Why have a website? - Benefits

Most Customers today expect business owners in Malaysia to have an online presence otherwise they won't take you seriously. A business website immediately establishes credibility. A website that is well presented, updated with helpful information instils trust and confidence that would go a long way towards strengthening your brand.

Designing a "wow" website is relatively easy. There are tons of references out there for one to draw inspiration from. However, to create a website that complements SEO processes for the tacit purpose of achieving rankings in search engines like Google is a different matter altogether.

How Does Web Design Affect SEO?

A great web design and layout has to appeal to both humans and search engine crawlers. While aesthetics is important, your web design needs to have comparability with SEO best practices for it to have a better chance to rank in search engines like Google.

Web design has a significant impact on your SEO. Web designers and SEO practitioners must work together to make the most your SEO project.

Let's discuss some of the elements of website design that would affect SEO effectiveness.

Your website is a first point of contact for prospective customers online and it is one of the most important opportunities that can bring you leads and sales. The look and feel of your website is certainly important but it is not much good to you if it is not ranked in the search engines like Google. That means, your website has to be designed and developed to be search engine friendly. A website layout can greatly affect your search engine rankings. From the search engines' perspective, especially Google's, your website should be easily crawled and indexed by Google robot's if you want to rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). In order to achieve these, your web designer needs to keep several factors in mind:


Good website design builds trust and authority – Your web visitors stay longer.

Good web design will help you to build good relationships with your web site visitors. Research shows that 38% of web site visitors will leave your website if they don't like your website design. By having good content with well structured websites, you can keep your website visitors to stay at your website longer, which is good for more leads and SEO ranking. When your website visitors stay longer at your website, these give the signals to the search engines that your site is useful and worth ranking in the SERP. Search engine robots are trying to mimic the user experience of your website visitors. If you have a poorly designed website that's hard to use, your website visitors are going to leave. Search engines can pick up on these signals that the users are leaving your site and drop your rankings accordingly.

Other critical factors that impacts a website's appeal are loading speed, navigation, legible font size, or currency of site design among others. Therefore, your web designer or web developer has to embrace good web design practices to keep both human users and search engine crawlers to engage your website.


Good websites are more compelling for search engines to crawl (to visit to take information)

While web design gives priorities to human visitors, web designers and web developers also have to balance the needs of search engine crawlers. Your web developer needs to format URLs, content, and images in a way that crawlers can index more quickly, boosting your rankings. Help the search engines like Google reward your website with better rankings.


Responsive Web Design

Google prefers a responsive website that is built in accordance to the industry's best practices. You may have a mobile version of your website but it may end up being ranked lower than that of a responsive website. A responsive web design optimizes the experience of your website visitors who visit your website using any one of a multitude of devices devices such as laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets. Since all images and text contents can be viewed perfectly on a responsive website, more and more people would stay engaged with your your site and would likely visit again.This will not only bring in higher traffic, but it would be a good search engine ranking signal for Google as well. For example, if the Google search engine algorithm detects that your site has a very low bounce rate when mobile users browse through your website, your website may be ranked higher with mobile searches.


SEO Friendly Navigation

Your website navigation is another important factor that could affect the search engine rankings. Therefore, it is important to make sure your website pages are easier to be crawled and indexed by Google search engine robots. It is very important to keep web pages easily navigable as ease of navigation is not only good for search engines, but also for your website visitors. Your web design and navigation should let your website visitors easily go through each and every page of your website which will help in increased traffic and higher rankings. Using Flash or JavaScript navigations can damage the SEO effort of your website and therefore, this should be avoided. Although these technologies can capture the attention of your viewers quickly, search engine robots don't recognize them easily. Similarly, fixed navigation (sticky menu) and off-screen navigation (hamburger menu) also should be avoided as it will have an impact on your website ranking.


Proper HTML Coding

The HTML code of your website needs to be optimized as well for better rankings on Google Search results. For example, if search engine robots find that the coding of your website does not relate to the content being displayed on your website, it can adversely affect the ranking of your website. The websites that have well written and clean coding are more likely to be ranked higher in SERPs. Using CSS for styling of your website has become an industry standard because it can drastically reduce the amount of HTML coding. Websites with too many hyperlinks, bold or italicized text or improper use headings can rank lower in SERPs..


Don't Use Graphics-Based Websites

Although a graphics-based web design offers the visitors a more aesthetically pleasing experience, they are not search engine friendly. Since search engines cannot read text within animations or graphics other than the ALT tag in the images, it will not result in top rankings.


Size Does Matter – One Pager website

The size of a website matters, and this is the reason why a One Pager website with no additional pages like About, Products or Services should be avoided. A single page website design is consistently killing any search engine ranking effort. Search engines prefer content, but with single page websites, your website will not be able to display more content and you can't focus on more than 2 to 3 keywords. Therefore, if you have a one page website or only a few pages, it may be difficult for you to rank on Google. A larger website which has a lot of web pages and content can help to promote and drive traffic to your website and helps in search engine optimization.


Dynamic Web Pages

If your website's information keeps on changing because it is generated by a database, some of those pages do not get indexed by major search engines like Google. The URLs of these dynamic generated web pages are usually extremely long and have characters such as #,?, %, &, or = along with numerous random numbers or letters. Since these pages are automatically generated by the database, it's hard for search engines to keep them up to date and relevant for users.


Don't make any significant changes without consulting us, your SEO

You need an SEO expert to help you define and maintain a strong SEO strategy to help your website's overall performance. For example, when you decide to change the layout look and feel of your website, while there's no change in the content. Although it doesn't make a difference to ordinary people, there are actually important factors related to a new web layout that must be considered. Most website templates will need to be customized to make it be how you want it to be. Even a website template that is labeled as "SEO friendly" is going to need updates to the CSS and the how various HTML elements are styled and used. Therefore just because the website content that you have don't change doesn't mean that there's nothing else around all of that, that search engines won't be able to pick up on. The changes of your website layout can definitely affect SEO, and it can be good or bad.

If you want to develop a website and engage in Search Engine marketing (SEO) for your website in Malaysia, it is better for you to hire a web design company that follows the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

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