Search engines…they’re a tough crowd hey? And when your page is playing a game of Battle Royale for that number one spot, you’d know that one of the biggest hurdles to having a stunning website and one that Google likes, is finding that balance between SEO and aesthetics.
Even with engaging content, your savvy use of keywords and your seamless website strategy, there’s still room for slip-ups when rankings are concerned. So let’s take it to the other side of the SEO equation – User Experience (UX) and design. UX and design done right will lead to swift navigation, improved responsiveness and a faster-loading home page. Read on for our top web design hacks that’ll tighten your key message with minimum fuss…and lower bounce rates!
- The dirt on image sliders: Why they’re killing your conversions
- Tips for achieving a straight-shooting navigation bar
- Negative space: It’s not so negative
- The war between SEO and design, and how to win both
Say goodbye to sliders
“Nooo, not my homepage carousel!” You heard – it’s 2018 and image sliders are out. Best practice UX design in 2018 calls for a cull on auto-sliding images. It’s a burner for user experience and conversion. Us humans respond to things that move, and when there’s a lot of going at once, it’s easy to lose sight of the best bits. Your typical shopper is most likely a control freak, and if you take that power away from them with a self-regulating banner or an unexpected pop-up, they won’t be digesting the information they want on their terms.
A shocker UI study from earlier this year found that just 1% of visitors clicked on slider features [insert open-mouthed emoji here], so replace that rotating window of confusion with a standout image and some bangin’ copy. Doing so will reduce your viewers’ blind spots and make YOU more direct with your lingo. Thank us later for an uplift in click-throughs and for fitting into that 5-second page load time with ease!
If first impressions have the power to make or break, Square wins us over. Even if we weren’t born yesterday, their hero shot and opening one-liner work in sync to give viewers context about their payment technology. They’ve also broken down the barriers with a minimal call-to-action approach, saving additional deets like emails and phone numbers for a later touchpoint.
Mind your menu items
Let’s talk about your navigation. Top level menu items should be intuitive, and provide logical steps towards the end goal. We’re not saying your “Meet the Team” section doesn’t deserve premium ad space. Instead, think about how this type of content could be fitted more strategically around your website. What about using Testimonials to section off wordy chunks of text on your landing page? Of course, you won’t be making any drastic changes without honing in on your big ‘why’ but it is possible to narrow down the distractions that keep your visitors astray from the purchase point.
Your content curates your navigation style. If you’ve got more than 6 pages worth, start thinking about dropdowns and make selected links or categories visible, only once they’re triggered. Simplify the structure and fuse similar content together where possible – Google finds it easier to browse through pages that have fewer navigation levels.
Slack has a model menu for clearly identifying what they do and, who they’re for, and how their customers can go about getting started.
We’ll give it bonus brownie points for keeping the extras and company info in the footer.
Be smart with space
It’s one thing to reduce your word count. But if you want a beautifully refined website that is free from BS,
be mindful about your visuals and how you lay them out. Stick to relevant cues that support your branding and conversion goals – that stock image of the notepad that’s missing a CTA can go!
An overkill on non-value adding elements creates info overload – it’s true when they say people don’t need to know everything at once. On the flipside, mastering the art of negative space doesn’t just flaunt pure design genius…it also increases customer trust and reading comprehension by 20%.
We’re a big fan of Quip’s consistent spacing and margins. They’ve been crafty with their use of icons and steered away from excessive lines of text. Ten out of ten for readability!
Winning the War Between SEO and Design
Google’s as picky as your single-but-good-looking friend. Sure, having bull’s eye backlinking and an active blog post has its perks, but it doesn’t necessarily make you page-one material. On the other hand, solely relying on UX without considering the latter won’t do justice either. The trick is to pair user experience, design and your headlining message so you can have your cake and make sure it’s converting too! Just make sure your updates are always being backed with those good ol’ analytics you know and trust.
Learn how to optimise your websites UX and start climbing up the search rankings by chatting with one of our expert consultants. You can request a free 15-minute private Q & A here!