Chris Schutte

November 9, 2022

How Your Website Design Affects Your Google Rankings

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When looking at your website for your business in Johannesburg, you might think it’s enough to let people know about your products and services. After all, that’s what a website is for, right?

Wrong. A website is much more than just an online brochure. It’s a powerful marketing tool that can help you attract new customers and grow your business.

If your website is a marketing tool, it means its job is to reach as many potential customers as possible and convince them to trust you. Website design is one of the key factors that can affect your website’s Google rankings. It might sound perplexing, but you’re about to understand why. Learn how far your website design in Johannesburg can go!

What Is SEO-Focused Web Design?

“Isn’t SEO just all about content?” you might ask. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but website design is also a significant player in the world of SEO. An SEO-focused web design is when you design a website with SEO in mind, aiming to rank high in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). When effective and successful, an SEO website design can help you:

  • Get more website visitors
  • Generate more leads
  • Improve your conversion rate
  • Increase your website’s ROI

A website designed to be SEO-friendly will have certain features that help it rank higher in SERPs. It would be best to think that websites are not just about having a domain and publishing content. Your website can make or break your business. It’s what people will see when they look you up online, so make sure it’s saying what you want it to say!

Before you dive into that, though, let’s see just how your website design can determine your website’s ranking.

The Relationship Between Web Design and SEO Rankings

You might not know it, but Google looks at various website design factors to determine where your website should rank. And it’s not a manual process; Google uses algorithms to assess and score your website.

When you search for something on Google, the search engine looks at all the websites related to your query and ranks them based on more than 200 factors. While we don’t know all of Google’s ranking factors, many experts have conducted studies to try and identify them. Here are some of the conclusions:

User Experience and SEO Are Linked

User experience (UX) is how a website visitor feels while interacting with your website. If they have a positive UX, they’ll stay on your website, satisfied and happy. On the other hand, a website with a poor UX will make visitors leave quickly. When website visitors leave quickly, it signals to Google that your website wasn’t relevant to what they were looking for! This, in turn, can lead to a lower ranking.

Visuals Affect Bounce Rate and Time on Page

Your website’s visuals are important for two reasons: they help you create a positive UX and affect your website’s bounce rate and time on page. Bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who leave after only viewing one page, while time on page is the amount of time spent by website visitors on a single page. If you have quality visuals, website visitors will be more inclined to stay on your website and explore other pages. This sends positive signals to Google, which can lead to a higher ranking.

Web Crawlers Look To Index Your Site

Google uses web crawlers, also called Google bots, to scour the internet and find websites to index. Once a website is indexed, it can appear in SERPs. So, how does website design play a role in this? Well, if your website is difficult for web crawlers to index, your website won’t appear in SERPs at all! To ensure your website is index-friendly, pay attention to your website’s architecture and make sure your website is easy to navigate.

Mobile-Friendliness Is a Key Ranking Factor

More and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet. Google knows this and has even made mobile-friendliness a key ranking factor! So, what does that mean for website design? It means that if your website isn’t designed to be mobile-friendly, you will lose out on website visitors and, as a result, rank lower in SERPs.

A well-designed website will have a positive impact on your website’s SEO, while a poorly-designed website will have the opposite. It’s crucial to consider both website design and SEO to ensure that your website is visible and effective to visitors.

Designing a Website With SEO in Mind

Now that you understand how website design can affect your website’s ranking, it’s high time you consider SEO when designing your website. Yes, it’s not just about using that image carousel or adding website animations; those things could actually hurt your website’s ranking if not used correctly. So, what should you do instead?

Prioritise Clean Navigation

Your website’s navigation should be easy to use and understand. That way, website visitors (and web crawlers) can easily find their way around your website. Don’t overcomplicate things; just stick to the basics. People who get lost in your website will likely leave and never come back.

Pay Attention to Website Speed

Website speed is also a crucial website design element. A website that loads quickly will keep website visitors happy, while a website that takes forever to load will frustrate them and make them leave. So, if your web design isn’t focused on website speed, it could negatively impact your website’s ranking.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Remember, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the internet. Make your website mobile-friendly by using a responsive website design. Don’t use pop-ups or website animations that could make your website difficult to view on a small screen.

Consider Readability

Your website’s content should be easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headings to break up your text and make it more readable. Don’t scare away your website visitors with walls of text! You might think they need all the information at once, but they don’t. Converse with them like you would a friend.

What To Expect With Your SEO-Focused Web Design

“Do I really need to care about website design if I want my website to rank higher in SERPs?” The answer is yes. As you can see, website design can have a significant impact on your website’s ranking. So, if you’re not paying attention to your website’s design, you’re likely missing out on ranking opportunities.

That said, you’re also missing out on website visitors and potential customers. With your website design in Johannesburg prioritising SEO, you can:

Increase Website Traffic

The higher your website ranks in SERPs, the more website visitors you can get. When you strike a balance between website design and SEO, you can attract more website visitors organically (i.e., without paying for ads). Ads are helpful, but they’re not the only way to increase website traffic. It’s good if you don’t need to shell out extra cash for website visitors!

Improve Customer Retention

By providing website visitors with a positive UX, you can encourage them to stick around. If they have a good experience on your website, they’re more likely to come back. A well-designed website will also make it easy for website visitors to find what they’re looking for, whether it’s your contact information or product pages. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to convert into customers.

Generate More Leads

More website visitors can lead to more leads. If your website is designed to be conversion-friendly, you can turn website visitors into leads. Guarantee your visitors that your website has everything they’re looking for, from relevant and engaging content to a user-friendly design. Find the people you want to do business with and give them what they’re looking for!

Boost Sales

More leads can also mean more sales. If you have an e-commerce website, a well-designed website can encourage website visitors to buy your products. Your business thrives on sales, so it’s important to have a website to help you close more deals. And who doesn’t want to provide products and services that people actually need, right?


That’s how significant your website design’s role is in your business growth! It’s not just about making your website look good. It’s also about making it rank higher in SERPs and driving website visitors to take action. After all, what’s the use of your website if nobody can find it? Your business website is your online storefront, so make sure it’s designed for website visitors and search engine crawlers alike.

Digital marketing has really become the cornerstone of successful businesses today. So, when you’re building your website, it would be best to consider how the design can affect your website’s ranking. Every detail can go a long way! You’re investing in your website, so make sure you get the most out of it.

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