If you’re working in eCommerce in 2021, you need to be doing everything you can to boost your search engine optimization (SEO). This is the process of helping your website to rank as highly as possible on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) using your content, web design, and more.
It’s a popular marketing strategy that is highly effective in attracting web traffic and securing more sales. In this article, we’re going to outline different web design tricks that can boost your SEO.
Let’s take a look.
Showcase customer reviews to show you’re trustworthy
Search engines like Google want to send their users to the most relevant and helpful websites possible. To help ensure this, Google pays a lot of attention to E-A-T — or expertise, authority, and trustworthiness — when deciding to rank a website for a particular search. Adding review elements into your web design can help show search engines and prospective customers that they can trust you, thus boosting your SEO and your conversion rate.
If you run a product-based business, shorter reviews and star ratings work well. People looking for a product just want to know if the product is quality, and a simple look at a star rating will suffice. If you run a service-based business, longer reviews or testimonials with clients can show prospective customers that you know what you’re doing and get results.
Let’s look at a few examples to provide you with inspiration for incorporating reviews into your own web design.
GroomsShop, an online groomsman gifts store, uses star reviews to highlight some of their best-selling products.
Because these products are for groomsmen, they are often personalized, which means a star rating is very important here! The bride and groom are going to want to know that these products are top-notch and worthy of their big day. Using star reviews like this right on their homepage proves to the viewer that they’re worth purchasing.
Plus, this shows search engines that the company is known for producing high-quality products that people love. So, the likes of Google will feel more confident about recommending the business. This is a tactic you could use on your own website to see similar results.
On the other hand, Pedrick Law Group, APC, a law firm based out of Orange County, California, has published longer testimonials on their homepage.
As the company provides a very important service, it’s vital that potential clients know that the firm’s staff are very knowledgeable and are able to achieve great results. The legal system can be complex and difficult to navigate, but these written reviews help to reassure website visitors that the firm has the expertise needed to excel in the field. Not only will this help to earn prospective clients’ trust, but it can also lead to the company climbing the search engine results pages.
If you provide a service, it’s always a good idea to ask your past customers for testimonials. These will provide more context about what you do, and show future clients exactly what you’re capable of. Plus, it’s great for your SEO, which will lead to more people hearing about your business.
Increase visitors’ dwell time with engaging imagery
You want to encourage people to spend as much time as possible on your website. This is because search engines pay attention to dwell time — if someone arrives on your site and hops right off, this will tell Google that it wasn’t helpful to the customer.
You want to have a low bounce rate — this is the percentage of people who quickly leave your site rather than spending time browsing. To lower this percentage, you need to make your landing pages as attention-grabbing as possible. Engaging imagery can help you do this!
Consider how you can incorporate infographics, videos, helpful diagrams, and photos into your website design to encourage people to stay on your website longer, boosting your SEO.
To provide you with some inspiration, let’s look at some companies that use this strategy well.
SchoolLockers.com, a locker and storage cabinet retailer, engages their customers using a short, helpful video at the top of their storage cabinets category page.
The video shows off a variety of features that their metal cabinets boast, giving viewers more information about their products and how practical they are. Not only does it make a very practical addition to the page, but this element can also boost the site’s SEO by increasing how much time people spend on this page when they first encounter it.
While having a demonstration video at the very top of a category page might seem unusual, this just goes to show that it could be a very fruitful move.
On the other hand, the American International University grabs people’s attention with aspirational imagery.
On their homepage, they have a carousel of images featuring students studying and socializing at the university. This can help prospective students imagine themselves at the school, and is therefore likely to keep their attention. This strategy can boost AIU’s SEO by increasing prospective students’ dwell time.
When designing your own website, consider how you can use images of your ideal customers to engage your viewers. Grabbing their attention will encourage them to stick around for longer, signalling to search engines like Google that you’re providing a lot of value.
Make sure your website is responsive
You need to ensure that your website will look great on any device, from desktop computers to mobile phones. In fact, as of April 2021, 56.16% of all web traffic has come from mobile devices — that means your mobile website could actually be considered more important than your desktop website. Additionally, since March 2021, Google has been implementing its Mobile First Index — essentially, this means that, if your website is not responsive to mobile devices, it will not show up on Google at all.
If you’re not sure whether your website is mobile-friendly or not, take a look at Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. They’ll give you a score to show you how easily a mobile visitor can view your page.
Make sure your navigation is SEO-friendly
Your website navigation should be designed to help your users and boost your SEO.
When your navigation is SEO-friendly, search engines will be able to get a good idea of which webpages are the most important, and rank them accordingly. But, if your menu is overcrowded or complicated to navigate, you’ll ruin your chances of ranking well on Google’s results pages. Try to ensure that your website visitors can get anywhere within just a few clicks.
On your desktop website, a horizontal menu bar with different categories can help your website viewers easily get from one place to the next.
On a mobile website, a vertical hamburger menu has the same effect. Both of these types of website navigation styles can help visitors get what they need from your website more quickly, boosting your SEO. Just make sure you only include the most important options, and allow people to navigate from there.
Ensure your content is properly formatted
You want to make it as easy as possible for search engines to understand and rank your content — this means that you need to ensure that it is properly formatted. Titles, headings and subheadings — all using appropriately targeted keywords — will tell Google and other search engines what your different pages are all about. Plus, they’ll help to break up large blocks of texts to ensure that your web visitors can quickly find what they need on your website.
Here are some additional tips for formatting your content, which will help boost your SEO:
- Use bullet points to sum up key points
- Keep paragraphs under five sentences
- Space out your hyperlinks
- Use numbered lists to summarize step-by-step guides
In short, you should keep in mind that people likely aren’t going to read your article word-for-word. They will be scanning it for the information that is relevant to them.
Once you’ve made a top-notch, well-formatted blog post, it’s time to promote it. As well as trying to reach the right people through search engines, you can use social media, your mailing list, and more to send more prospective customers to your site.
Your web design can greatly impact your SEO. Not only does your website have to look good, but it needs to be easy-to-use and properly formatted in order to show up on the SERPs. In this article, we outlined how you can improve your website design to boost your SEO, including through formatting, imagery, and a responsive design.