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One aspect of SEO that people overlook is web design. A lot of business owners focus heavily on keyword optimisation and link building, which are definitely important to search engine optimisation, but we have seen that web design is one aspect that is left out of the equation too often. So what does Google say about web design and development?
At Statement, we often bark on about this a lot, and with good reason. A lot of web development companies these days do not implement responsive design and to us, it seems crazy! Responsive design is a type of web design that adjusts the layout and features of a website according to whether you visit it on a desktop, mobile or tablet - so that the user experience is much easier.
Google highly recommends responsive design and it is likely that they will favour websites that are designed in this way on search results. When it boils down to it, Google always prioritise websites that have a high quality user experience, and that’s exactly what responsive, mobile-friendly web design does.
So it is possible that if you do not have responsive web design, unfortunately you may appear lower in search results pages - especially if the user is on mobile.
We always prioritise responsive design and we have built all of our websites in this way since November 2012, because it just makes sense.
Now Flash content seems … well … ‘flashy’ and cool on the surface, and it can sometimes be useful. But the web standard is to avoid it where possible.
Not all computers and devices support flash, so whatever information you are using alongside your flash will be lost if a user cannot view it. And in turn, this lowers the quality of the user experience. And what does Google care about? User experience!
If you can get your content across in any other way, then do that instead. Why risk losing that information?
Google states that performance is classed as a feature of great web design. Amongst other things, performance generally means the speed and ease of your website delivery.
If a visitor to your website needs to wait around for your page to load and the images to render, they will get annoyed and impatient. Google looks for websites that do not have this problem and will consider this in their algorithms.
Once again, it all comes down to the user experience. When business owners want to optimise their websites to appear high in search results, they often focus heavily on pleasing the search engine, and not the user.
It is easy to forget that Google only wants to please their users by providing them with high quality, easy to use websites. And to do this, they encourage web developers to build to web standards. For more information, Google provide Web Fundamentals information and a Web Starter Kit, which are very handy if you want to check them out.
We definitely think the collaboration between web design and SEO is important and we always follow the standards when needed. Read more about our web design and search engine optimisation services and get in touch if you want to learn how to optimise your website!
Featured Image: Simon Steinberger