When designing a website, many amateur web designers place too much focus on the visual appeal of a site instead of its user experience. This is a mistake for two reasons. The first is that – although a website might look pretty – the site’s visitors will not spend much time on the site if they have trouble navigating it. The second is that if your site is not user friendly, it is unlikely that search engines like Google and Bing will recognize its relevance. This will result in your site not being visible to search engine users. The key is to focus on both the visual appeal and the user experience. Your site needs to make a good first impression and grab the user’s attention right away. In addition, your site should be easy to use and interactive so that you keep users interested and enhance your search engine visibility.

Four web design elements that can enhance the search engine visibility of your website:

Mobile Optimization.
Search engines are putting more emphasis on mobile friendly websites. If your website is hard to view on a smartphone or tablet, you may be penalized by search engines in the near future and lose your visibility.

Many designers create a mobile-optimized website separate from the main company website. Today, the best practice is to have one site that is optimized for both mobile and desktop. Not only will this improve your SEO; it will improve your user experience and your overall website success.

XML Sitemaps. Having an XML sitemap does not directly impact SEO. However, an XML sitemap will help notify Google of any changes you make on your site. This means that your pages will be indexed faster. To put it simply, XML sitemaps make it easier for Google to crawl your site and help it discover pages that may have been neglected. The more pages you have that get indexed, the more visibility your website receives.

Heading Tags. Using heading tags will enhance the readability of your website’s copy as well as enhance your SEO. By adding an H1 or H2 tag to a bolded header on your site, Google will recognize that copy as being significant. That is why you should place your most important keywords within those tags. If you are a landscaping service, for example, you should place the word “landscaping service” in your H1 tag instead of simply placing your company name. Google will put emphasis on the H1 tag and you will rank higher for the term “landscaping service.”

Website Load Time. The amount of time it takes for your website to load has a significant impact on your search engine ranking. In order to minimize your site’s load time for mobile and desktop users, a web designer must lessen the use of Javascripts and large images. In addition, enabling compression will improve your site’s load time as well.

The four web design elements above will have a major impact on your SEO efforts. To truly enhance your search engine marketing strategy, it is important that you consult with a web design professional.