You know good web design when you see it. Navigating a site with poor web design can often be frustrating and detrimental to your experience. Try to remember these irritating visits to poorly designed web pages when creating your own website – and make yours better!
Pinpointing exactly what makes a website pleasing to explore may be a difficult pursuit, but the process of designing your easy-to-use website is vital for the growth of your blog. Web design affects SEO directly, so not only do you want readers to be drawn to your site’s aesthetic, but you also want search engines to easily crawl your website to give you a great SERP ranking.
So, what about your web design is impacting your SEO? How should you change your website to better your search engine rank? Today, we’ll give you the down-low on all things web design and deliver our top tips for designing your site.
How Web Design Impacts Your SEO
Search Engine Optimization is critical for the development and success of your blog. You may have your content perfectly designed for SEO, but what if your website isn’t doing you any favors? What if your web design is holding your SEO efforts back?
Do you have a good design? Let’s give your website a quick diagnostic check. Take a look at how these web design elements impact your SEO.
As of 2019, Google’s SEO ranking favors websites with a better mobile experience. This is because, according to Statista, over 50% of web traffic is via mobile devices, like tablets and cell phones. Google prioritizes a site’s mobile capabilities, so you should too! Take some time to consider how to make a mobile version of your site.
If your users can’t easily read your text due to font style, size, or colors, they may exit your site in a hurry. This negatively impacts your bounce rate. Search engines will take users’ quick escape into account when ranking your blog.
Websites with a loading speed of two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, but sites that have five-second load times have a bounce rate of 38%, according to research by Pingdom. The bounce rate refers to the number of users that encounter your site and leave without engaging in another page on your website.
Google Analytics tracks the number of members that click on the site, view the homepage, and leave, so page speed is a very important factor to consider. Even a 100-millisecond delay can drop your stay rate by 7%. Ensuring your pages load quickly is key to positive SEO!
Users want websites that are easy to navigate. Open scrolling, too many drop-down menus, and no means of searching the site can all lead to an aggravating user experience. It can also be difficult for web crawlers to explore the website, lowering its SERP position.
Good content like your insightful blog posts alert search engines that your website is trusted and valuable. Images also are positive for SEO, signaling to search engines that you have high-quality content and a pleasant user experience.
No one likes too many pop-ups. So, you can expect that a website’s SEO will be impacted negatively if there is an abundance of pop-ups. In fact, Google penalizes a site’s domain authority if the pop-ups are not relevant to the content on your site.
We’ve talked about images, pop-ups, and speed, but what the heck is structured data? To put it simply, your website must be formatted into a language search engines understand, so it can populate your content appropriately in the SERP. The language search engines understand is code, so ensuring the data behind your websites are structured in a standard way will confirm top search results on search engine results pages!
Image Size and Alt Text
As we mentioned earlier, images impact your SEO. But, it’s also important to mention that a few other attributes pertaining to your images matter, too. First of all, images must be a small file size to quickly load and avoid increasing your bounce rate.
Additionally, each image will need to be paired with rich, descriptive text that informs the picture-blind search engine how relevant your image is to your content. We’ve got a whole article on Alt Text to further explain how to optimize your photos with descriptive text.
How to Design SEO-Friendly Websites
With the proper focus and prioritization, your web design can start working as hard as your blog posts to push you to the top of those SERPs! Now that you know what affects SEO, here are a few tips on how to improve your web design:
You already know that poor color and font choice can be disastrous for your readability, but if your text and color are good, what else is there? CXL recommends large font, tall line height, narrow blocks of text, short sentences, and the use of subheadings and bullet points. You can also use images to break up text and even use photo carousels to graphically display texts in an easy-to-digest fashion.
Focus on Content and Images
Domain authority is weighed heavily on quality content. That’s right, web crawlers can actually determine if your content is valuable. Relevant images, external and internal links to trusted sites, and premium blog posts will your SERP rank higher.
Add Descriptive, Keyword-Rich Alt Text
Alt Text is the description of an image below the picture or graphic. It should, in as few words as possible, describe the image and pack in a couple of keywords. Remember, this affects search engines positively by helping them understand your images and determine their relevance.
Pop-ups aren’t something someone usually thinks about fondly, so to avoid bouncing readers off your site, minimize your number of pop-ups and be mindful of how you structure the pop-ups you keep.
Opt for delayed pop-ups that only take up 20-30% of the screen and have an easy-exit option. This way, your reader can get the information you want, but can quickly navigate back to the rest of your engaging content.
Keep the Main Menu Simple
Don’t over-complicate your main menu. Select only a few menu options and come up with short and sweet names for each category. If you need more subcategories, feel free to have those pop-ups when a user rolls their mouse over one of the limited options.
Add a Search Bar
A search bar allows your users to quickly find whatever information they need. If someone traveling to your website can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re not going to hang out and search through all your menu options, they’ll just find another site! To get users the content they want at the speed they demand, add a search bar as the ultimate user-friendly navigation tool.
So, what grade does your current website get for its SEO-friendly design?
If you’ve got some work to do, we’re here to help! The design of your website is a priceless asset to your blog’s growth. We know that as a blogger, SEO is something that is always on your mind, and it’s something you’re always aiming to improve. Use these tips to increase your SERP ranking and to create the perfect user-experience for your beloved readers!