The Web Design-SEO Relationship
When approaching web design with SEO in mind, you have to think long-term. Design trends come and go, but your brand and online presence will last much longer. Focusing too much on fleeting design trends can be problematic, but you also don’t want to completely ignore current styles.
One of the most recent trends is parallax design, or the design that features a single page that seems to go on forever. Users like it because they can continuously scroll through content, while website owners prefer it because it keeps users engaged. Don’t count on the search engines to be parallax fans, however. By removing the traditional website structure that search engines use to crawl, you’re raising obvious alarm bells. Additionally, you’re spreading out an entire website’s worth of keywords over a single URL. The parallax design may excite visitors today, but it could have negative consequences in the future.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have responsive web design. With the future of internet searches trending in the mobile direction, the search engines are rewarding sites that invest in responsive web design. Not only does it reduce the risks of running two websites – which makes you susceptible to duplicate content – but it’s proven to lower bounce rates.
These are just a couple examples of how web design directly interacts with SEO, but there are dozens of other factors to keep in mind. From the amount of Flash you use to the structure of your HTML, every design feature has the potential to affect your search rankings.