SEO is a long and difficult process, but there are many ways to improve it. One of the simplest methods to generate more traffic from your website’s SEO efforts is by creating an inspirational design that encourages users to use your site.
The “2021 web design inspiration” is a website that has been designed to help you improve your SEO in 2017. The website will provide you with the latest trends and ideas for improving your site’s performance.
SEO professionals work on keyword research, metatags, content creation, and developing high-quality backlinks, hence web design and SEO are frequently regarded independent things. While these are certainly important aspects of an SEO strategy (Google has said that content and links rank websites in the same order), having an inspiring web design can also help your SEO, and in the best case scenario, your SEO and web design will compliment each other.
In October 2015, Google launched Google RankBrain, a new algorithm designed to handle the 15% of unique queries it receives.
RankBrain grew in prominence quickly, and it is currently Google’s third most significant ranking component.
An artificial intelligence program called RankBrain adjusts the weighting of other algorithms over time to prioritize some over others. It also extracts significant keywords from queries or lengthier searches so that it can ‘understand’ and answer inquiries as precisely as possible.
Between 2011 and 2016, Google acquired 11 artificial intelligence businesses, including DeepMind in 2014 for an estimated $400 million. Given how rapidly RankBrain rose to become Google’s third ranking component and how much they’re spending in artificial intelligence, the trend in their usage of artificial intelligence will only continue in 2017.
What influence will artificial intelligence have on the way Google evaluates site design?
At the moment, Google can directly assess certain aspects of visual site design (described later in this article), but not the overall quality. To put it another way, Google has no means of knowing if a webpage looks good or bad. It utilizes user input to assess this. If a large number of visitors to your site rapidly click the ‘back’ button and then go to a competitor site in the search results, for example, your site’s rating will suffer.
A website with an inspiring design will capture your visitors’ interest, inspire them to remain longer on your site, create more shares, and lower the bounce rate. As a consequence of Google’s indirect evaluations of these criteria, your site will progressively rise in the search results.
When you look at a picture (or a website), you probably make an instant judgment on how beautiful it is, without even realizing it. Artificial intelligence is similar to this unconscious decision-making process, and RankBrain considers at least two thousand parameters while deciding which website to rank first. Google is also aggressively investing on picture recognition technology, and most photographs can already be identified.
It’ll only be a matter of time until Google combines its RankBrain technology with its picture recognition technology and starts making SEO-related decisions based on how attractive a website is and how relevant the photos are, rather than depending only on user input. When this occurs, the following areas of SEO may be affected:
- When new sites go up, those with a decent design will gain an instant boost.
- It will be a ranking factor to have relevant photos that are based on the actual image rather than the ALT tag.
- Instead than only being utilized for SEO, ALT tags will need to more precisely describe an image (as was their original function).
- Google may impose a penalty for fraudulent photos (for example, if you use a stock image for an author profile that appears on multiple sites under various identities, which they may already do).
- Google may introduce features such as ‘Shop by picture,’ which allows you to submit an image of the product you wish to purchase (they already have ‘Search by image’).
In 2017, responsive site design is the way to go.
Google already analyzes if a website is mobile friendly or not, and those with a mobile-friendly design get a bump in mobile traffic. Google recently announced that in 2017, they will divide their index between mobile and desktop users, implying that responsive websites will receive a boost in the future, as well as potentially measuring user experience (via duration on site, bounce rate, and other metrics) separately for mobile and desktop visitors. In the future, having a responsive web design will be even more vital.
Mobile users account for more than half of all online traffic, and it’s unclear if Google would split its results or merely utilize the mobile version of a site for its whole index. This implies that if you’re not presently presenting certain elements of your site to mobile visitors, you should rethink since it won’t be indexed by search engines if you don’t.
In a similar vein, Google will punish websites that use intrusive pop-ups or “interstitials” after January 10, 2017. This will also effect sites where the equivalent of a “interstitial” dominates the top half of the page, even if it isn’t a pop-up. Pop-ups that provide legal information about cookies, age limits, and other limitations will not be affected.
Many websites now utilize pop-ups to solicit emails for newsletter subscriptions; if yours is one of them, switch to a smaller, on-page subscription request for best SEO practice in 2017.
What else does Google track in real time?
Google monitors various factors of website design that have a direct influence on your SEO, in addition to the indirect metrics of bounce rate and visit length.
Making use of visuals and video
According to a research conducted by Backlinko, web sites featuring at least one picture or video score higher than those without these evident visual features.
Site loading time
Google is likely to penalize your site if it is sluggish. The quicker your site loads, the better your user experience will be, and your SEO will improve.
You may speed up your site in a variety of ways, including:
- Before placing photographs on the internet, make sure they are resized to the right size. Many websites scale pictures using html and CSS, which may result in an image that is 1000px x 1000px but only shows as 300px x 300px. The download speed will be drastically reduced if you resize the photographs.
