If you believe everything you hear, then looks aren’t all that important.
You can get by and thrive without them as long as you apply yourself and work hard. Does the same philosophy apply to websites?
Well, the answer is generally yes, it does. However, it won’t be surprised to hear that there’s a caveat to that. Although looks alone won’t determine whether a website performs well, it can have a significant impact on a website’s search engine rankings. Why should that be the case? Well, it’s simple really. Search engine optimisation isn’t just about on-site optimisation, Meta tags, code and content optimisation: it’s also about aesthetics. Google knows that the best looking websites also invariably provide the more-engaging content and more-satisfying user experience, so it tends to promote these sites on its search engine.
Google has been open in saying that it wants its search engine to provide users with the most-relevant and useful information possible.
The key to delivering that philosophy is analysing how users engage with websites, and promoting those websites who deliver this experience best. But why is user experience the critical determinant for Google’s search engine rankings? Well, simply because it knows that visitors only engage with those sites that best deliver the information they’re looking for speedily and efficiently.
But what’s that got to do with a website’s looks and aesthetics you may wonder?
Well, Google twigged early on that the sites that deliver the best user experience were generally the sites that looked best. Poorly designed websites might appear to tick many of the boxes in terms of speed and navigability, but they lack user appeal, and often fail to make an impression. If a website looks unattractive, outdated or poorly designed, many users will leave immediately and look for something more appealing instead. High bounce rates and poor user retention rates are clear signs that websites are not delivering the type of service Google wants to offer, so search engine rankings suffer.
Website design aesthetics are also significant for one other important reason, and that’s because a high quality professionally-designed website is more likely to convert search traffic into new sales. Yes we appreciate that many factors play a part in a website’s ability to convert traffic into sales, but never the less a website’s design is still an important part of the conversion process. Even if a poorly designed site does miraculously manage to break on to Google’s first or second pages, they will still struggle to convert visits into sales because users will rarely stay on the site long enough to read about all the great offers they can deliver.
A well-rounded SEO strategy should always take into account high quality website design and aesthetics.
If you are experiencing issues with website performance, or would like to improve your search engine rankings and get better results from your SEO campaign, then speak to the website designers at Search and More. For further information call Search and More on 0161 669 5544.