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Does Website Design Affect SEO?

If you want your website to appear at the top of search engine lists, you’ve got a big challenge ahead of you. There’s a lot of competition for a limited amount of space, and you’ve got to do everything you can to give yourself an advantage over your competitors.

You might have hired an SEO agency, but sometimes that isn’t enough. There are a lot of different aspects that can affect Search Engine Optimization, and website design is an important one. A well-designed site will bring in more traffic than a shoddy one. Here’s what to look out for:

Clickable Items

A basic aspect of web design is differentiating anything that’s a link from everything around it. Users should be able to tell right away what is clickable and what is not. You might think that it will look tacky or outdated, and be tempted to let visitors identify links by hovering their mouse. This method will only end up confusing both users and search engines. If you want your site to be ranked higher, don’t frustrate your visitors by camouflaging links.

Color Contrast

A website that’s impossible to read is just a waste of time and space. Make sure that your text contrasts from the background and is a large enough font to read on mobile devices.

Again, your ranking will go up if your visitors have an easy time using your site. Make sure your site’s color scheme matches your site’s purpose. If your site is yellow, but has to do with the ocean, your visitors will be confused which will lead to confused search engines.

International Users

If you are expecting international visitors, keep in mind the cultural associations behind certain colors and design elements. American calendars, for example, are formatted where each week starts with Sunday, but other countries start with Monday. Your page can attract a much wider audience if it caters to their needs.

Overuse of Graphics

In order for a search engine to rank your site, it has to scan text for keywords and links. Don’t use too many pictures, don’t put words in Flash, and don’t make graphics into links. Keep it simple and put any important information into text.


This is a tricky balance, but you need to have enough content on your site without overloading it. Each page of your site will take a long time to load if you have too many things on it. Visitors won’t hang around more than a second or two waiting, so making your pages load as fast as possible should be a priority.

Do this by spreading content out onto separate pages. Usually, a site with more pages gets more traffic than one with fewer, but don’t spread content so thin that it’s a hassle to navigate. Remember, the smart usage of whitespace is a key to a great looking website, so don’t get too text heavy.


It’s easy to see the difference between a professional-looking site and a poorly designed one, and it’s even easier to see the results, too; people will keep coming back to a site that’s easy to use and read and the search engines will make a note of that and begin to rank your website higher than your competitors.

Make sure your website design conveys the professional image that people have come to expect.

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