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Having a website has become an important marketing tool for any business. But, what’s the point of having a website if people searching the Internet can’t find it, or don’t enjoy the user experience when they do? Website designers aren’t just there to design a digital space that looks good; they understand how any website optimisation strategy impacts Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and other factors.

Do you know the impact of your website’s design will have on SEO? Your website’s design can make or break your online business. If you want a website that delivers, ask yourself the following:

#1 Is It Mobile Friendly?

When your website is mobile-friendly it automatically adapts to display the correct on a mobile device like a smartphone. It looks like a tiny version of the website. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, Google will penalise it. A large proportion of people use their mobile devices when searching the Internet, and the search engine prioritises websites in their algorithms and ranking that are optimised for this audience. Plus, if your site has a high bounce rate because it doesn’t load properly on a tablet or phone, it’ll send your ranking plummeting.

#2 Does the Design Easy Make it Easy To Read?

Again, you want people to stick around and read your content. Quality content is a sound way to improve your SEO. If the text is difficult to read, your readers will go elsewhere in their search for information. Too many hyperlinks, confusing blocks of content, poor colour and font use are all going to turn people away quickly.

#3 Is Your Website Easy to Navigate?

An intuitive website structure encourage users to remain on your site and keep clicking. Readers want a website that’s clean, easy to navigate, and can quickly give them the information they want. You need to include a menu that includes links to all your web pages or a clear navigation bar. A good designer will know how to do this.

#4 Is Your Website Slow?

One of the factors that can slow your website down is your web design. Website speed is an essential part of technical SEO. If your pages take too long to load, people will bounce quickly. When this happens repeatedly, it affects your search engine ranking because it’s one of the ranking signals they take into account. You want your website to load in two seconds. Optimising your images, getting rid of unnecessary plugins, and allowing browser caching are just some of the critical elements of website design that will help speed things up. A slow website also gives the search engine ‘crawlers’ less time to investigate your pages. You want them to find that good quality content you’ve invested in to contribute to your good ranking score.

#5 Does Your Website Use a Sitemap?

A sitemap (or ‘XML sitemap’) is a file that none of the people visiting your website visitors will ever see. It lists out every page on your site, essentially giving search engines a guide of all the pages and content on your website. This allows you to direct search engines to the pages that are most important to your site.

Sitemaps also contain essential metadata about your web pages. Meta tags provide information about the webpage. They do this in the HTML of the document. The more information the search engine has to indicate the content is relevant and useful, the more likely it will score it positively.

Why else should you invest in a well-designed website?

As part of your brand collateral, a well-designed website is like the digital face of your business. With a modern, easy-to-navigate site, filled with useful and well-written content, you can begin to build trust with the people who are visiting your website. If you’ve invested in a quality product, they’ll get the impression that you offer a quality service or product too. The longer they stay there, and the more they explore your pages, the more opportunities you have to connect with them directly through your site and calls to action. Ultimately that’s what it’s all about, right?