How Web Design Affects Search Engine Rankings
How do I improve my sites search engine rankings?
Getting your company’s website to rank high in search engine results from keywords your target audience uses provides a steady stream of targeted traffic to your site.
That’s why website’s focus on keywords, back-links, and other important aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One ranking factor you may be overlooking is staring at you every time you click on your site: Your Website Design.
A Hypothetical Case Study Involving Web Design and SEO
The hypothetical business in this hypothetical case study sells sports memorabilia, focusing on the beloved hometown Reds. And the hypothetical individual in the target audience will be taking his or her son to his first Reds’ game this Saturday and wants a couple of caps, a kids jersey, and a ball glove to make it memorable.
The excited parent gets on Google and conducts a search for “Cincinnati Reds Fan Gear.” Of the more than 1.4 million results Google generates in .58 seconds, your business ranks 4th, just ahead of Walmart and just behind Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The excited parent, wanting to support locally owned businesses, clicks on your webpage. What does he or she see? What does this visitor experience on your site?
What Happens on Your Site Matters for the Next Search
If your site visitor likes what he or she sees; that is, if the site is aesthetically appealing, internally consistent, and easy to use and navigate, that visitor will stay and look around. In addition to increasing the likelihood of becoming a new customer, this visitor sends a signal to Google that justifies your website’s high ranking for that particular keyword.
If, on the other hand, a visitor comes to your site and does not find the site aesthetically appealing, internally consistent, and easy to use and navigate, that visitor will click away, fast. In addition to losing a customer and denying this kid an opportunity to wear the highest quality baseball cap available in the Cincinnati area, your not-new customer sends a signal to Google that says your high website ranking is bogus.
And that’s bad for business.
Good Web Design for Good Search Rankings
There are five basic elements your visitors should see or experience when they come to your site that will keep them coming back to your site, staying on your site, and signaling search engines that high rankings are justified.
- Memorable Branding. Everything you post on your site has the ability to establish and strengthen your brand. When customers are ready to buy, they should remember you.
- Description. Let visitors know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Not all visitors are entirely certain you can solve their problems. An accurate description will let them know.
- Call-to-Action. What do you want visitors to do once they get to your site. That website user came to you for a reason. Make it easy for him or her to solve that problem.
- Visual Element. Make a strong, positive impression with a video, image, or infographic.
- Easy Navigation. Include a navigation menu. If your site is big, provide ways customers can search by topic.
Good web design leads to more qualified leads and more sales by giving users a better overall experience and providing search engines with positive signals.