Within the world of online marketing, the holy grail is often considered by some to be Google rankings. This is the position at which a web page will appear whenever someone enters a search on Google. There are other search engines but often their rankings will be very similar to those on Google and given that Google accounts for over 70% of all searches online, you will understand why its rankings are given prominence.
So, what has all this got to do with website design you might be asking. Well, a whole lot is the answer, as good web design can play a huge role in improving Google rankings. It follows if the pages of your website appear higher in Google search results for a range of relevant search terms, you will have more traffic, and thus more prospects and customers, so we hope you see why this is something to focus on.
Google’s algorithm is kept secret, and although no one outside of Google knows the exact formula, enough research has taken place to ascertain how their ranking system works . Google also help by publishing many of the factors which they take into account although they do not always say which have more importance over others.
Several factors relate directly to how a website looks and functions, and two of the most applicable with respect to website design are ‘bounce rate’, and ‘dwell time’, so let us briefly look at each of these.
Bounce rate is the measure of how quickly a person clicking from Google to a website clicks away again. If they click away quickly it could be due to poor design, insufficient content, or the website is taking too long to load. All of these point to a poor user experience, and as such Google will lower the ranking of such a website.
Dwell time is how long a visitor remains on a website, and obviously, if a website is well designed, has lots of great content and is easy to navigate, for example, the chance of someone staying for longer is improved. Again, the ever-watching Google can measure this and will reward, with improved rankings, websites that have greater dwell times than others.