Hey guys, in this article, we will discuss how website layout and template affect SEO ranking. So keep reading.
If you use the internet for visibility, then you know how important search engines are. You do everything in your power to land on the first pages.
But, the truth is everyone else is competing for the top positions. Those that manage to land there have perfected one thing. And that is Search engine optimization (SEO).
Now here is where it gets tricky. Many factors will impact positioning. Let’s use the example of the search engine Google. It uses as many as 200 ranking factors when indexing. Such include keyword use, mobile optimization, content relevance, and page loading speeds.
But that’s not all, your website layout and template can also affect ranking. Let’s explore this a little bit more below.
How Website Layout And Template Affect SEO Ranking
For a long time, you have felt your website looks good. After all, you did seek professional help from web design services, New York. Their expertise and level of experience paid off. Your site is high-performing and offers tons of functionalities.
But now, you feel that it needs a little updating. It does not seem like a big enough job to bring back the web designers. After all, they did share with you some basic maintenance tips the first time around.
So, you decide to play around with the layout a little bit. But, what you do not know is that such a move could cost you. True, you are not changing the URL structure or content. But, don’t make any changes just yet.
According to Google’s John Mueller, slight changes to the layout is something the search engine will notice. So be careful about the changes you make to things like titles, internal linking, and so on.
If the user experience (UX) after the changes becomes less pleasant, some things will happen. Online audiences will engage less with the content. There will be shorter page stays or an increase in bounce rates. It will signal to the search engines that there is a problem, resulting in lower rankings.
Do note though, the effect of such changes need not be negative. It is possible to improve rankings with the right changes.
When picking a layout go for clean, simple layouts. Ensure easy navigation and break content into digestible bits. Yes, please go back to the rules of writing. Use titles, bullet points, and easy-to-read fonts.
Any content you put up must be relevant, well researched, and adds value. High engagement equals long page stays and return visitors. It is also a fantastic way of growing organic audiences.
Avoid Total Redesigns If Possible
Updating the site is one thing. But there is the other extreme of a total redesign. So, out goes the old architecture, pages, and contents. To spruce things up, you switch the menu, navigation, or placement of elements.
But, you forget to consider some important things. Major site changes can lead to broken links. Do take advantage of SEO audit tools like Google Search Console to identify broken links. Foregoing such a critical step could mean losing your spot on the search engines.
Another challenge you may face is losing external links from high-authority pages. It will happen if you interfere with the URL or pages.
And, remember, a total redesign is a kind of gamble. Customers or audiences like what is familiar. A total revamp can make you lose some people. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the same conversions you were getting with the old site. Think about making small changes instead of many changes at once.
But, with that said, change is something you cannot do without. Emerging trends require that you keep up as well. So be strategic about changes and keep up with page testing.
Pick SEO Friendly Templates
When picking a template or theme, don’t make the mistake of focusing on the visual part only. You must take the time to understand the technical aspects as well. Nowadays, it is common to find references to see your optimized templates.
But, take the time to explore a little bit more what it means. It does not mean that you do not do your part in ensuring the best SEO practices.
Do note the following points when picking an SEO-friendly template.
- A template can affect page speed which is a critical ranking factor. Remember you have less than 3 seconds to keep a visitor on your site. According to a Google report, 53% of audiences will leave a mobile site if it takes longer than that to load.
- Pay attention to the design. An unattractive layout will not engage the online visitors. The reverse may very well happen, which is to chase them away.
- Poor coding structure and placement will confuse search engines. Take the example of templates that ignore headings. Yet, the search engines place a lot of weight on H1 tags. Improper rendering of the page can also lead to low rankings. Imagine a situation where the non-visible content loads before the above-the-fold ones. Or, the plain text renders first before the graphics.
- Ensure the theme is mobile responsive. Do note, Google uses mobile indexing when ranking. That means how your site appears on small screens carries the most weight. Mobile optimization is so critical that professional web design companies start with a mobile-first approach.
Do some due diligence before deciding on a theme. Read customer reviews to see what other people have to say. Keep up with page testing to ensure they are performing as they should.
Achieving higher rankings on search engines is not an impossible feat. One of the most critical factors is to ensure the site is responsive on all devices.
A good user experience is the best way to ensure online visitors come back. They will also interact with your content while staying longer on your site. Trust us when we say the search engines will notice.
The theme or layout should also allow for easy navigation. Also, check that the links are live and lead to the right information.
Do consider it an investment to work with web design and development professionals. They can advise on the proper structure, architecture, or coding, resulting in better site performance.
I hope you liked this article on how website layout and template affect SEO ranking. Thanks for reading!