Search Engine Optimization Web Design

SEO Tips that Can Also Improve Your Web Design


For many companies, a website is the key means for attracting clients, with its efficiency being influenced by a variety of factors. Web design is responsible for the resource appearance, its convenience for visitors, and the overall impression of the brand. SEO helps promote a website in organic search and attract traffic.

In this article, you will learn how these two areas are connected and how optimization methods help improve web design.

How can you benefit from combining SEO and web design? 

If you develop a website design, guided not only by a visual aspect but by the search engines recommendations as well, it will be more beneficial for the company. Below, you can find the advantages of a resource featuring an SEO-friendly design.

Influence on website ranking.

Search engines are primarily focused on the user, with their ranking methods and algorithms being aimed at showing the most useful and high-quality sites in the top positions.

A variety of parameters affect a website’s position in the search results: page loading speed, availability of a mobile version, as well as user experience – visitor activities on the site.

Behavioral factors, such as a user staying on the site after switching to it, and the amount of time he or she spent there, describe such a characteristic as usability – whether the site is convenient to use, and to what extent the page content meets users’ expectations.

More displays based on the target audience queries.

When a search engine generates a website list based on a user’s query, it searches for relevant keywords among all available web pages. Thus, only relevant results are included in the search results.

Adding keywords to the text and visual elements of the pages will help search engines find and show your site according to potential customers’ queries.

Increase the conversion rate of the site.

The resource attractiveness and a good usability level help convert website visitors into customers. When a user can easily find required information and perform the desired action (order, buy, pay), it has a positive effect on the company’s income.

How to develop an SEO-friendly web design?

Now let’s discuss search engine optimization methods related to displaying a resource on the screen and its usability. They will be useful at the website’s development stage, as well as for improving the existing design.

Configure convenient website navigation

Navigation elements allow visitors to quickly proceed to the required section or page. They may be a part of the resource interface or content. Let’s learn to configure effective navigation.

Menu items.

This is the main block for browsing through website categories and subcategories. To develop a menu structure for multi-page sites, such as e-commerce-related ones, you should monitor search queries for each direction of your goods or services and divide the resulting lists into clusters: by type, brand, size, and so on.

Ideally, the menu item names should be clear, concise, and contain popular search queries.


These navigation elements are used for visitors to see the path to the page they are on and navigate by clicking on any of the nested elements.

For example, the breadcrumbs sequence looks like this: home page – category – subcategory – target URL. A user can go to a category or subcategory without having to return to the home page or use the menu. Reducing the number of actions required to get the required result will positively affect the site’s usability.

Internal links.

By including hyperlinks in the text, you help a user go to another page of the site and get additional information. They help visually highlight elements of product descriptions and articles and redirect the reader to other useful content located on the resource.

Internal links are useful for SEO. They transfer weight from one URL to another and enhance the site’s position as for queries specified in anchors, which are link texts.

How it is helpful in terms of design: By using navigation elements correctly, you save visitors’ time, thereby improving the user experience. A search query analysis helps understand your target audience better, divide the content into groups, and create a logical and user-friendly menu. Breadcrumbs and internal links attract attention and make it possible to proceed to the required pages at once without taking any extra actions.

Adapt a website to various device screens

Availability of a mobile version of the site is one of the most important indicators that affect the ranking results. According to statistics, in 2021, about 55% of website traffic originated from smartphones, and the remaining 45% from PCs and tablets. More and more often, small devices replace PCs for performing common online actions, and now it’s a site’s mobile version that is Google’s indexing priority (mobile first indexing).

Plenty of resources and tools have been provided for checking mobile usability errors. Even Google offers a Mobile-Friendly Test which allows users to enter a URL and analyze its status. Indicating and showing mobile optimization issues also became an additional feature of SEO tools which audit a website. Along with monitoring metrics, professional platforms like SE Ranking, offer suggestions of fixing issues and show the results after fixing them in the crawl comparison section.

For a site to display equally well on screens of different sizes, applications with an adaptive design will be a universal solution. This approach ensures correct visualization of a single version of the resource on computers, tablets, and phones without developing a separate design for each of them. If there is a viewport meta tag, the page adapts to the required screen width.

Other devices with Internet access are becoming popular as well, such as a smart watch or a headset for Google Glass smartphones. A website with an adaptive design will be able to attract even more traffic and conversions.

How it is helpful in terms of design:

A website with an adaptive design looks good on screens of any size. This improves behavioral factors since many users prefer a smartphone for performing all PC functions. As a result, such a resource generates more conversions.

Structure and add new content

Besides the website interface, its content plays an important role as well. It is important for the content to be informative and well-structured. Let’s have a closer look at what you should pay attention to.

Text structure.

By dividing the text into sections, adding titles, numbered lists, and tables, you help the reader perceive the text better and quickly find the most important information.

