- March 11, 2021
Top 10 Web Design Strategies for Ranking in Google
When trying to raise your website’s rank in Google, it is necessary to simultaneously focus on many factors.
In addition to the obvious SEO factor, your dental website design – or any web design for business – must be optimal for attracting search engines and humans.
Getting a visitor to your site is only the first step. The next and most crucial step is to keep them there long enough to read the content and take action.
Better search rankings are associated with original and relevant content and the website’s overall design and aesthetics.
The Relationship Between SEO, User Experience (UX), and User Interface (UI)
Think about the process of how users search for content. They start by typing keywords or phrases into a search engine to find the information they are looking to find.
For example, if a dentist is looking to build a website, he would type “how to build a dental website”.
The best-optimized websites for accessibility, design, and content will appear higher in the search engine results pages.
The user will choose one of the sites, almost always on the first page, and then land on the corresponding website.
If they find it too confusing, irrelevant, or cannot quickly locate what they came to see, they will leave the site very quickly and move onto the next result.
Alternatively, if a website owner’s SEO optimization efforts align with the UI and UX, its rankings will increase.
Below are the top ten design tips for ranking in Google.
1. Increase Web Page Speed
Most people do not have the patience to wait for a website or page to load, and neither do search engines.
This is why how fast web pages load is still an essential factor in how Google ranks sites. Pages that take too long to load result in high bounce rates, affects user experience, and hurts rankings.
Optimizing your website for speed enhances user experience and helps boost search engine rankings.
What is Web Page Speed and Why Does it Matter?
The time it takes for a specific page on your website to load when a user lands on it is referred to as page speed.
Numerous factors affect page load speed, including the:
- Number of plugins and themes installed, if using WordPress
- Size and number of videos, images, and other media files on the page
- Server-side and coding scripts
Not only do the above examples affect how fast a web a page loads they also impact UX. If a page takes too long to load, users will leave the site.
It might surprise you to know that even a second or two can significantly impact how long a user stays on a web page.
Research conducted by Google shows a 32% increase in the probability of a visitor bouncing off a site when page load time increases from one to three seconds.
Engagement, conversions, and increased rankings are all affected by slow loading web pages.
How should you design your website for optimal page loading speed? To focus on optimizing page speed, you first need to measure their current performance.
Web design elements are often the culprit of slow loading web pages. The good news is that there are several actionable steps you can take to make improvements. We have listed a few below.
2. Optimize and Compress Images
It becomes a balancing act between enhancing web pages’ appeal with engaging visuals and increasing loading times.
Professional services sites, such as dental sites, benefit from showing smiling patients and friendly staff faces.
Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds by optimizing and compressing image files. The objective is to use the smallest file size possible without compromising quality.
If you use WordPress, there are a variety of plugins to optimize images, such as WP-Optimize and Smush.
Be sure that you are using the right image format for your needs. For example, if you need to use transparent images, the PNG form will offer that option but is a larger file than the JPG format.
Resize and optimize your images before uploading them to your site. You want to use the smallest and final image size on your web pages.
3. Use Effective Calls-to-Action
When someone lands on your website, what have you gained if they leave without taking any action? If you want conversions, you must use strong calls-to-action (CTAs).
A CTA is usually displayed as a text link or button that asks the website visitor to click the link and act. It should be action-driven, specific, and offer value. Examples include:
- Subscribe to my newsletter.
- Download my video marketing guide.
- Try for free.
- Buy now and save 20%.
- Enter Our Contest and win prizes.
- Sign up for a free trial.
The bottom line is if you do not tell your website visitor precisely what you want them to do, they will not do anything. Look at CTAs as a bridge between sales and marketing.
You spend time and resources to get more exposure and engagement for your brand to convert visitors into paying customers.
The last thing you want is to turn away potential customers because your CTAs are not effective, persuasive, or convincing.
Ensure that your CTAs clearly outline what is in it for the website visitor. If they are self-serving or do not meet your target audience’s needs, they will not resonate with them and will be ineffective.
Other suggestions for creating and using effective CTAs include making sure they:
- Are easy to find.
- Appeal to the needs of your potential customers.
- Guide the website visitor down your sales funnel to the next stage.
Below are several examples of clear and compelling calls-to-action.
Dropbox uses a clean and straightforward design. The “Sign up for free” CTA not only stands out but is also available in two locations on the page.
Image source Dropbox
Netflix anticipates a fear many users have when trying out a service. That fear is the difficulty in cancelling if they do not like it.
Image source Netflix
Notice how simple it is to get started using Netflix and how the CTA lets visitors know that they can cancel their membership at any time if they choose to do so.
Dental Marketing Guy
What dentist does not want more patients? This clear CTA addresses precisely what dental professionals want.
The CTA above tells site visitors exactly what they will achieve. It is minimalist and visually compelling.
4. Implement Caching Systems
By using a caching system, your website will only need to call up and create the content once rather than every time an individual user lands on one of your web pages.
