Search engines have been the go-to place for information and how much people rely on it will become apparent in knowing that Google handles 3.5 billion searches every day. Capitalizing on the high popularity of search engines, digital marketing is also going great guns as the internet provides endless monetizing opportunities. People have high faith and trust in search engines that are striving hard to please users with the most relevant and useful information in just split seconds. Google leads the pack of search engines and enjoys the highest popularity, and its name has become synonymous with search engines. Google has set the gold standards in search ranking, which is why every website is keen to rank on the first page in Google search results for high visibility.
No one knows how the Google ranking algorithms work but what we all know is that Google uses more than 250 ranking factors to provide the best user experience by presenting the most relevant and high-quality information against any searches. Among all the ranking factors, website speed and design are the two most important ones that have a direct impact on user experience and SEO fortunes.
The importance of site speed
Speed is a defining factor in online activities because users expect results in a flash when searching and browsing websites. This indicates that people have very short attention span which is a proven fact. Users want sites to open pages so fast they would be happy if it happens as soon they complete a click. According to Google, 3-4 seconds is the maximum time that users are willing to give for website opening failing which they are ready to click on competitor websites. And the number of users prepared to abandon sites for taking more time to load pages is about 40%. It can prove quite costly for e-commerce websites as the loss of potential business is enormous. Since Google is ready to do anything that pleases users, it is natural that it attaches a lot of importance to website speed. As a result, it rewards high-speed websites by ranking it well in SERP.
Providing the best user experience
Just as Google is keen to give the best user experience, marketers too follow in its footsteps so that it stays in the good books of search engines. When users quit the website early for whatever reason, it increases the bounce rate which Google monitors very closely because it reflects on the poor quality of sites. While search engines would move down such sites in ranking, SEO performance also takes a hit as traffic flow decreases. An easy way to win the hearts of users and stay in the good books of search engines is to ensure that the page opening speed of websites remains closest to the 3-4 seconds mark. Although it might seem a tall order, it is very much achievable.
Web design affects website speed
The web design contributes to website speed and designers must ensure that they use proper design elements that enhance the website speed. Therefore, designers of any NJ Web Design Company are now directly responsible for website performance that has far-reaching commercial implications. It adds a new dimension to the role of web designers who must now ensure that the website design has optimal features that support website speed and SEO functionalities in the same way.
Users’ perspective of web design
The website design is responsible for keeping users engaged for a longer time and thus has a bigger impact on user experience. Designers must create the best aesthetics by using typography and graphics which can create the initial attraction that generates interest, but good user experience emanates from the practical aspects of design that revolve around site structure, accessibility, navigation, etc. Users prefer well-structured and organized web pages that follow certain logic in its layout and contain useful links, both internal and external.
Web design – the search engines’ perspective
Web design has a significant influence on search engines because it affects the crawlability of search spiders which in turn impacts indexing. Poor web design that impedes the movement of search spiders on websites result in poor indexing of web pages which are unable to rank well in search results. Moreover, search engines critically examine various design parameters like the overall design, structure of the website, URL, internal linking, external linking, etc. to assess the website quality and figure out how much users would like it. All these add up and impact the decision of search engines about how websites would rank in search results.
Critical design factors
Web designers must design websites that are lovable by search engines as well as users by keeping in mind some essential elements of design that make it more user-friendly. Site navigation, link structure, and responsive design are the pillars of web design that no one should dare to compromise with.
- Website navigation – Good browsing experience depends on how smoothly users can move between web pages and how quickly they can reach the targeted page of the website. A few design elements like the manner of display of information in the sidebar and above the fold contribute to the ease of movement across the site. Providing a sitemap helps in smooth navigation which is critical for keeping users engaged on websites for longer duration thereby reducing bounce rates and earning brownie points from search engines.
- Link structure – The way you interconnect the web pages and align it with the design features like URL structure, internal links, external links menu bar categories, and sub-categories, etc. contributes to the smooth and seamless browsing experience.
- Mobile friendly website – Using responsive web design is must because it is the only way to create mobile-friendly websites that display with the same degree of perfection on all sizes of screens. Since Google wants every site to be mobile friendly, it is no more a choice but a necessity.
By taking care of web design and creating speedier websites you can hope to perform better than others in digital marketing.