If the text is well-structured, it is easier for search engines to assess the relevance of its certain segments to search queries. Also, headings and subheadings play an important role in determining the content subject. You should add keywords to them.

Graphic elements

Images, buttons and icons, and interactive inserts enhance the informational value of the content and make it easier to memorize. This helps achieve marketing goals and generate more conversions.

Video and audio.

Multimedia files improve the perception of the content and make it possible to convey information promptly. They keep a user’s attention and increase the time spent on the site.

How it is helpful in terms of design:

The site is filled with attractive and easily comprehensible content. Visual elements have a positive effect on behavioral factors, with a decent structure helping search robots to better analyze the page content.

Configure friendly page URLs

Friendly URLs are characterized by containing text that is comprehensible for users. Such page addresses usually contain a file path like breadcrumbs: domain name/category/subcategory/target page/.

What are the benefits of an SEO-friendly URL:

  • Enhances user convenience.

The link text contains information about the site sections, which the page belongs to. Besides, such an address is more convenient to copy and share on other resources.

  • Informs about the page content outside the website.

When placing a URL outside the site, for example, as a link to another source or displaying it in a snippet of the search results, it’s easy for other users to understand what this page is about.

  • Contains useful SEO keywords.

Optimized URLs contain keywords that provide additional information for search engines and affect the ranking.

How it is helpful in terms of design:

Friendly URLs have a positive impact on the user experience on the site. They provide additional information for users and are convenient to copy.

Optimize images

Visual files are an important element of website design. They complement and illustrate its content but may slow down the page loading speed at the same time. The tips below will help adapt images while considering search engine recommendations.

Compress graphic files.

Three-dimensional images on a page increase the server load, which is why they are displayed with a delay. Images can be compressed so that their quality remains high enough for displaying on different device screens.

Apply deferred image loading.

This makes it possible to load visual content gradually, depending on the part of the screen viewed by a user. One of the ways to find out which images on the site are suitable for deferred loading is an extension for the Chrome browser called Lighthouse.

Fill in alt attributes.

All images on a web page are a part of its HTML code. They contain the following data: a link to the file and the image size. They can also have the alt attribute filled in, which is an alternative text (alt) describing the image.

The Alt-text helps search engines determine the subject of the visual files and show them for relevant queries in the Google Images section. Also, if there are problems with uploading photos, a browser will display the alt-text. This is especially useful when using voice assistants.

How it is helpful in terms of design:

High-quality images will make the content more informative and interesting and without having a negative impact on its performance.

Speed up the site loading time

One of the key factors affecting  resource convenience and ranking is its performance, that is, the page loading speed.

For shaping the website’s appearance, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript code (JS) are used. CSS is responsible for the font size, the blocks’ location on the page, and the colors used. JS elements make the site interactive. They are used to create animated inserts, pop-up forms, and banners.

If you focus on the design only, you may get pages that look aesthetically attractive but, at the same time, are very slow to load. Users will often leave such a site without waiting for a page to be fully displayed, and search engines may lower its position in search results.

What to do to speed up the page loading speed:

Optimize CSS/JS code.

You can do it by using caching, that is make the browser save file copies and display them for repeated queries. With no need to load a page as a new one, the server load will become lower. It is also worth configuring compression of CSS and JS files.

Another way to optimize the CSS/JS file size and speed up the page loading is code minification. The process implies removing comments, spaces, and other extra characters that increase the code size.

Add correct fonts.

Some fonts may slow down page displaying and content blocks. You can avoid it by reducing the font files’ size or cutting down the number of bytes required for data transfer by using WOFF2, TTF, SVG formats, and gzip compression, for example.

When using such fonts as Google Fonts, you should transfer them to the server since, in the former case, the browser makes additional connections to get fonts, downloading a CSS file first and then connecting to another server.

How it is helpful in terms of design:

A suitable font style, successful color combinations, and dynamic elements increase the website’s attractiveness. By compressing CSS/JS files, reducing the code size, caching, and other ways of server load reduction, you can get the desired design without any negative effects on the page display speed.


Web design and SEO solve different tasks on the site, but at the same time, they affect each other’s efficiency. An incomplete interface and content may have a negative effect on the user experience and its rating in search results.

The following advice will help create an SEO-friendly design:

  1. provide convenient navigation on the site by using a correct menu structure, internal links, and breadcrumbs;
  2. adapt the site to different device screens that are actively used and becoming popular among users;
  3. structure texts, complement them with links, and increase their attractiveness by using visual elements (photos, videos);
  4. configure URLs that are comprehensible to users and contain important keywords;
  5. reduce image size and include keywords in their alt attributes;
  6. speed up page loading by reducing the CSS/JS code amount.

By combining the best SEO techniques and web design, you will be able to develop a convenient and attractive website that’ll take high positions in search results.

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