Some content management systems offer static caching features to convert dynamic pages to static HTML files, thereby reducing server processing that is not necessary.
5. Limit Redirects
When one page on your site redirects to a different page, it prolongs the HTTPS request, response processes, and reduces loading times.
There will be times when it may be necessary to use redirects, such as when you are moving to a new domain.
Try your best to minimize your use of or limit redirects.
It is also instrumental in determining what events need to occur to show your web page’s section above-the-fold.
Remove characters, spaces, comments, and any other elements that are not necessary to run your site to reduce these files’ size.
You should also minimize the number of tags you use when writing code. For example, instead of using alt tags, such as headers and bold commands, use CSS to define the header type and style property.
This will not only reduce CSS and HTML documents, it will also make your site easier to maintain.
7. Internal and External Link Structure
Google pays attention to other sites that link to and from yours, as well as to websites linked to from yours.
Your internal links are treated by Google as outbound links and counted as votes for your page. Therefore, you should carefully plan your internal links to ensure they lead to other relevant pages on your website.
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to a different page on the same website. They are usually used in the main navigation of a site because they:
- Help establish a website’s information hierarchy.
- Spread link equity or ranking power for a website.
- Enable users to navigate through a website to find other relevant content.
When creating internal links, use description keywords and phrases for the anchor text and be sure you link to a page about the same or relevant content.
In addition to internal linking, be sure to include external links to relevant authority sites to increase brand exposure and improve your brand authority.
8. Use a Simple Design and Clean Navigation
Clean and straightforward navigation leads to seamless and straightforward user experiences. Search engine crawlers will also have fewer barriers and URLs to dig through to find relevant and valuable information.
When users have positive UX and search engines have less work to do, your website ranking will increase.
Try to keep your URLs short and easy to remember and limit the number of categories you use.
9. Make Use of Content Hubs
We already know that useful, relevant, and unique content is critical to increase traffic and boost search rankings in Google.
However, that is only half the battle. In a perfect world, your content’s quality would be a magnet to attract a targeted audience interested in what you write and share it with others.
However, what sounds great in theory does not work in real life. This is where content hubs can have a significant positive impact.
A content hub is a branded microsite resource where users can find curated, branded, user-generated, social media, or any other type of content related to a particular subject to increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
They let Google and your target audience know which pieces of content are the most relevant and valuable on your site.
An effective content hub strategy lets your audience and search engines know that you understand your target market’s interests and needs.
Like a magazine, hubs enable readers to delve deeper into a narrow topic to explore, discover the latest trends, conduct research, and gain new insights.
When your content is included in a hub, it gives your brand authority as a thought leader in your niche.
Consistently publishing quality content will drive traffic, increase search engine rankings, and improve cross-channel brand visibility.
Hubs increase the chances of visitors viewing multiple pages of content because many are linked together.
Not only does this help SEO, but it also improves the user experience and increases engagement by showing multiple pieces of content to an interested visitor.
Content hubs help get attention in a crowded field. They work because they are structured and help you arrange internal links to let Google know which of your pages are the most important.
By offering a curated collection of content, hubs enable readers to quickly find what they are looking for without searching for it.
Below are several examples of successful content hubs.
American Express provides a forum or hub to educate businesses with tips, advice, and insights into adapting to changing times.
Image source American Express
Unilever’s All Things Hair is a content hub that delivers beauty tips and insights for all types of hair.
Image source All Things Hair
It includes different categories with information about everything related to hair, including hair color, hair care solutions, and hairstyles.
The categories are then broken down further into subcategories, making it easy for users to find exactly what they are looking for to make informed decisions about purchases they can make on the site.
The Etsy Journal features content in categories such as home décor, event decorating and fashion.
Image source Etsy Journal
All the tips, advice, and ideas tie back to where users can purchase items through the Etsy marketplace.
It also highlights many shops that sell their merchandise on Etsy while engaging readers with relevant and useful information.
10. Heading Tags
According to Google’s John Mueller, headings and title tags no longer play the same role they used to in ranking websites.
H1 headings are no more important than H2 headings as a ranking factor. He explains that Google reads headlines to get an understanding of what the topic following the headings is about.
Rather than factor into a website’s rankings, header tags indicate hierarchical information levels and proper web content organization.
For example, H3 headers are sub-topics of previous H2 headers which are sub-topics of previous H1 headers.
One headline type is no more important than another when it comes to ranking. Mueller also explains that using keywords in headings will not necessarily increase rankings.
Their main purpose is to explain what the text and page content under them is about. So, headline tags still play an important role in communicating to Google what your content is about.
From a UX experience, headers break up large chunks of text to make it less overwhelming and easier to read.
So, header tags do indirectly influence rankings by providing keyword-rich context about the page content and making it easier for your site visitors to read.
When SEO is done correctly and built into the web design process, it will add value to the user by providing a better experience, making the site search-engine friendly, and improving your business’s online marketing goals.