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How Does Web Design Affect Your SEO and UX – ReadWrite

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It takes just 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about a website. Fail to make a positive impression and visitors will quickly hit the back button. It’s clear that aesthetics have a strong impact on how users judge a website. But there are two other aspects you shouldn’t overlook — SEO and UX. But how does web design affect your SEO and UX?

People turn to search engines like Google for answers, which is why optimizing for SEO is important. SEO helps your site get found for queries that are relevant to your business.

At the same time, website design goes beyond aesthetics. A site with poor UX not only makes it frustrating for users to navigate your site; it also impacts your search engine rankings.

Here we’ll look at different aspects of web design and how they affect SEO and UX.

Mobile Friendliness

Smartphone usage has become so ubiquitous that you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a mobile device. There are an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users and that figure is only expected to increase.

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More people are accessing the web from their mobile devices.

In fact, Google announced mobile-first indexing for the entire web. This means that Google will use the mobile version of your site in the search results.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your rankings will likely be impacted as a result. Online users today are also less tolerant of sites that aren’t optimized for their devices.

Ensuring that your site works across all devices needs to be a priority if it isn’t already.

Site Speed

No matter how well-designed your site is, it won’t matter if it doesn’t load quickly.

Online users may have been tolerant of slow sites in the past. But expectations have changed and people today want to be able to find answers fast.

If your site doesn’t load quickly, don’t expect your visitors to stick around and wait. Most will simply click the back button and click through to another search result.

Google has even released an update called the Speed Update that makes loading times a ranking factor. All other factors being equal, a site that loads faster than yours will rank higher in the search results.

What can you do to make your site faster?

Start with the obvious. Large images that aren’t optimized are one of the biggest culprits of slow loading time.

Use photo editing software like Photoshop to compress your images before you upload them to your pages. If you use WordPress, there are also many plugins you can install that automatically do this for you.

Other ways to speed up your site include enabling compression, leveraging browsing caching, minifying CSS, JavaScript, HTML files, and using a content distribution network.

Typography

Typography is another aspect of web design that affects SEO and UX.

Nothing is more frustrating than landing on a site only to find that text is too small. You have to zoom in from your device just to read the content.

Most users will simply leave the page if they’re not able to read the text. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors aren’t finding your site useful or relevant.

There’s even some correlation between bounce rates and organic rankings:

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While having a professional design is important, it’s also a good idea to improve your content’s readability. Use a legible font and size to ensure that users can easily read the text.

Ensure that your content is legible across all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Navigation

A crucial aspect of web design is navigation.

Navigation links help orient your visitors as they explore your site. If visitors cannot easily navigate your site or find what they’re looking for, they may feel confused or frustrated.

Organize your navigation menu into categories and subcategories that users can click through to find the right page. Optimize those links with keywords to improve their visibility, and keep in mind SEO and UX.

Here’s an example of how the main navigation bar looks on Hacker Noon:

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Generally, you want to put your navigation bar in a place where visitors expect to find it, such as at the top or to the side.

Use clear text for each of your navigation links to avoid any misunderstandings. There’s a reason why most websites use “Contact” for the contact page and “About Us” for the about page.

Color Schemes

Color schemes can affect how visitors perceive your business. For example, you can use brighter colors to convey a playful tone. On the other hand, you can use darker colors like black to convey luxury.

The color schemes you choose for your site should ideally match the services that your business offers. For example, if you were a cleaning company, you would probably use green colors to indicate freshness instead of color like brown or black.

White space is another important element of web design. It’s essentially the empty space around your content, giving them room to breathe.

4 out of 5 participants rated the design on the left more favorably over the design on the right even though both companies offer similar prices and products.

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Playful colors combined with white space make the design from BoxGreen more visually appealing than its competitor. In contrast, the design from Guilt-Free looks more cluttered and not as attractive.

When comparing the two options above, it’s clear that design was ultimately the deciding factor on the participants’ ratings. In many cases, it can mean the difference between a customer shopping at your site or a competitors’.

Usability

Usability refers to how easy or difficult it is for visitors to navigate your site. In other words, are visitors able to find what they’re looking for?

Poor web design doesn’t just affect SEO. It also affects your site’s usability and whether users can achieve what they set out to do.

If you want visitors to have a positive impression of your brand, it’s important to optimize for usability. Start with a clear visual hierarchy with design elements in order of importance.

You can use design elements like scale and spacing to indicate which pieces of content are important and where you want users to pay attention to.

Here’s an example of a homepage with a good visual hierarchy:

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There’s a clear “flow” to the page and all the elements are laid out intuitively. The copy on the page is written well, and there’s even a call to action that tells visitors exactly what to do (get a demo).

Similarly, your web design should make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for right away.

Conclusion

Web design and SEO go hand-in-hand.

Even with a professional-looking site, visitors are likely to bounce if it’s frustrating to navigate or not optimize their device. Those signals tell Google that users aren’t finding your site useful, which can impact your rankings.

On the other hand, ranking at the top of Google won’t help either if you have a poor design that doesn’t instill trust. That’s why it’s important to incorporate both SEO and UX into your web design right from the start.

Top Image Credit: bongkarn thanyaki; pexels

Joanne Camarce

Joanne is a digital marketing expert specializing in SEO, eCommerce, and social media. When she’s not wearing her marketing hat, you’ll find Joanne perfecting her music and art skills.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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