You might think that how a website looks does not affect its ranking, but actually, the design of a site plays a rather significant part. While search engine algorithms do not view a website as a human does, crucial aspects such as how many words there are on a page and ease of navigation all play an essential role in a website ranking well. If you are wondering how web design is crucial for ranking, this guide will show you how.
Homepage design that has minimal text and lots of white space may have a harder time ranking than a content-rich home page. Why? A minimal, black page doesn’t give search engines much to go on when deciding what your website is about and where to rank it. Modern website designs seem to favour the trend of having a large image above the fold. While this might create a slick looking design, it will mean you have to work harder on other aspects of SEO to get a website ranking as well as it can.
Tip: Adding a blog to a static website is one design element that can improve ranking, as it means that fresh content will be continually added, which lends weight to a website’s authority.
Usability & Site Speed
You need your website to be easy for visitors to find what they want, and for users to be able to navigate easily around your website. Optimal usability means having clear menus and categories, as well as a visible, easy-to-find search function. Search engines such as Google will measure how long visitors spend looking at your website, and whether they leave after viewing just one page or click through to see more.
Tip: The time spent on page is one factor that determines a website’s quality for search engines. To rank well, you need to design your site with the user in mind, so visitors want to read more.
Faster loading web pages are preferred over slow ones for search engine optimization. A responsive web design, one which works equally well across desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, usually have fast loading speeds and images that are easily resizable, so this is something to consider if you are designing a website.
Tip: To keep your page load times fast, keep images below a resolution of 72 dpi.
Search engines use bots that crawl the pages of a website and order them in the ranks. Having a sitemap on your site allows it to be crawled more readily, and any changes made to your website are noticed quickly by the bots. It means that your pages are indexed faster, boosting your site further up the SERPs.
Having a good design for your website not only makes it appealing to visitors, but it also gives the search engines plenty to go on for determining its rank. While there are many tips and tricks you can do to improve your ranking, good quality content is still one of the most critical factors. Keep adding fresh content, make your website a pleasure to use and navigate, and you will see the difference in your ranking!