Is SEO Part of the Web Design Process?

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Does web design matter for SEO?

Does Web Design Matter for SEO?

January 2, 2022
5 minutes


When you design and develop a website that looks great and is search engine optimized, you create a better user experience for the visitors—positive user experience transfers in higher ranking, more traffic, leads, and sales. Keep reading to learn how to develop a website that will rule SEO.

How does your business rank on the organic search results? Does your website appear on the first page of Google search results, or does it get lost on the second or the third page?

SEO strategy is a critical factor that determines whether a website gets visibility in organic searches or not. Website design can be crucial for higher ranking on search engine result pages, which means both processes are related.

What makes SEO-friendly web design?

There are many factors that determine the SEO friendliness of a website. A website that is SEO friendly has to:

  • be responsive with fast loading speed
  • have descriptive URLs for each page
  • have straightforward information architecture (navigation)

By utilizing an SEO-friendly design, brands make it possible for search engines to understand and rank the website in search results. Higher rankings translate into traffic, leads, and revenue.

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What aspects of web design influence SEO

Now that it’s clear that web design is critical for SEO let’s look at the specific elements that significantly impact search engine optimization.

Web design and development should be a collaborative effort between the company and the web designer or design agency. The designer has the knowledge and artistic talent to transfer the owner’s ideas and needs into the looks and functionality of the website.


Optimization for mobile devices is one of the most critical factors for SEO. Mobile devices (excluding tablets) generate 54.8 percent of global website traffic. Websites that are not responsive to mobile devices are ruining the user experience and negatively influence search rankings. Source: FortyOne

Images and other visual elements

Large images can significantly slow down the load speed of the website. Slow loading creates a poor user experience and increases the bounce rate, which will hurt your rankings.

There are a lot of free online tools available for resizing images without decreasing the resolution and ruining the quality of the picture.

Online marketing demands including pop-ups and other elements that can impact the SEO negatively and even get a website penalized by Google. Yet, pop-ups aren’t going away soon, as they are a quite potent digital marketing tool.

If you don’t want visitors to close them immediately or leave your website, it’s a good idea to make them relevant to your target audience and time them properly.

Alt tags and file names

Descriptive, logical names and optimized tags for the images help search spiders understand what these depict. Search bots ignore images without description. If you put important information such as slogans, CTAs, contact information, etc., it won’t consider it a factor for ranking.


Navigation is a crucial factor that impacts user experience because it makes it easier for visitors to find what they need.

Sometimes visitors get lost on a website. If they can’t get back to other content on the page easily, they’ll likely leave and visit a competitor’s site.

Developing straightforward and intuitive navigation can decrease the bounce rate, which is a significant ranking factor.

With website design, you’re improving the usability of the website. Navigation helps guide visitors on what to read next or take a specific action and turn traffic into conversion. SEO-optimized web design has a higher conversion rate which boosts your revenue and helps you further develop your optimization and improve user experience.

On top of that, search engines register these interactions. More clicks and staying on the site translates into a positive user experience.

W3C standards

W3C standards assure your website’s technical quality. Website design that conflicts with these standards can lead to errors, poor formatting, readability, or loading speed.

The benefits of a standardized web page ensure better rankings in search engines. Invalid HTML or XHTML code can mean a website is penalized or removed from search engine indexes.

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Social connection

Virtually every business has a social media handle. Nowadays, brands understand that social media platforms get them more visibility than their official websites. More than half of social media users (56%) said social media influenced all of their shopping decisions.

Including social media buttons in the web design will make it easier for visitors to share the content they like on your website. That will increase the traffic and positively influence the website’s SEO.

In conclusion

Web design and SEO go hand in hand. Optimized websites are more likely to attract visitors, keep them longer, and convert them into customers. When the visitors come back more often and engage with the website’s content, that interaction signals to search engines to give the page a higher ranking.

Creating a positive user experience reflects on the search engine rankings more than anything. Being ranked on top of the search results page ensures visibility of the website and more traffic.

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Miodrag Magyar

January 2, 2022

An experienced creative talent with a demonstrated history of working in the advertising industry for more than 18 years. A strong creative writing professional with a special focus on creating content for marketing and social advertising projects. I have a Master's degree in Theater Directing. I love hiking, enjoy obscure music and European cinema. I am an avid fan of UFC!