Google Cares About The Way Your Website Looks
Google has been (and probably always will be) the master daemon of information collection and machine learning for quite some time now. But did you know that they really care about aesthetics, too? With one of their most recent search engine algorithm updates, they’ve placed a more explicit interest (again) on the experiences that websites listed within their search engine results pages create, and the user-action based signals produced by the individuals clicking on them.
SEO folks: we recently launched a refresh of this algorithm: http://t.co/KKSXm8FqZW Visible to outside world on ~Feb. 6th.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) February 10, 2014
The most recent page layout algorithm update was specifically designed to better serve users, and their discovery journeys. Meaning that if you’re experiencing a high bounce rate due to your website’s page layout, display of content, or advertising display - your rankings could be impacted.
Design For Your User
65% of ALL humans on the planet are visual learners… Knowing your vertical now-a-days means more than having an abundance of “know-how” in performing your service, or creating great products. It means knowing who your consumer is… very very well. Understanding who your consumer is should directly impact the way that you posture your brand - including visual communication and interface design. You wouldn’t use a small font size for elderly consumers, just as you wouldn’t hold off on using imagery or interactive for a children’s website. Ideally your interface should be the first call to action that your user ever perceives. Oh! and, uh - don’t bombard people with advertisements...
Understanding User Intent
For over a decade SEO has been in a state of evolution - from keyword stuffing to the discipline of Inbound Marketing. By the time someone goes to Google looking for a solution to their problem, they clearly have a need for what you do… How are you visually communicating that you’re the solution? Is that a part of your inbound strategy? Visual communication is much deeper than text and images. It’s understanding the issue that your user is trying to solve. It’s using the entire digital environment to incite persuasion. A proper inbound strategy leverages the data trail left behind from previous product or service related search queries, their frequency, and the customer habitat in order to design a website interface, and in-depth content that satisfies user intent.
Everyone Hates A Poor User Experiences...
For five years and counting the Googz has been continuously utilizing on-page and on-site factors more and more in order to determine the value of content. The fact of the matter is that they’re trying to get as close as possible to simulating how a REAL HUMAN user will interact with your website’s content. So much so that they even rolled out an algorithm update in the past to try and streamline the process.
This makes it especially hard to compare winners and losers to reverse engineer best practices. What most SEO practitioners agree upon is that user behavior and engagement play a large role in the site’s Panda score. If users quickly return to the search engine and click on the next result or refine their query, that can’t be a good signal for site quality.Jonah Stein
At the end of the day the entire purpose of SERPs is to deliver valuable content to a searcher; to be the solution someone is looking for. So the way that eyeballs are directed to the desired information is a crucial part of ranking well in search. Don’t betray the trust that people give you when clicking on a link to your site. Don’t beat them over the head with ads, don’t hide things from them (intentionally or unintentionally), and give them good-valuable information. As a result you’re more than likely to receive good backlinks, likes, shares, tweets and re-tweets.
TELL ME AND I WILL FORGET. SHOW ME AND I MAY REMEMBER. INVOLVE ME AND I WILL UNDERSTAND.- Confucius, 450 BC