Are you looking for new ways to increase your rankings?
Great! But there are several factors that can affect the effectiveness of your SEO projects. And you need to be aware of them.
Some are more obvious, such as backlinks, content, promotion and keyword optimisation. While others are well-kept secrets of the search engine optimisation industry!
In this article, we will talk about less obvious factors that impact your rankings: web design.
What few people know is that just hiring a website designer no longer cuts it. You also need someone who fully understands SEO.
If you want to find out more about what Google wants your website to look like, keep reading!
Google’s Rankbrain technology and web design
Search engines take into account the visual components of your website and SEO when indexing your site. However, crawlers cannot rate your website’s aesthetics.
However, don’t let that fool you. Both Google and Bing are constantly hiring search engine evaluators to improve results. Humans like you and me have the important task of rating websites.
Unfortunately, the internet is a large place and is growing as we speak. Evaluators cannot scour every part of it.
So Google and Big have had to figure out new ways to provide clues about how good or bad your website looks.
One of the aspects search engines look at is bounce rate.
Cheap looking designs no longer impress anyone. Your website visitors won’t buy from you, and Google will rank you lower in the end. Creating a website that is aesthetically pleasing should be on your SEO projects list.
Creating a website that is aesthetically pleasing should be on your SEO projects list.
Google and fellow search engines can’t hire enough people to explore all the content on the internet.
The internet keeps expanding, with more websites and content being published every day. Therefore, search engines have had to come up with a better solution than hiring search engine evaluators.
Google’s RankBrain technology should make you put a lot more thought in your SEO projects related to web design. This is because Rankbrain is an image recognition technology itself!
Soon enough, Google will get even better at weeding out the ugly from the good and alter rankings as necessary.
What you can do about it
There are a few things you can start doing right away to increase the probability of search engines loving your website:
- Don’t use the ALT tag unless you are uploading relevant images to the tag.
- Invest in a modern, user-friendly design that will have a competitive advantage as soon as it goes live.
- Don’t use the ALT tag only for SEO purposes.
- Penalties for images that are being taken from stock websites and used as avatars for your profile may occur.
- A “buy by image” feature is expected soon enough, so make sure you have high-quality images for your products.
Include Videos in your SEO projects
Multimedia, infographics, videos and images seem to help you accomplish the goals of your SEO projects by attracting the attention of your website visitors.
Including videos as examples. They have an indirect effect on your rankings since they help you reduce the bounce rates.
Internet users are bombarded with information all the time.
A simple wall of text isn’t enough to attract their attention, but explanatory videos sure will. They are easier to digest and more entertaining for the viewer!
How fast are you?
Search engines do their best to make their users happy, and nothing annoys an internet user more than a slow loading website.
Increasing the load speed of your website should be part of your SEO projects checklist. There are a few changes you can make to increase the speed of your website:
- Minimise the size of your images
- Compress CSS files
- Remove heavy code
- Look for the fastest hosting services
- Don’t overdo ads on your website and pop-ups
Keep in mind you should make all changes with the user in the mind. Always ask yourself how you can improve the user experience.
Get rid of flash
There are other alternatives to flash that users can access on Apple devices as well. Search engines have a much easier time crawling them too.
Flash was quite popular a few years ago, but the technology changed and flash was left behind. So, make sure you cross Flash from off your SEO projects checklist.
Content comes first
If the website design is the skeleton, the content is the flesh of your website.
Search engines put a lot of value on homepages that aren’t overcrowded by ads, pop-ups and empty spaces.
It’s important to make sure the text is clearly visible too. Don’t use hard to read fonts or fonts that are too small or hidden. These practices could lead to penalties, and you should be aware of them whenever you plan your SEO projects.
The mobile industry is booming, so it’s important to make it easier for your website visitors to read your content while walking down the street or sipping their coffee on public transportation.
What can you do to increase the readability of your content?
Use an attractive colour palette, a lot of white space, and increase the contrast between the background and the font used for the text.
Always use a black on a white background to get the best out of your website. Night themes can rarely compete with a regular black on white model!
The number of elements search engines consider when ranking a website grows more with each new algorithm release.
Now, web design should be added to your list of SEO projects too — and for a good reason. Your website visitors will appreciate a high-quality design.
If you’re trying to rank higher yet feel lost in SERPS, take a look at our free SEO review to supercharge your skills.
Also, if you want to read more articles on SEO projects, web design, and digital marketing, don’t hesitate to take a look at our blog.