Did you know that 90% of traffic from Google comes from websites ranked on the first page of the search results? That 90% of this traffic comes from websites listed as organic results? This knowledge forms the basis for search engine optimization (SEO) - the process of optimizing a website in order to generate traffic from search results. There is a vast amount of specialists implementing SEO strategies on websites. The biggest misinterpretation of SEO however, is that this can simply be implemented. Graphiq believes that this is something that should be integrated in the web development, and this is why we think you should put your money on a web designer instead of an SEO specialist. With this in mind, we'll provide some design-related SEO best-practices below.
Google can not determine whether a website is user-friendly or not, but they do have great insight in user behavior. This insight helps them determine whether a website is relevant to users, which ultimately determines the ranking of a website. If your website is chaotic and difficult to navigate, chances are high that users will bounce because they could not find what they were looking for. Such behavior can result in a website being assessed as irrelevant. To avoid this a website should have a thorough and user-friendly design. Check out Don Norman’s principles for interaction design for indicators of what makes a user-friendly design. These principles include visibility, feedback, constraints, mapping, consistency and affordance.
The speed of a website is crucial for the ranking in search engines such as Google. Users constantly get more impatient and expect a website to load immediately. Actually, 40% of consumers will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, you need to make sure your website loads faster than this. You don’t want to lose a potential customer to a competitor because your website is slow, and lose visibility in Google as a result. To check your website speed you can use Google Page Speed test. If it turns out you have a slow page load, this should be fixed. Image compression, browser caching, HTML minification and AMP implementation are some adjustments you can make to improve your website speed.
Now that most Google searches come from a mobile device, it’s even more important to have a website that is optimized for mobile use. Actually, Google are more concerned with content for mobile than desktop when evaluating websites. This indexation is called mobile-first, and this is a philosophy you should adopt as well. Optimize your website for mobile first, as this is the device where most users come from. This includes more than having a responsive design that adapts to different devices. You also need to satisfy users demands for usability and speed, and these demands are even higher for mobile. It needs to be easier and more efficient to find information from a mobile device. Google also provides a test that allows you to see just how mobile-friendly your website is.
Last, but not least: the overall aesthetics of the website is important. An appealing website will give a better first impression. This is crucial because studies show that users decide whether they will stay on your website in the span of 0,05 seconds. Because Google evaluates your website based on user behavior it’s important to make sure users form a good first impression and don’t bounce your page. First impressions are also 94% design related, concerning especially visual appeal and navigation. The aesthetics and usability of your website are therefore closely related and crucial factors regarding SEO. Studies also show a correlation between Google PageRank and CTR (click through rate). This means that a good ranking generates more website traffic, which ultimately can increase conversions and revenue.
The common denominator of all the best-practices is the user-orientation. We believe that this is the key to search engine optimization. If you have a visually appealing website that is easy to navigate, filled with great and relevant content, visibility and high search rankings will follow. One of Graphiq’s freelance designers can help you with the web development and user interface, while you work on creating great content. Together you can optimize your website and potentially throne on the first page in Google's search results. Submit your project for a non-committing offer, and we'll help you!