5 Changes That Turn Ugly Websites into SEO Pageant Winners

web design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That may be true in some respects, but not when it comes to your website.

The fact is that 38% of site users will leave ugly websites, and they have no plans to return. That will have a negative impact on your brand. You could be losing a ton of customers and not know it.

How can you turn your website into one that appeals to users and search engines? Read on to find out.

Do Search Engines Care About Site Design?

How can search engines care about your site’s design when they really look at your site’s content? Believe it or not, Google takes into account over 200 ranking factors to determine search results. Some result will matter more than others, but there are a lot of factors where your site’s design plays an important role.

Dwell Time

Dwell time is the time between when someone clicks on a search result and then returns back to their search page to find what they’re looking for.

The longer someone stays on your page before clicking back to search results, it sends an indication to Google that the result is useful.

If you have an ugly website, people are less likely to stay on your site and trust the information that’s on there. That can hurt your search rankings in the long run.

Site Structure

Your site’s structure is the back end portion of your site’s design. Your site structure tells search engines what your site it about.

For example, you may have an ecommerce store that sells shoes. Your site may offer different types of shoes. Your site structure can be laid out in different categories that highlight what specific products you sell on your site.

Site Security

One part of web design that’s becoming more and more important is site security. Designers tend to see this as a developer issue, but these are intertwined.

Google emphasizes that sites that use SSL certificates will impact the level of trust from search engines and users. Browsers such as Chrome and Firefox display “Not Secure” when you visit sites without an SSL certificate.

Ways to Fix Ugly Websites

You can see that your site’s design has such a huge impact on your business. How can you go about fixing your website to ensure it’s set up for search engines and users? Just follow these steps.

1. Know Your Brand and Your Audience

Can you describe what your brand is about in a couple of words? Your brand is a feeling that your company promises customers when they interact with your business.

For example, Coca Cola promises happiness. Volvo promises safety. What does your company promise? When you can sum up that emotional connection in a few words, you can then dig a little deeper to discover the needs of your audience.

What does your audience want to get from your company? It should be closely aligned with your brand.

These questions are going to be the foundation of your site’s design. You want to make sure that the design is consistent with the core of your brand.

2. Mobile Friendly Design

One thing that ugly websites have in common is that they look horrible on mobile devices. Your site needs to be updated to work on a wide variety of devices.

Over half of all web traffic is from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. If your site’s design isn’t ready for mobile, then you’re losing more than half of your visitors.

Search engines are aware of that and tend to display mobile-friendly sites ahead of those that aren’t set up for mobile.

You don’t have to be a web programmer to know how to make your website mobile. Many content management systems like Drupal and WordPress have themes and templates that emphasize mobile design and will look great on a variety of devices.

3. Use Stunning Images

Have you ever visited a web page that has poorly taken or pixilated images? That’s not going to leave a good impression.

You want to make sure that you use carefully curated images. Even if you use stock images, you can find high-quality stock images on sites like Pixabay.

You want to make sure that the images you use don’t infringe on any sort of copyrights. Don’t just pull any old image from Google. Stick to sites that outline how the images can be used and abide by them.

4. Keep Colours and Typography Consistent

You took the time to figure out what your brand is about and how people connect on an emotional level with your company.

This is where you apply your findings into your design. You can use colour psychology to get to the heart of the emotions that you want people to experience. For example, the colour blue invokes security and trust, which would be perfect for an IT services company selling security solutions.

Typography can also be used to invoke feelings of elegance through sans serif fonts. Retro fonts can be used to take people back to their childhoods.

You don’t want to have too many colours or fonts on your site, because that can get confusing and distract from your design.

5. Always Think from the User’s Perspective

Take an honest look at your website. Think of your site like you’re a first time visitor. Check to see if it’s easy to navigate on a variety of devices.

Ask yourself what you would think of your site from an outside perspective. Note what you like and what you don’t like. That will help you design for the user.

Banish Ugly Websites Forever

Ugly websites have no place on the web. Unless, of course, they belong to your competition. On a more serious note, an ugly website can have a massive impact on your business.

It can impact how people perceive your company and impact your sales.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to influence your site’s visual appeal. You want to make sure that it’s mobile friendly, fast, and you always keep the user in mind.

Once you have your beautiful website up and running, you’re going to want to drive traffic to it. Be sure to read this article about digital marketing to get started.