There seems to be an ongoing argument in the industry between web designers and search engine optimization experts. SEOs talk about how web design is unnecessary and it’s all about making sure the website is optimized for the search engines. Web designers on the other hand try to stress the importance of visual design and discredit SEO has a practice that’s filled with snake oil salesmen.
The Reality of the Situation
The funny thing about both arguments is that they are both partly true. But it’s not about which side is right or wrong. It’s about getting the best of both worlds. Today, websites need to be properly optimized for the search engines AND need a design that wins over visitors and gets them to use the site. Putting too much focus only one aspect of a website will limit the performance of a website.
Some Hard Facts that Need to Be Faced
While both web design and SEO needs to be considered in a site’s development, there are limitations you need to be aware of. For example, building a Flash site can allow for some amazing visual functions and presentations. However, the search engines have a very difficult time reading Flash sites, making it unviable for SEO. In the same way, a website can be built with a strong emphasis on SEO but it can lead to a stale looking site that lowers the confidence of visitors.
The Right Way to Approach Web Development
The only way to go about finding a solution is to learn the best practices in the industry. If you’re a web designer, you need to know how to build an attractive site that is also set up to receive as SEO benefits as possible. If you’re an SEO, you may need to sacrifice some aspects of onpage optimization to create a design that will impress visitors and increase engagement and conversions.
Read: SEO In Your Web Design
Here are some web design best practices that you should follow
- Responsive web design is probably the best design method right now. It allows websites to display optimally across multiple mobile platforms and also saves businesses the time and money required to promote a separate mobile site.
- Loading time is one of the most important aspects of design. Websites with long load times get abandoned, which results in lower conversions and profits. Make sure you optimize for loading time as much as possible.
- When it comes to navigation, simple is better. Use text or graphics that are easy to read, organize the site for the visitor and focus on the user experience.
Here are some SEO best practices that you should follow
- When it comes to onpage optimization, less is more. Many websites make the mistakes of having too high of a keyword density. Focus on just one, at most two keywords and use them naturally.
- Create content for the visitor, not for the search engines. Content that is valuable will attract links and get visitors to come back. Content that’s written for the search engines will sound robotic, stale and boring.
- Use web design to your advantage. Use visual elements to get readers to focus on important parts of the page and site. Make sure you deliver a great presentation with the design if you want natural links, social mentions and credibility.
By following these best practices, you’ll be able to create a website that takes advantage of both web design and SEO.
Mark has been working for a new jersey web development company for the past 8 years. When he is not blogging, he enjoys building and designing websites.