How SEO Relates to Web Design

While most people know of web designers or understand the general idea that there is a role/field for designing websites, not as many people are familiar with SEO and its importance in the web design process.

On this page, you’ll learn not only what SEO is but how SEO relates to web design.

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, the process of implementing measures onto a site to not only get your pages to be added to the increasingly large index of search engines like Google but to consistently rank high for terms that users search for.

How do pages show up in search results?

Search engines are constantly sending out bots to analyze pages throughout the Internet so they can be added to their lists of websites. These bots, nicknamed “spiders,” are able to “crawl” from web page to web page by following links on each page they’re analyzing.

For example, spiders may arrive on a blog post on a pizzeria website that has links to both other pages on the site and links to other local business websites. The spiders will crawl through all of these so all the pages of the pizzeria site are indexed and then they’ll crawl the pages of the other local business websites so their pages can be added as well.

After a page is crawled, a search engine’s algorithm will determine when/where to show the page in their search results based on a wide range of factors and signals. Some of the largest determinants of a page that determines whether or not it will appear for user search terms include:

  • The relevancy of the content to the terms being searched for
  • The quality of the content on the page
  • The quantity and quality of web pages linking to your page’s site
  • The quality of the average user experience (UX) on the site

There are far more factors that influence a page’s ability to rank for user queries on search engines, but this list encapsulates some of the most important principles to understand in how search engines work. It’s also important to note that steps can be taken to keep pages from being found in search engines as well.

What are SEO enhancements related to web design?

As stated before, the quality of a site’s average UX can have a significant influence on its ability to rank on search engines.

When we are referencing UX on a site, we not only mean the aesthetic appeal of the site but also its functionality and how well its contents are laid out and organized. You can have a site that is fantastic to look at with super high-quality content, but if it’s difficult to access and read the content, what good is it?

Some enhancements that can be done to both improve your site’s design and ability to provide positive UX include:

  • Using an intuitive site navigation
  • Make the text that “anchors” your links descriptive of the destination page
  • Make your calls-to-action (CTAs) descriptive of what the next step should be for users to convert
  • Making your site responsive and functional on most devices and browsers
  • Maintaining a fast site speed. The maximum should be 5 seconds.

Keeping the site accessible through the use of alt text on images for users that need screen readers, high contrast between text and the background, and making the text large enough for users that have impaired visibility.

More enhancements than these can be implemented to maintain positive UX for your site, but this list acts as a great starting point. If Google notices that your site speed is slow or it doesn’t function properly on certain devices or browsers, it may keep your rankings low regardless of the quality of your content.

Keeping your CTAs and links descriptive will also contribute to a search engine’s ability to determine what keywords are relevant to your pages.

Why SEO is important for web design

What good is a website if nobody is interacting with it?

There are certain cases when this is a good thing. This could be for staging sites that aren’t ready to be released or passion projects that are meant to remain private or shown to a specific few.

But for most business sites, their intention is to drive traffic towards a specific key action or “conversion.” Examples of conversions are contact form submissions or making a purchase on an ecommerce store. These are the actions that drive revenue for your business.

But even the most well-designed websites can’t drive much revenue if nobody can even find the site. It’s through SEO that we are able to make our site appear in front of the right people at the time they are searching for services like yours.

Get SEO services in Washington DC

Not every digital marketing business offers the same quality of SEO services.

Next time you’re looking to make your site search engine optimized for the Washington DC area, choose a team of experts with years of experience in SEO, web design, and digital marketing. Choose DC Web Design & Marketing and contact us today.