How can we design a SEO-friendly website? How to enhance the brand-reputation through the website? What is the effect of colors on the website traffic? Colors affect leads and conversions, how? What is the impact of site navigation and index-structure on the website? These are very important questions that should be considered while designing the website.
There are certainly a few features that help you in the search engine optimization. First of all, it’s important to know that search engines don’t understand and interpret the web-content in the same manner as we do. They crawl the website through the thousands of lines of codes of HTML and Java-scripts. So, your codes should be optimized and completely clean. Other aspect is that your website should be responsive and mobile-friendly. Google has updated the algorithm that favors the mobile-friendly sites.
However, problem is that many most of the businesses consider web designing as a separate or isolated part of their marketing efforts. However, this is a myth, and nothing else. Website is more than the aesthetics. A particular feature may sound tempting, but if a website is loaded with so many features, it also increases the web page loading time. Therefore, you have to make a delicate balance between the aesthetics of the site, and other technical aspects.
Let us take a dive in the world of website designing and look into the different factors.
Search engine first, Users come next
You may disagree with me on this front, but there is a strong reason behind my logic. When you approach for website design, you should think not just about the users, but also about search engines. After all, they decide the ranking of your website, so you should not do anything to displease them.
For example, many people love using the Parallax structure, it is a design that features only a single website page that seems to go on like eternity. Users like it as they can continuously scroll the content on the website with an ease, while the website owners love it for its heightened the users engagement capability.
However, have you factored what the search engines think about it? Is this design suitable from the perspective of search engines? Can they easily crawl various pages of the website easily? The answer is emphatic ‘NO’. In fact, parallax designs could have daunting effect on your rankings. The reason is obvious; parallex structures remove the traditional web-structure which is more SEO friendly. Also, the keywords are spread over a single webpage, and it certainly affects your credibility. These designs are like a fashion trend. They might be in vogue today, but you need to think long-term.
The design should be selected on the basis of the usability features, which means it should cater to the needs of both users and search engines.
There should be a structured content-silo in your website so that search engines could locate each and every content at its proper place. But, there are other pointers too to keep in mind. Flash may look amazing, but it is not-a-seo-friendly feature, size of images, videos etc. All these factors have a bearing on the SEO rankings of the website.
Colors prompt conversions
Another important point to understand is that the design of the website affects the conversion rate as well. Here, you need to focus on two elements in particular. These include navigation and color combination. When it comes to navigation and accessibility, it’s easy to relate it to the conversion rates. If your website poses a challenge while scrolling through the content, users are unlikely to return.
In case of color, research has proved that bright and dark colors attract more visitors when compared to light or neutral tones. Problem is that while selecting the colors, people often ignore the usability impact and SEO impact on color. Do you understand that color selection can affect the conversion rate?
Color contrast is extremely important from the point of legibility. Some web-designers like to use white text on black background to look more stylish, but it’s more difficult to read and thus leads to lower conversions. Similarly, using a light-grey text on a white background is not a preferred approach. Sacrificing legibility and readability for simple coding is not a good idea.
If your audience is global, it becomes all the more important for you to focus on color selection. A particular color has different interpretations in different cultures and countries. For example, Red color stands for happiness in China, life & creativity in India, anger and danger in Japan. Americans love using blue color while other may not be very keen about it. In Thailand, purple color is about mourning, whereas in western countries associate this with royalty.
Therefore, you should be a lot more sensitive while choosing the color combination of the website as it affects the link-building process which is still very important from the point of view of search engine optimization. Also, an improper use of colors can be considered as a search engine spam.
Navigation holds the key
Many people want to know -How to create a site structure that will enhance SEO? I am not boasting, but being a top web-design and SEO company in India, we have a larger exposure to global clientele than any other company. Therefore, we are better positioned to answer these critical questions. So, how will you know that a website has a good site-structure? It is easy. If your website has a site-link in Google, it means your site has a good structure. Site links are a listing format that shows the internal pages of the website along with the main page.
It is a huge SEO advantage. They indicate that your website has a good navigation features and thus, they improve the trust of your website among users. But, how to get the site links? Can we do this by paying money to web-designers or Google?
To gain a site links structure, you can’t tell Google to award that. In fact, Google’s algorithm automatically awards websites with site links. If your site has a poor site structure, you may never receive a site link.
A good navigation structure means Googlebot can crawl a website easily. A search engine does not find out everything on your webpage. There might be few URLs that cannot be discovered ever. That is why sitemaps are necessary. It makes the life of Googlebots easier. Here are the few tips that can be extremely helpful. This can be a beginning point for a great site-structure.
- Each main category should be unique and distinct
- Keep the number of main categories between three to eight
- Each sub-category should be related to the main category in which it falls
- Try to balance the number of sub-categories in each main categories
- Make sure your websites are not buried deep in the website
- Use of dropdown menus CSS effect may enhance user experience, but they are not suitable from the SEO perspective
- Develop a proper internal structure, it means every page of the website should be linked to other page of the website
Focus on user controlled content
(Vishal Vivek is founder and CEO of SEOCORPORATION, India’s top web-design & development, SEO company. He is among the top SEO experts in India. Sharing knowledge about different aspects of the websites and traffic is his passion)