“Web design practices play a key role in today’s world of search engine optimization,” says Digital Googly US, a web development company in New Jersey.
Search engine algorithms are maturing daily, keeping user experience at the forefront. When users visit a website, their time on the site, how they interact with various elements and pages, and whether it satisfies their search intent determine its search engine ranking.
If you want to increase your website traffic, it is essential to have an in-depth knowledge of various SEO web design practices and how they affect your ranking.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind during the web design stage.
A website’s navigation structure affects essential metrics like the average time-on-page, engagement rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate.
Think about it. Which one would you prefer? A website design that makes it easier for you to navigate through and find what you’re looking for. Or a site, jumbled with flashing images and bright texts, all of it thrown onto your screen with no head or tail.
Sites that do not make it easy for their visitors to navigate are penalized by search engines and shoved down below the results page, says the web design company.
Similarly, if users fail to find the relevant information on your website, or if they lose their way within site, you end up losing a valuable prospect.
Here are a few tips for creating a good navigation structure:
- Limit the number of items on the main menu and keep it simple.
- Avoid using technical and head-scratching jargon in the main menu. Instead, use familiar terms.
- Make the main menu visible and easily accessible on all web pages.
- Add a search bar so the visitors can easily find a web page that they are searching.
- Make the URLs for each web page clear, concise, and descriptive. Users should be able to guess where he is heading just by looking at the URL of a web page.
- In addition to URLs, it is equally essential to use descriptive anchor text for the internal links on your site.
The ‘404’ Dead-End
You may have encountered a few 404 dead-ends on the internet. A 404 error is an HTTP error message that flashes when a webpage gets removed or moved, and the URL wasn’t changed accordingly or when you type in the incorrect URL.
Most companies do not bother with the 404 page and keep them as it is – mundane and boring. But you are neither, right?
- Design a creative 404 page that is attention-grabbing and interesting.
- Write a clear message informing the user that they have followed a wrong link or the page does not exist.
- Add a search bar to your 404 pages to give the visitors another opportunity to find the content.
- List some of the important web pages on the 404 page to encourage visitors to check them out.
Remember, with a bit of creativity, you can turn every dead-end into an opportunity.
Your website loading speed significantly impacts your ranking, and how you design your website affects how fast your web pages load. Therefore, it is essential to consider the loading factor during the design stage. After all, what’s the point of a creative web page design if it does not load in time before users bounce back into your competitor’s site?
The ideal website loading speed is 2 – 5 seconds, says Digital Googly US, a web design and development company in New Jersey. If yours take longer to load, these tips can help –
- Minify your JS and CSS files
- Use compressed images
- Use a CDN (a geographically distributed group of servers that provide fast delivery of Internet content)
- Minimize the use of redirect
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Use a caching solution
- Upgrade your web hosting solution
Images, image size, and alt text
Ninety per cent of all information we consume is visual. Therefore, images are essential to draw attention and guide the users’ eyes, increasing your website’s average on-page time and engagement rate.
However, you should be smart about your images to make the most of them, says the website development and design company in New Jersey.
Here are a few tips to follow when using images:
- Add relevant keywords to the image title.
- Add descriptive alt text using keywords to all the website images. Search engines read the alt texts to understand and index the images for particular keywords.
- Compress your images to reduce your site’s loading speed.
Pop-ups are a popular method of online advertisement. Such is its popularity that some websites, to elicit action, make pop-ups appear as soon as a user lands on their site.
Imagine you go to a new shop, and the salesman thrusts themselves onto you with their sales message. How would you feel? Weird right?
Similarly, a pop-up ad as soon as your website loads is a bad practice. Here is why:
1. You lose credibility. The user came for information while you served ads and pop-ups.
2. Upon seeing the pop-up, the visitor might get frustrated and quit your website, reducing traffic. Users leaving your site the moment they enter is a bad signal to search engines, and it can negatively affect your ranking.
The quality of your website’s reading experience plays a significant role in your ranking, says the web development and design agency in New Jersey. Every internet user wants information and answers. Therefore, when they visit your site, your website’s content should not only answer their query but answer it in an easy, pleasant and exciting way.
A pleasant reading experience can increase your website’s on-page time, lower bounce rate, and heighten engagement rate. All these factors eventually translate into a better ranking.
Here are a few tips for giving your prospects the best reading experience:
- Keep your background white and clean.
- Leave ample white space.
- Use font sizes that can be easily read.
- Use a font that is easy to read, like a sans-serif font.
- Categorize your content into headings, subheadings, and bullet points.
- Make your sentence and paragraph clear and concise. It makes it easier for the visitors to read and digest the content.
- Use images, infographics, and videos to divide the content and keep it interesting.
In 2020, over 90 per cent of the global internet population used mobile devices to surf online. The number of unique mobile internet users was over 4 billion.
The stats spell the importance of making your website design responsive to all types of devices – mobile and desktop.
Responsive design means designing and developing a website that automatically scales its content and elements to match the various screen sizes. The goal is to enhance the user experience by avoiding unnecessary resizing, scrolling, or zooming content and components for different devices.
Mobile-friendly web design is an essential ranking factor for Google. Therefore, responsive design should be a part of your web strategy to increase traffic.
The number one factor that search engine algorithm considers is user experience and the number one way to satisfy users is a well-designed website.
Need help designing your website and ranking high? Contact Digital Googly US, a web design agency in New Jersey.