Studies have shown that not more than 10 signals really affect the way your website is ranked by major search engines like Google.
According to Forbes, the plan by Google to start indexing mobile devices (more than desktops) will likely lead to a mobileggedon – because site owners will start focusing more on designing a mobile friendly version of their page.
Consumers on the other hand are becoming more and more attached to their tablets and phones – meaning businesses with a responsive and mobile friendly site will make more sales than their desktop-based counterparts.
Web design has a way of influencing your rankings and moving your website to first page status on search results. No matter the niche of your business, the loading time, navigation, responsiveness, readability and general aesthetics of your website goes a long way in determining bounce rates and conversion rates.
Google, for example, has upgraded it’s algorithms to improve the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of websites using these signals – and only websites that are properly designed will rise on search result rankings.
Without wasting much time, here’s how the right web design can boost your search rankings.
Reduced bounce rate
According to Google, bounce rate is determined by the period of time a visitor spends on your site in a single session. Therefore, increase in bounce rates mean that users are not spending enough time on your site before they “bounce off” to those of your competitors. A proper web design can reduce the rate at which users navigate away from your website after glancing at the welcome page.
Some might say that bounce rates are a sign that your home page is boring. This is a bit true. However, search engines pay attention to how fast users enter and exit your site. The shorter their dwelling time is, the less likely you are to rise in search result rankings.
Bounce rates aren’t dependent on content alone. Infact, designs may actually outweigh the effect content has on bounce rates. You may tell a wonderful story or write a great copy, but if users find it difficult to comprehend or navigate through pages, they are likely to leave your site. The total layout of your website – from the graphics to videos and overall aesthetics – play a huge role in reducing (or increasing) bounce rates.
Ensure that your site is designed to be mobile friendly, responsive, easily readable and appealing.
Faster loading speed
The time it takes a page to load, determines how it will ranked by search engines. For better SEO, design your website in a way that users won’t have to wait for more than 3 seconds before navigating to another page within the same site.
A recent survey revealed that 40% of shoppers on a web page are likely to bounce off, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load; while 47% expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds. This goes to show that designing your web page using Accelerated Mobile Pages for instance will favour you in search results.
Improved navigation and readability
When visitors to your website find it difficult to navigate and comprehend, they are likely to move elsewhere. Since Google has bounce rate as an indicator for how valuable the content of a web page is, it’s advisable to use the right web design that will allow users find what they want easily.
Asides improving user experience, it also makes them stay on your page for a longer period of time – and even come back more often. In other words, your bounce rate is reduced and conversion rate increased.
User queries is what Google is focused on satisfying, and sites that meet the needs of users are ranked higher in search results. Usability should be one of the top priorities of digital marketers and business owners when designing or creating content for a website. It leads to branded searches, increased traffic and positive reviews – which should be the reasons for growing an online brand.
However, creating a website that is readable and can be easily navigated not only improves user experience but also your search result rankings.
More unique content
Google’s algorithms rank sites with duplicate content low in search results. Most businesses that have different URLs for the desktop and mobile versions of their websites do not even know which one is more important. The site managers still use the same content for both and this can negatively affect your rankings. If you do not index the version you want appearing in search results, Google will do it for you.
With the right web design, you can optimize one site or better still, use the same URL for both versions of the website.
Makes it easy for your content to be shared
Design your website in a way that visitors (especially mobile users) can easily share your content on social media. It may not have a direct effect on your rankings, but it will definitely bring more traffic to your page. Once users keep clicking and visiting your site, your captivating design and content will keep them engaged and eventually convert them into loyal customers. This means that more branded searches will be carried out and Google will definitely notice.
Users of phones and tablets will find it difficult to navigate a website that is not indexed for mobile devices, because the design and layout will make social media sharing seem like a burden. This will not only affect your conversion rate and bounce rate but also hamper user experience and search rankings.
Ensure that your website is designed to be both desktop and mobile friendly. In as much as there are more mobile device users these days, organizations and companies still transact business with desktops. Therefore, your site has to be accessible from any type of device.
Use the right web design today, and watch your brand rise high in the search result rankings.