How can website design affect SEO?

lkovnih226

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I want to know how a website design can affect SEO or not? Does web design relate to on-page SEO and it is an essential element to help your site succeed in SEO?
 

Mike001

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That is a great question. And one that is not considered very often.

With the advent of HTML5 the structural design of the page CAN impact the way the page is viewed by the search engines. Notice the word CAN, as these policies are being implemented over time and not all the policies have been implemented as of this writing. But there are some things that you can do that will allow the search engine crawlers to better interpret your page and with that will come better rankings in your search engine optimizations.

For instance, pages in the HTML structure should only have one (1) <h1> heading and that heading should pertain to the main content of the page. It should include relevant keywords that pertain to the main content of the page.

There are many contradictions on this <h1> standard. I have read articles, published by reliable sources that state, "With the advent of HTML5 the answer to this question has significantly changed in both SEO and technical regards. It's now not only possible to have multiple <h1> level headings per webpage that will make sense to search engines, but in most cases it's actually the recommended course." Based on the testing that I have done, I am not convinced that this is true yet. It may be heading in that direction but I do not think we are there yet.

With the advent of the <header>, <nav>, <section>, <article>, <audio>, <video> and <footer> elements assist the assistive devices for people that use the web with disabilities. By using these tags you are more compliant with these types of devices and as such will not be penalized for being non-compliant. Again, indirectly that assists with your overall SEO.

Properly using the tag structure, in the not to distant future will be critical to the SEO success of the HTML5 websites.

Increasing usability, increases SEO. Being able to correctly identify content from the search engines, can increase SEO. HTML5 tags are very SEO friendly for search engine crawlers and is especially effective in audio and video. The better the search engines understand your content, the better it is for your overall SEO.

One thing to keep in mind is that these standards are constantly being updated. One important fact is that most Internet Browsers do not yet fully support all the features of HTML5. They are getting there, but they are not there yet. To be clear, all the browsers will properly render the page, but some of the more obscure elements of the new standard are not yet fully supported. As we get closer to full compliance, if there is such a thing, they will have more and more impact on the overall site structure and how that structure is represented in the search engines.

And we have not even discussed yet all the new features in the CSS standard that pertain to media elements and responsive design. That could take up a few thousands words just brushing the surface of that discussion.

By the way, in no way am I an expert, or even close to an expert in SEO. But I have studied proper site design and structure for many years and reading through all the specifications, structure and styling will become a much more important part of the SEO consideration as we move forward. It only makes sense if you think about it.

So getting back to the initial question.

Does web design relate to on-page SEO and it is an essential element to help your site succeed in SEO?

Without a doubt yes ..... and it will become more relevant as we move closer and closer to compliance to the standard.

I hope this answers your question and helps you understand the topic.
 

StasVa

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StasVa
I feel like you muss web-design and page proofs. in ideal world designers don't work with HTML and other frontend stuff (like JavaScript).

And the answer to the questing is there's not related directly but user interface affects directly to the behavioral factors, а and they in turn affect Search Engines.
So design is very important from any point of view.
 

Harry P

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As Mike001 pointed out, for any SEO people, if they don't know web design it's a disadvantage for their site on search engine results.
But vise versa, for any web designers, they know web design techniques but don't know SEO, that's not good because they don't know where and how to put right HTML tags on their sites to get better for search engines. I realized this happened on many websites of web designers, they even don't put heading tags or some important HTML tags which will help improve SEO for their sites.
 

Mike001

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The structural layout and the CSS used in design does impact the SEO. As I pointed out in the previous post with the changes that our occurring in the structural markup of the pages, and the way that markup is now being used in the design of the pages, it should be considered when you are looking to optimize your pages. Both for presentation and SEO.

I have to disagree with you that designers do not work with front end stuff, as you stated. The designers that I use to design the commercial customer sites that I work with are very engaged with the developers. Understanding the importance of the structural design and how it pertains to the over content is an important aspect of site development.
 

StasVa

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Are engaged it not means they are coding the layout.

Sure I understand you and lots of designers are doing that. But that part is more about developing not design.
 

Mike001

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I think you have missed the point of the question. The question was ..... "I want to know how a website design can affect SEO or not? Does web design relate to on-page SEO and it is an essential element to help your site succeed in SEO?"

And the simple answer is ... Yes it does.

I tried to explain to Ikovnih226, how it can have an impact by pointing out a few examples. There are 100's of examples of things that I have seen over the last 18 months that confirm that. The line between design and development is becoming very blurred. What once was a very distinct line between the page layout and the page design is now becoming much more mixed.

A few years ago, in the web design classes that I taught, I never had to mentioned anything about tag structure, semantic markup, structural page flow, etc. Now that is a big part of those classes. Designers need to understand how to properly use those tags or elements, to better optimize the page not only for a better layout of the site, but also for mobile responsiveness, media queries, CSS, etc.

Push back or not, you can fight it, but the web developer that understands web design, and the web designer that understands web development are a sought after commodity, those two fields will soon become a mix of one. And personally, I think that is for the benefit of all of us as we grow our skill sets.
 

selenagomez1

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I think website design also affect SEO project for some reasons as below
- Your customer (your users) will get sad of your site, so the bounce rate gets high and Google will say it not good.
- Your site design is not good and you can not decide where to put the widget, where to have the internal link systematically.

What will you do? Fix it or let it be and Google will have yours in his black zone!
 
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William Bethman

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Following components of website design can affect your SEO.
Quality of your content
Title tag
Meta descriptions
Use of heading tags
Use of alt tags
There are many other factors to keep in mind while developing websites, but above mentioned are fundamental ones.
 

robertcop1001

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Website design is one of the foundational aspects of SEO and can have a positive or negative impact to your overall results.

Depending on what aspects of a website you include in "web design". The following have an impact to SEO:

Information architecture
The amount of copy/text you have on a page
The technology you use to display content (e.g. Adobe Flash vs HTML 5 vs Parallax)
The tagging of certain elements of a page (e.g. ALT tags for images)
Etc.

Website design should be planned & executed with the collaboration of an experienced SEO strategist to help ensure the website is search engine friendly.
 

kathyclark_sams

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Yes, it does impact SEO. With all that content on one page, you do risk diluting the impact of multiple keywords, and it could be hard for Google to know what to make of all that varied content

Also HTML5 is slowly turning the web into a more beautiful place– allowing for embedded videos and animations that load quickly and are loved by users and search engines alike

Responsive design of website means designing a website that can respond to the device it’s being loaded on and thus adapt to suit the screen-size, the input method, and more.

Finally, your website is the first stop of your visitors. So its design will surely influence your visitors and search engines.
 
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