OK, what are we talking about here? Can website design affect your ranking on Google?
A few weeks back Google announced their new tool – “Web vitals”. This new tool will bring a set of parameters to measure speed and the User Experience, the “UX” of websites.
These new parameters will slowly be introduced into the algorithm used to rank websites for searches.
To understand what Google is trying to achieve is the basis of understanding how to make your website more effective. Just like your business, Google wants to match a search with a suitable website and page. In an ideal world exact matching would always win out, but UX often prevents the search result being delivered easily.
Page speed ranking has been high on Google’s radar since 2018, when they updated their mobile rankings for mobile users and as far back as 2010 has been working to enhance the search process based on page speed.
Some of these factors are hard if not impossible to control, especially for DIY website builders.
UX – or the design of the page has a direct effect on the loading of the page. The faster a page loads, the faster the searcher can find what they are looking for.
This is where it’s essential to have professional help and guidance and professional design. Most of us have an idea what looks good and what does not, but do we actually know if our own ideas make it easier for a page to be found by a search engine?
Here is our top 10 list of factors that help prevent websites from performing optimally:
Insisting on content in headings that is not SEO friendly.
Headings are designed to help group content together to make it easy to find. Google robots search these headings and use them to display snippet content so it is an important element of website design. The headings must be relevant. They are not content in their own right. Adding your location can help first-time visitors find you.
Sometimes you may insist on how the webpage is designed or the content on the page. Have you considered all the factors that could detract from your page or site ranking?
That’s our job, we update all these factors daily, so our design team knows the latest trends. If we suggest a change in website design, then it will be entirely for the performance of the website.
Contact forms with too much information needed
If a contact form has too many fields to fill in, expect a high abandonment rate. The contact form needs basics like name and phone number and or email address, not much more.
Not considering mobile users
Website UX design is different from the desktop. Pages need different design elements to make them effective on small screens. Not all standard content can flow to a mobile design. All websites must have a mobile design element to optimise contact from searchers.
Out of date or lack of updated information.
Your website is a bit like the butcher shop window. Don’t make any changes and it will go stale. Returning customers want something new and new customers want the latest and greatest, with clear images, good pricing and a clear and easy path to buy. You must budget to make regular changes to your website to keep customers buying. Google also sees these changes as a ranking signal, delivering “authoritativeness” to your website – essentially, Google sees you as the expert and ranks you accordingly.
We might know you to be a good company or person but how does a search engine or searcher know? Testimonials back up your promise of good products and services and should be included in your website design. Google reviews, Product Review can deliver third party confirmation that your business is worth dealing with. Equally, poor services will incur the wrath of the internet.
Not understanding how your customers think or buy
If you can’t convey to our UX designers how your customers think or buy, then it’s a lot harder to match that experience. Regular surveys of your customers will help match what they want to buy with your web presence
The web is a visual medium and images deliver the outcome of searches. Not investing in professional images is short-sighted and will deter some searchers from doing business. Shopping carts are notorious for poor images where you cannot tell what the product is. Each image should be sharp and optimised for page loading and be tagged so it can be searched using Google image search.
Having a website is no guarantee of automatic business. Do you have an offer, is it competitive and can people buy now? Do you show pricing? Is your product of service competing in an already established and crowded marketplace? Compelling offers and products sell well. UX design can only go so far
Business is usually about timing. Are you promoting at the right time? Have you done your research to know when the best time is to promote? It’s a bit like fishing really, no point going fishing, if the fish are not biting…!
Timing is supported by supporting ads to drive traffic to your website. A professional Ad campaign can drive a lot of extra traffic to websites, especially those with an offer.
The R6 Digital ™ Takeaway
Your new website can work and focusing on these core elements with a professional optimized UX will deliver a better ranking position. Websites are not set and forget, they are not Yellow pages ads where you get to make a change once per year.
Professional design draws the eye and the mind to the core features of the brand, in turn delivering the potential for more customer interaction. Informational guides combined with well designed call to action elements all deliver an enhanced buying experience.