A lot of marketers operate under the impression that design doesn’t matter. They believe that it’s the quality of your content or your SEO strategy that ultimately determine your success. In reality, design actually matters quite a lot.
Design can be summed up in a few words. First, it’s whether or not your site looks good, pure and simple. It can also be expressed as how well your site conveys its brand and how well it projects the emotions it wants to project.
Why does design matter? Here are a few of the major ways design can impact an informational site.
It used to be that design didn’t much matter for SEO purposes. Google would come along, read your text, look at your backlinks and determine where you’d rank in the search engines.
Today the world is a little different.
Not only is Google still looking at all those things, but they’re also looking at other signals. They’re looking for “high quality websites.”
One mark of a high quality website is good design. They’ve used machine learning algorithms to identify design traits that high quality sites have in common.
In other words, if your site is well designed, now Google can tell and will give you credit for it.
In addition to Google being able to “see” good design now, you also have Google looking at site metrics.
These are things like your bounce rate, your return rate, your average length on site, etc.
The better your stats, the more likely you are to rank highly in Google.
Naturally, having great design enhances all these stats. If people come to your site and see it as professional, they’re likely to stay longer than if they saw your site and thought it looked shabby.
Building traffic is partly due to getting new traffic and partly due to getting people who’ve seen your site to come back.
If you have good design, people are much more likely to want to frequent your site.
People frequent websites that they feel a strong connection to. They need to feel that the information on the site is credible. They want to feel that the creators of the site put time, care and attention into it.
Design helps do all of these things.
Helping with Backlinks
Finally, design helps build backlinks.
Think about it. If someone asked you to link back to them, but had a horribly designed site, would you?
Likewise, if someone had a superbly designed site, wouldn’t you be more likely to link to them, all other things being equal?
Having good design helps increase your credibility, which helps increase your backlinks.
To make a long story short, design matters. You can’t measure the effects of strong design as clearly as a direct return on investment, but it makes a huge difference overall.