Appearance is important. Do you agree or disagree with that statement? In a better sense, think of it in relation to a website. More importantly, your website. If you think your website could use a little work, you’re not alone. About 94 percent of feedback that’s negative is often design related. It’s reasonable when you really sit and think about it. Users looking to explore your content and can’t because of bad design won’t be happy. Not only that but search engines won’t be happy either. If you didn’t know, web design and SEO impact one another. Bad web design equals bad ranking. Before you start panicking, we’ll go over all the details you need to do plus ways to make your site better. Ready to get started?
Let’s get into it!
Web Design and SEO Go Hand-in-Hand
A complicated website won’t earn you returning visitors. When too many people click off your site after only being on it for a few seconds, that sends a bad message to search engines. A high bounce rate indicates that your site is either of low-quality or doesn’t contain relevant content, amongst other factors. That said, when your site is designed poorly, you can’t expect others to want to spend much of their time there. Unfortunately, you can’t wave a magic wand to make your website better. What you can do, however, is avoid certain design features that can make your site look unappealing.
Design Features to Avoid
Redesigning your website takes a lot of work. Rather than go into it blind, follow these tips so you don’t make the same mistake twice. Here’s what to avoid.
Autoplay Videos and Music
Whether you’re a YouTuber or a musician, the last thing you want to do is bombard users with sound right off the bat. Nothing makes them click away faster than loud noises coming from a website. Instead, have your video or song on mute. If they’re interested in what you have created then they’ll press play themselves. Don’t do it for them.
A new user coming to your website probably doesn’t want to hand over their email address right away. That’s like asking for someone’s number right after you greeted them for the first time. Give people time to explore your site before showing them any pop-up. If you want to opt out of them all together, just place your subscription box somewhere easily accessible, like in the footer. That way, users can sign up for your newsletter when they feel they want to.
Walls of Text
The internet is not the place to make your website look like it’s an online novel. Lots of text can cheapen the whole look of it. Break up walls of text by limiting paragraphs to two to three sentences. This makes it more readable and users won’t become cross-eyed by the end of it.
Cursive and fancy typography are in, but they should be used wisely. Fonts that are illegible will only frustrate visitors. If they can’t read what you’re trying to say, you can’t expect them to want to stay on your site. Serif or sans-serif make the best fonts, especially when it comes to blogs. There’s nothing to them as they’re sleek and modern. Along with fonts, make sure they’re at a good size. Users shouldn’t have to squint or grab eyeglasses to read your copy.
How annoying is it when an image is stuck loading half way through? You can’t see what it is so you’re left wondering. Don’t let your visitors go through the same thing. Optimize your images so they don’t take forever to load. Smaller file sizes often do the trick.
White space is your friend, not your enemy. Building a website is not a game where you’re trying to leave no white space left on the screen. In fact, it’s the opposite. Don’t cram all the pictures and text so closely together. It’ll end up looking like a jumbled mess. A mess that’ll confuse visitors and force them to leave before they get a headache.
How to Design a Good Website
For SEO’s sake, don’t do any of the above. They’re all one-way tickets to a poor rank. Instead, let’s go over some of the design features you should include. Take a look!
Your navigation should be as smooth as butter. That means no one gets lost and all information they’re looking for is easily accessible. Don’t play hide and seek with your menu. Keep it at the top and use a hamburger menu for mobile design. Make sure people understand what your pages will contain by naming them appropriately (contact, services, etc.).
Responsive on Mobile
Speaking of mobile design, your website should be responsive on smaller screens. Think tablets and smartphones. That said, don’t include walls of text, make sure buttons are spaced away from one another, and images don’t take up the whole screen.
Focus on User Experience
Visitors are the heart of websites. Without them, yours would cease to exist. Always test your website to make sure images are loading smoothly, links work, and buttons are clickable. Visitors shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get to the content on your site. Pay attention to the reviews you get and what feedback they leave. That will tell you if you’re doing something right or if you need to go back to the drawing board.
Web Design and SEO Need Each Other
Search engines love good design because that’s what users respond well to. When a website is poorly made, you can’t expect people to stay long. It’s frustrating when they can’t access the content they want to see. That’s why, when you’re creating (or redesigning) your website, web design and SEO go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. That said, a good design will improve your overall chances of ranking higher. Don’t have the time to create a site that’s functional and beautiful? Request information today!