The online environment has always been the survival of the fittest. Rankings and position on organic search results matter to a brand’s recognition and awareness more than anything else. In today’s competitive world, online businesses have to adopt innovative ways to capture the viewer’s attentions and drive sales upward.
Since online presence is best reflected by the brand’s website itself, resources and time should be prioritized on optimizing the web design for SEO. Below, we’ll take a look at some creative design choices that will sit well with search engine algorithms ultimately favoring the rank and reputation of the company online.
The heart and framework of what every website is based around is a streamlined and robust navigation system. Thankfully, it is also an area that has a lot of room for improvement and innovation.
Traditionally, a navigation bar follows the same conventions of incorporating drop-down menus under broader categories or headings, along with a brand logo for redirecting back to the homepage and a search icon for any queries the user might have.
Nowadays, many e-commerce sites and digital businesses are designing new web layoutsfor increased efficiency and versatility. Instead of clicking or tapping your way to different individual sections of the web, scrolling favors both the desktop and mobile versions of the site since the latter technique requires much less effort and consumes a lot less time.
Many renowned fast-food restaurants have incorporated these navigation elements to enhance their users’ experience. These include KFCand Burger Kingamong others. Take a look at the image given below to understand how this fast food joint has designed their website navigation to offer their users seamless usability and convenience.
How SEO is favored?
Allowing users, ease and accessibility of browsing through the web, especially on mobile platforms, indirectly points to the search engine algorithms that the user experience of the site is up to the standards required for high rankings.
Since search engines value and consider the average time spent by a user on the web, an effective navigation system is guaranteed to retain visitors’ attention and keep them engaged in the site for longer periods of time.
Sooner or later, your website or part of it is bound to face an error or temporary failure. This can spring up from a fault in the technicalities of the code or from a lack of understanding on the user’s behalf. Instead of being vague or overly complex about the error, know that you are communicating with your clients and provide a result accordingly.
This simply means you should make sure you do not frustrate visitors by providing little to no explanation about the reason for the error (We’re looking at you: “Error 404”). Nor should you put on a full page of code in red letters that might petrify the user. Instead, strive for a reasonable, justified and a succinct explanation for the shortcoming.
You can get creative here, by rolling with funny and emotional error messages like how HubSpotdisplays the picture of a broken heart on a “broken” page while acknowledging the error and telling users to check out the other sections in the meantime.
IMDb shows its imaginative side by displaying iconic dialogues from popular movies slightly altered to reference the error. My favorite was “Always remember Frodo, the page is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found”.
Amazon on the other hand displays images of cute dogs and embedded a link just under the picture for redirection to that particular category. Who doesn’t enjoy looking at cute dogs? Viewers might even forget what they were searching for in the first place.
Again, the goal is to reduce bounce rates as effectively as you can since Google considers it at the forefront of its ranking algorithm. By acknowledging the error or providing a sufficient explanation for it, users will find it more reassuring to continue surfing the web without the error leaving a bad taste in their mouth when they browse through the other sections of the site. This way, visitors won’t look for the exit right away and will consider your response to the error favorably in hindsight.
Interactivity and dynamism
The point of every online store, or its ideal objective should always be to replicate a real-life store as closely as possible. This is not in lieu of falling prone to the conventions but rather to bring the element of dynamism, realism and interactivity that you’d only find in a brick-and-motor retailer.
For this purpose, marketers and web designers are teaming up to liven up the website by incorporating rich elementsand features including catchy Call-to-Actions (CTAs), visually-striking high-res photographs and even videos that delve deeper into the working and functionality of a particular product or service.
Many e-commerce platforms like ASOSuse short videos to showcase their products on their website or Teton Sports– which provides instructions in a video format for assembling camp gear, while Duolingohas integrated audio and visual elements that add a dynamic flair to the website making the experience of learning languages much more engaging and fun.
This article from HONGKIAT also has a lot of interesting examples of sites who are constantly bringing new and original ideas in the aspect of online interactivity.
Searcher satisfactionundoubtedly remains the number one metric that Google, Bing and other search engines hold in the highest esteem and value. Factors that contribute to this idea revolve around the quality and presentation of the content, the qualities which a dynamic and interactive web design excels at.
Needless to add, the more attractive and engaging the site is, the more amount of time the visitor is likely to spend on the site which is another valuable metric that always holds a special place for the algorithms. This is the “dwell time” which directly affects the bounce rates and it can be cut down with different strategies.
Creativity in web design is and always will be a demanding factor in order to remain ahead of the competition by giving enough reasons to those handling the SERPs and their associated algorithms. Ultimately, an attractive, interactive and streamlined web design, will help in increasing rankings.