Top 5 design elements that influence your Google search ranking

Is poor design holding back your websites’ search ranking performance?

As anyone involved in the digital world knows, there’s no single silver bullet that will send your website rocketing to the number 1 search position on Google. There’s a combination of factors that come into play to meet the requirements of Google’s ever-changing algorithm. Here are five simple ways your website’s design elements can help you maximise your Google search engine ranking.

1. Make your pages crawlable

The Google bots crawl over every indexed webpage looking for fresh, relevant content related to the search criteria. For a search engine to index your content, avoid using JavaScript or Flash (it’s dead anyway) and stick to simple plain text and easy-to-navigate links.

2. Responsive web design is key

Responsive web design is considered industry best practice because it allows your website to be viewed consistently across any device – desktop, mobile, tablet or laptop. Responsive web design is now even more important because Google has announced it is going to start using a ‘mobile first’ index, so it will be using the mobile version of your website rather than the desktop version to run through its SEO ranking algorithm. Web pages that look good and use clear, simple navigation on mobile devices get better Google rankings and the simplest way to do this is to use responsive web design.

3. A good navigation system

This seems like common sense. A well designed website will always have navigational links that are directly related to the content those links point to. The issue is, sometimes designers get so carried away with the aesthetic aspects of the site, the colour, the typeface, the imagery – and they forget the basics. A fabulous looking site that Google can’t find isn’t worth having. Keep your website’s navigation system and site structure simple and shallow.  A shallow website refers to a website with a site structure that allows every page on the site to be to be reached using just three or fewer clicks. A shallow website is preferred by Google and by users.

4. Select a good CMS

The best way to create an effective navigational structure and stick to it, is to choose a good, user-friendly content management system (CMS) that makes uploading new content and creating new categories easy. At iFactory, we prefer to use open-source CMS including Drupal, Joomla and WordPress and which are all well regarded by industry professionals, regularly updated and most importantly simple and easy to use.

5. Fast loading pages

Google states that page load speed isn’t a factor that affects page rankings for 99% of websites, loading speed is directly related to your website’s bounce rate and CTR (click through rate) and the Google bots do pay attention to both those factors.

A fast loading website is what users are looking for and Google pays attention to the pages that provide a positive user experience.

The team at iFactory understands that good websites are the result of best-practice design, creative digital strategy and proven web development processes. For a website that can move your business to the next level, contact us today.

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