  • Metadata description (even though it may not affect rankings directly, it can help to increase the clickthrough rates)
  • Slogans/quotes used in your website
  • Menu tabs
  • Internal links
  • URLs
  • File names used on the webpage

Create Accessible Design

Accessible designs mean that your visitors can easily navigate through your website and find what they are looking for within seconds. It also means that users are able to access your website using any browser or smartphone. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure that your website looks good in all major browsers and supports a large range of mobile devices
  • Web pages load properly and the content is readable even if the interactive elements on the page are not loaded

Do Not Use Flash Elements

Flash elements can be the greatest distracters to your visitors even though you may think that they look cool.

Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company

Your website’s hosting provider plays a crucial role in making your web design and SEO strategy a success. If you have a bad web host, things might not turn out well for your web presence even if you are making your best efforts to accomplish an SEO powered web design for your site. Be it GoDaddy vs SiteGround vs any other web host, making the right choice that suits your specific business requirement is necessary.


Web design has a massive impact on SEO. A busy and complex website tends to put off search visitors, because they have difficulties navigating your site and finding quick answers to their questions. Design your website to provide an easy to use navigation, flawless accessibility and proper usage of images for fast loading speeds and engaging content.

Catherrine Garcia is a web developer and blogger. She enjoys reading books and watching fun movies.