When you think about website design, you likely assume this topic primarily relates to site aesthetics. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn design refers to far more than color combinations or user interaction levels. Design choices significantly impact website SEO, conversion rates and performance. Some of the most important web design elements may be things you have not thought of.
Regardless of the overall purpose of your website, there are several essential web design elements you must master to compete in the modern online marketplace. Adhering to these universal and most important web design elements will boost SEO strategies, sustain user attention, and ultimately, support greater conversions.
The Most Important Web Design Elements
#1 – Website Structure
Have you ever visited a website that was as confusing as a shopping mall during Black Friday sales? If so, then you likely exited just as fast as you arrived. The foundation of any great website is its structure.
Organizing pages, topics and content in a logical and easy-to-navigate method is paramount for SEO and user engagement. Start with your main site topic and organize content/pages based upon primary topics and related sub-topics.
Above all else, navigation must be seamless. You never want a visitor to wonder how to return to a previous page, category or topic.
#2 – URL Readability
Think the only readability you need to worry about is on-page content? You better think again! URL readability plays a direct role in positive (or negative) SEO results. When creating pages and posts, use the “-“ symbol between words and make each URL quick and easy to understand.
Don’t become obsessed with keywords. In fact, while keywords play a role in SEO and other ranking protocols, they should come naturally and without force. When creating a blog post URL, use the actual title of the blog post, while using the dash “-“ symbol between words.
#3 – Mobile Design Focus
When designing a website, are you focused on the larger desktop version or condensed mobile version? If your attention primarily rests on the former, then you’re bound to have a lackluster SEO impact.
Since 2017, Google and other search engines review mobile site design over desktop layout. This means, mobile designs determine SERP ranking. In order to remain competitive in the modern digital marketplace, you must design for mobile with as much tenacity and focus as you do for its larger desktop layout.
#4 – Page Titles and Headers
An effective SEO strategy leverages the influence of both page titles and content headers. Not only does this help navigate readers throughout your content, but also by search engine crawlers.
Page titles must be clearly marked at the top of a specific page HTML document. Headers, which include H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags, should be used throughout on-page content. Breaking up content into easily digestible chunks is important for readers and search engine crawlers. Make sure headers clearly indicate what the following section will discuss, but don’t keyword stuff.
In general, add a header tag every 200 to 300 words. Of course, the most important rule is readability. Only add a header if it makes sense and actually adds to your message and content. Otherwise, your content will come across as strange and disjointed, which hurts your website on two levels: readers and search engine crawlers.
For more information about important web design elements, check out our other blog posts on the topic.