The Effect of Web Design on SEM and SEO Success

Published: December 28, 2021

Mariah Raner


You might hire a passionate website designer, dedicated to providing your firm with cutting-edge technologies embedded in your web presence to show you change with the times. That goal-oriented approach of appearing cutting edge only goes so far. Their jaw-dropping design could ruin your search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) by creating an impressive, yet slow-loading website that buries your information behind a technology that seems exciting until you try to use it.

The key to integrating SEM, SEO, and web design centers around remaining committed to an agile mindset concerning web design. That means your website design focuses on simplicity, streamlined design, easy-to-use navigation, and presenting your creative content in digestible chunks. You can still offer longer content, but you break the article into smaller chunks by offering media as dividers.

Stay Committed to Your Website’s Performance To Help With SEM and SEO

Since your overall website quality stems from the website design as much as from the site’s content, you need to ensure that it remains customer-centric. Let’s go through a few major issues that could cause your SEM and SEO campaigns to fail for what will become obvious reasons.

Complexity Kills Load Time

Your website designer created the most gorgeous website you have ever seen. The website takes five seconds to load on the office WiFi though and seven seconds on a mobile device. Your website design needs to remain solutions-oriented and speedy at all times. Speedy means it loads in less than three seconds regardless of the device used to load it.

At the three-second load time point, you lose one-third of website visitors. The longer your website takes to load, the worse the situation. According to Thinking Notes, when your page load takes five seconds, 90 percent of visitors bounce to another site. At six seconds, there’s a 106 percent likelihood the visitor will bail on your website. That means you forget about the fancy technology that won’t load instantly and stick with a simple design. Doing so ensures that the visitors stay put to read your SEO and that you don’t waste your SEM budget getting them to click on an ad to visit the site that never loaded.

Responsive Web Design

Your reliable website design also needs to provide a responsive design, so it scales automatically to the screen the visitor uses. Your web developer needs to design with continuity of design and content in mind. If it loads on the web version, it should load on the mobile version. That means you can’t offer a lite version of your site or app as many did in the earlier days of the Internet. Your responsive design must include your e-commerce shopping cart since the majority of individuals now surf the web using their smartphones or a tablet. Currently, says CNBC, about two billion people use their cell phone to surf the Internet – about 51 percent of those online. By 2025, that number will rise to 72.6 percent of the population – about 3.7 billion people. Your website must convert back and forth between mobile and computer versions seamlessly.

The Crown Prince: Web Design

We all know content is king, but web design holds the crown prince position in the hierarchy. A sleek design with consistent presentation and lots of white space helps the website load quickly. It also makes it easier to navigate. Your web designer should provide an exceptional, aesthetic design with a simple page structure.

Navigation Aids SEO

You’ve used SEM to drive visitors to your website, but now that they have arrived, they need to spot the information they need in less than a second. You can make this happen by including relevant site keywords in headers and subheaders. Include cutlines for photographs and videos that also use relevant keywords. Your menu can help your SEO by using keywords in sub-menu titles.

Content is King: Make It Easy to Find

People visit a website for the same reason they go to the store. They need something and hope to find it, then buy it. This remains true when they visit your website. Either your marketing collateral or your SEM drew them to your website. They visit because of a need that they hope to fulfill. Your SEO content should convert them either to an actual sale of your product or to a conversion like signing up for your newsletter or requesting your catalog. A talented web designer will make it easy for website visitors to find any piece of content they want using sensible site structure, on-site search, and engaging, relevant headlines including keywords. The hard work on your SEO does no good if your site visitors cannot find your content.

Bring Back the Sitemap

Sitemaps may seem old-school and circa the 1990s, but they help website visitors locate the webpage they need without any hassle. Your streamlined, sleek design and smart, SEO-driven content can draw them there, but your old-fashioned sitemap can help keep them there. This essential organizational tool indexes your entire website by topic title or page title on a single page.

Designing for Humans

We live in a bot-driven world. Algorithms determine what tops the results page of any search we conduct. A robot inside our refrigerator reminds us that we’ve run out of milk. We code webpages to make it easier for Google Bots to index them. Machine learning and artificial intelligence help bots like Replica replace some individuals’ human friends. In this multitude of machines, we must remember to design for human beings. The human that visits your website doesn’t make nanosecond calculations or scan your metadata for information. A human looks at your website’s front page and clicks on what they hope is the right link to take them exactly where they need to go. If it doesn’t, they’ll leave, just as they would have left if the page took more than three seconds to load. Humans have little patience, so design for that.

Book a Discovery Session with BrandCraft

Contact BrandCraft today to book a discovery session that helps you explore how your website design might stand in the way of your SEM and SEO efforts. Once you know what needs to change, let our digital marketing experts help you change it. Our team includes exceptionally talented web designers and web developers. Get started today by improving the reach of your SEM and SEO campaigns by improving your website design.

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