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Can Web Design Affect Your SEO Negatively: Here Are 5 Mistakes To Avoid

In the last few years, the collaborative engagement between web designers and SEO experts have increased drastically. This is because Google’s ranking factors have pointed out how the aspect of ‘Technical SEO’ is closely related to good website design practices.


Brands, agencies and marketers need to understand that a website is created for two target audiences-

  1. Physical Consumers/Clients and Real Human Beings
  2. Search Engines like Google, Bing and others

While aesthetics can still very much play a part in attracting the first group, it is all about optimizations and performance when it comes to luring search engines.

Search engines have their own set of guidelines to judge which websites are great, optimized and offer the best experiences. This is why the design needs to extend beyond simple eye-attractiveness.

In this article, we try to understand why website design can affect your brand’s SEO performance. Additionally, we list down 5 important things you need to consider about the same.

Website Design and SEO: The Relationship you need to be aware of

According to a leading guide on best web design practices, digital performance is dependent on the relationship between your website design and SEO.

You need to understand that a good website design that is optimized helps in boosting your search rankings, while a bad one, harms it. Search engines use the most sophisticated algorithms that replicate human behavior.

This is why what is loved by humans will be loved by search engines alike. Design plays a crucial role in user experience elements like site speed, flow between pages, and too small text fonts. All these factors act as impediments and affect your SEO performance negatively.

High-quality graphics in the form of images, videos, and color schemes allow audiences to spend more time on the website. This has a positive effect on bounce rates and impacts SEO performance and search rankings.

In the following section, we are going to shed some light on the five major website design mistakes that should be avoided as they hamper SEO performance.

List of 5 Web Design Mistakes to avoid that lead to Poor SEO Performance

1.Unresponsive and Unoptimized Web Design-

The year is 2021 and web visitors want a more engaging and thoughtful experience when they visit websites. This means that the first thing a website design needs to be is responsive. Consumers are using different devices for accessing the content in today’s times.

With mobile searches accounting for more than 70% of all Google searches, the need of the hour is to create websites that are responsive and optimized for mobile devices. Tablets are also one area that web designers need to work on.

2.Poor Content Layout and Inaccessibility Issues-

Do you want to hide away your most valuable content right at the bottom-most section of the web page? Poor content layouts are a web design mistake that hurts websites the most. Brands, designers, and marketers need to understand that reading content on mobile devices is tougher.

The small screen means that your content layout should be clean and large enough to be read on the smallest of devices. Using proper H1 and H2 tags can also help in improving content navigation and guiding audiences thereby creating a much better customer experience.

3.Failing to Compress Images, Videos, and Heavy Graphics-

SEO performance is all about lessening the site speed. According to extensive surveys, a majority of web visitors expect a website to load within 2 seconds. This means that web designers need to optimize almost all the graphics on the website.

High-resolution images and videos if not compressed can take a lot of time to load. This increases the site speed and lowers your SEO performance. Subsequently, this reduces your search rankings as search engines veto down your site for poor user experiences.

4.Working on Technical SEO Optimization Post Website Creation-

A lot of brands make the mistake of hiring a separate website design and development agency and then going for an SEO agency. The mistake is that poor web design creates a website that might look good on the eyes, but is not at all optimized.

This means that when the SEO agency gets their hands on the website, they see that they will have to optimize each aspect of Technical SEO. This causes unnecessary delays and creates duplication. Technical SEO should be carried out at the design and development phase only.

5.Publishing Un-Optimized SEO Website Content and Duplication-

Most web design agencies that are not investing in their own SEO and content teams do not understand the value of content. They have a bias towards design and create a website that is very poor in terms of content. They can also be guilty of using plagiarized content.

When you are creating the website, you need to ensure that your website has 100% SEO-optimized content that is in long format, original, engaging and attractive. Focusing on content at the design phase will make the task of an SEO agency easier later on.

The Bottom Line

Rather than look at web design and SEO as separate entities, brands, agencies, and marketers need to understand them as a comprehensive whole. SEO and website design need to go hand in hand as far as boosting the digital performance of a website are concerned. Brands also need to understand that optimizing for Technical and On-Page SEO at the design and development phase itself can help save time, money, and resources.

If you have any questions or queries you would like to raise on any of the points mentioned in the article, feel free to get in touch with us in the comments section below. We will try to address as many of your questions as possible.