- Images and CSS files are compressed.
- Unnecessary code has been removed.
- There aren’t too many advertisements.
- Upgrading to a more powerful host.
Websites that use Flash
A connection structure that is easy to utilize
Internal links from your main menu or footer menu may assist with SEO just as much as backlinks from other websites. It’s better not to conceive of your major landing pages as distinct entities that just matter for SEO, but rather as part of your overall site structure, with connections to your most essential landing pages from every page on your site.
Google’s user guidelines also instruct human reviewers to give sites with clearly visible links to a “about us” and “contact us” page a higher rating.
‘Above the fold’ content
Google prioritizes material that is instantly visible when a site initially opens (before scrolling down) and penalizes websites with excessive advertisements, especially when the advertisements take precedence over other content (this is equally true even for sites using Google AdSense).
When Google switches to using mobile versions as their main index, ‘above the fold’ is likely to refer to material on mobile devices rather than desktop computers, therefore verify this on mobile as well!
Text that is hidden or difficult to read
Google wants text on websites to be readily visible, and you risk a Google penalty if you conceal links or more than a few words of text by making it too tiny to read or hiding it in any other way.
As Google Glass and other technologies for viewing webpages on the move grow more popular, having an easy-to-read website will become even more vital. To do so, follow these steps:
- Use a font size of at least 16px.
- Make the font color and backdrop contrast well.
- Make liberal use of white space.
Other options for creating an inspiring design
Overall, there are several advantages to having an exciting site design, but how do you go about creating one?
Choose a color scheme that complements your site’s general theme:
- Green is a soothing and restorative hue that works well with health and nature-themed websites.
- Blue is a hue associated with community and trust, and it is often used by banks, insurance firms, and social networking sites (both Facebook and Twitter have blue logos).
- Red and black are popular colors for bras and automotive websites because they evoke fire and desire.
- White is a wonderful option for image-heavy sites where you want visitors to concentrate on the photographs rather than the backdrop.
Choose a hue that will motivate your target audience while also complementing the overall emotion you want to convey with your product or service. Unless you want to communicate “We do everything,” avoid using more than one or two dominating colors on your website or in your logo; this is why Google’s logo is multi-colored.
An international appeal is made.
Most websites cater to a global audience, and whether they planned to or not, many webmasters discover that a significant portion of their traffic originates from foreign nations. Determine the worldwide potential of your website.
When designing for an international audience, make sure the colors and symbols in your logo or header are acceptable for other nations (it’s also crucial that your domain name works in several languages, but that’s a separate issue!)
In addition to the recommendations above, the 68 actionable web design tips provide some fantastic advice.
Make an SEO strategy.
There will always be parts of a website that are crucial to SEO, and it’s critical to incorporate all of the fundamentals while constructing a website, such as:
- A primary menu
- Every page should have a h1 title (the main visible page title)
- A flexible design that allows copywriters to fill each page with as much text as they wish.
- Links in the footer
- You may add any more blocks or navigation choices you like.
Even in a wireframe, your website’s most crucial keywords should appear once or twice. This guarantees that visitors understand the purpose of your site and that your crucial keywords appear on each page.
Observations on Splash Pages
One of the most hotly debated parts of site design amongst SEO professionals and visual artists is the Splash home page. It usually comprises of a single backdrop picture with a message that says “Enter site,” but no additional information. This is detrimental to SEO because:
- To figure out what a page is about, search engines require adequate information. If there isn’t any information on the page, that implies it isn’t about anything!
- If your splash page (your true home page) only connects to one other page, the advantage of the connections to your site is reduced, and you won’t appear as high as if you removed your Splash Page and went straight to a conventional home page.
- They aren’t easy to utilize. Even though designers adore Splash Pages, most users despise them; on average, 25-30% of your website visitors will not go beyond the Splash Page and will click ‘back’ to go someplace else.
Is it feasible to develop an SEO-friendly splash page?
It’s almost there! If you want visitors to your website to be greeted by a large image on the home page, make sure to include your logo and main menu above the image so that they can navigate to the rest of your site if they want to, and place the rest of the content beneath the image so that visitors can see the rest of the content if they scroll down.
This provides you lots of freedom to include SEO-friendly content, footer links, and other stuff, as well as to build a more user-friendly design while still retaining the aesthetic design elements of a Splash Page.
When you update the design of your website, you will see an increase in conversions.
Quality written content and backlinks will always be important for SEO, but an inspiring web design can also assist enormously, not just to enhance conversions once people get on your site, but also to improve your ranking with Google and other search engines before they come.
The benefits of an inspirational design will only grow as Google becomes smarter in 2017 and beyond; it’s thus worth making your site’s visual design a vital element of your SEO strategy.
Allison Carmichael’s post-production drawings
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