How your website design influences the rankings of your web pages on Google

Good website design is important. Although there is no perfect website design that guarantees that Google will rank your web pages highly, there are several website design elements that can have a positive influence on the position of your web pages.

Good web design - better rankings

Make sure that your web pages are crawlable

Search engines won’t be able to index the content of your pages if it is hidden in fancy scripts or images.

To make sure that search engines can index your content, use plain text and easy to follow text links on your page.

Both the regular content and the navigational elements on your web pages should be easy to parse for search engine robots. Style your pages with CSS and regular HTML tags. Do not hide your content in Flash or JavaScript.

Use responsive web design

Google is building a ‘mobile first’ index. Your web pages should look good on mobile devices. Of course, they should also look good on desktop computers. Responsive design is the easiest way to achieve that goal.

Responsive web design means that the look of your web pages changes based on the size of the browser window. This is done through CSS.

If you use a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress to create your web pages, chances are that you can install a responsive template quickly and easily.

Web pages that look good on mobile devices get better rankings in Google’s search results for mobile devices.

Use an easy-to-understand website navigation

A good website navigation helps your website visitors to find what they are looking for. It also helps search engines to categorize your pages.

If the navigational elements on your web pages use texts that make it clear what the linked content is all about, it’s much easier for search engines to rank your pages for that topic. For example, if a category on your website is about ‘brown shoes’, link to the category page with the words ‘brown shoes’ in the menu.

Also use a folder structure on your website that makes it easy to understand what the pages are about. For example, list all the pages that deal with the different variations of brown shows in a directory with the name ‘/brown-shoes/’.

Fast loading pages are good for the user experience

Some people say that the performance of a website is a major ranking factor. Of course, it’s always good to improve the performance of your website. However, it won’t improve your rankings much.

According to Google, only 1% of all websites need to worry about page load times. If your website belongs to these 1% of the slowest pages on the web, improving the performance will have a positive influence on the rankings. All other sites won’t notice a major improvement.

Don’t forget that fast loading web pages are good for the user experience. For that reason, your pages should load as fast as possible, even if this does not have a direct influence on your rankings.

There are many more factors that influence the position of your web pages on Google and other search engines. The Website Audit tool and the Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler can tell you if everything is okay with your pages.

If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “http://blog.seoprofiler.com”.

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