When designing their website, many individuals and companies put the accent on aesthetics. While the way a website looks is important in order to captivate the audience and encourage them to make a purchase, the functionality of the website is also of the essence as potential customers are likely to walk away if a website is lagging and unresponsive. Furthermore, the website plays a vital role in boosting a company’s search engine presence. With that in mind, as you’re surely investing in search engine optimization, let’s take a look at how web design can affect the SEO rankings of a website.
The website’s navigation structure
The navigation of the website impacts many metrics, such as the bounce rate, average time on the page, engagement rate, and conversion rate. As these metrics are important for improving SERP ranking, every company needs a stellar navigation structure that will not dissuade visitors. So, what are the essentials of a good structure?
For starters, you want to keep it simple and limit the number of options in the main menu. Then, you also want to avoid jargon that potential customers will not understand and stick to familiar terms. In addition to adding a search bar and making the menu easily accessible by sticking it on top, you should also make sure the URL is concise but descriptive and use descriptive anchor text for all internal links.
The loading speed
Another important search engine ranking factor is the speed at which a website loads. If it takes more than a second, the potential customers are most likely to leave and never look back no matter how much they need a particular product.
What you can do to improve your website’s loading speed is upgrade your hosting solution, for example. Then, you can also minify your JS and CSS files and use a content delivery network (CDN). Moreover, try to minimize the use of redirects and HTTP requests. Plus, you can also turn to a caching solution.
Alt text and the size of images
Another aspect that can impact a website’s loading speed is the images that are used on it. While relevant and eye-catching images are vital for increasing the engagement rate and average on-page time, using too many can slow down a website, which presents a huge problem for search engine optimization. What is more, if the images don’t load at all, the website will probably not seem as appealing and informative.
As you need images on your website for a pleasing experience, you want to use compressed ones. These will reduce your server’s load and make the loading speed of your website faster. Additionally, you should also add relevant keywords to the title of every image you use. Furthermore, each image should have a descriptive alt text that is rich with keywords as search engines cannot understand images. By using alt text, you are making indexing the images with particular keywords easier. Moreover, if an image fails to load, the viewers will be shown the alt text so that they know what is missing.
A website that provides its visitors with a pleasant reading experience is more likely to have higher on-page time, an increased engagement rate, and a lower bounce rate. These factors are among those that impact search engine rankings.
Seeing as how consumers will come to your website in search of information, you need to implement a user-friendly design that will answer all the questions they might have. With that in mind, you want to keep it clean by opting for a white background and steering clear of dark colors. Moreover, you need to leave plenty of white space and opt for fonts that are easy to read, like sans serif ones. It’s also useful to divide text into paragraphs, use subheadings and bullet points, and implement images, graphs, and videos that will make your content more dynamic. There are many aspects to web design, so if you don’t have experience, it’s best to leave it to professionals for the best results. For example, you can look for experts in web design in Sydney if you’re based in Australia.
Another common issue that leads to a high bounce rate is a 404-error page. This usually happens when the link leads to a page that no longer exists. When visitors encounter such a sight, they are likely to leave a website altogether.
While you should ideally have no dead links, it’s impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of your visitors landing on a 404 page. With that in mind, you want to make this page work for you. For instance, make it clear that the page doesn’t exist and suggest that the visitors check if they typed in the URL correctly. Moreover, you want to include a search bar and list the most important sections of your website so that potential customers can find what they are looking for.
If you’ve realized how important SEO is for your company’s marketing efforts, you should not ignore the impact that web design can have on it. Make sure your website is top-notch and that it provides visitors with a great experience.