Does your business’ website sing a siren song to search engines? Unless you included search engine optimization (SEO) when you built your website, the answer is no. If you want search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to identify your website when crawling the internet for search results, you’ve got to dress it up to get their attention.

Howbeit, we have the knowledge that there are a number of ways to drive traffic to your site, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective of them all. SEO is a collection of strategies aimed at getting your pages rank higher in search engines results. This increases your site’s visibility and can help it take off. If you want to get your website noticed, you’ll need to ensure that it appears in the frontier of SERPs like Google and other similar sites. Most importantly, you’ll want your site to appear as close as possible to the top of the list.

Image Source -Google trends

The advent of CMS (Content Management Systems) has transformed the internet, with around 5-10 websites being built every single second. Websites which were built before only by professionals can today be created by anyone with little or no knowledge of coding in a matter of minutes with the aid or assistance of youtube videos or blog posts.

Today, however, a lot more search ranking factors have been developed, from necessity. A lot of people have been abusing the old ways of doing SEO, so optimization had to adapt in order to return useful results for the users.

How do Designs, Themes, and Templates Affect my Websites?

Themes and templates are a very big part of a website’s structure, and they can also affect speed, a noisy or heavy theme slows the speed of the site.

When a search is being made online for an answer, a service, or a product, and it leads them to your website that is a good thing. However, imagine they left your page for another because of poor design, that is bad. What may be their reason? Illegible texts, pop-ups, unattractive layout or design. They’ll return to the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) to find a better answer to their query. 

If your design is too clogged up with things, it might turn off readers. You have to find a balance between ad and content placement, user experience and looks. Don’t think just about what you like, but think about what your target audience might like.

Sometimes, you have to give up on your favourite version of the design, simply because it doesn’t work as well.  With a little bit of extra work, you can find the right balance.

SEO encompasses a wide range of strategies and techniques so it can be a little bit intimidating. Fortunately, you don’t need to become an SEO expert to help your site rank higher in the SERPs. 

Getting to see an increase page ranking with your optimized website templates requires some tactics. 

Let’s drive further into those tactics that will put your optimized website template in frontiers. 

Use a great layout

A beautiful layout is the best choice for engaging users and keeping them all glued to your site. Get rid of large images, leverage on whitespace. It is impossible to go wrong with whitespace. Let your text breathe. This will help your readers’ focus and increase engagement without overwhelming them.

A consistent header and footer is a must. This will help anyone visiting your site access your content without frustration.

Quality content improves SEO.

Once you’ve got your layout down, you want to fill it with epic or amazing content that makes your page stand out. This amazing content not only increases engagement, but it’s also a magnet for backlinks!

Other sites will link to you if they find that your content provides their users with additional quality information.

Here are some quality content examples that are great for harvesting backlinks:

Original videos, Infographics, Stunning photography Surveys, and statistics Interviews with thought leaders.

Google’s recent core algorithm update downranked pages with low-quality content. In a recent webmaster hangout on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller said that it can take some time until Google sees the quality improvements on your web pages.

Full Interview can be found below via the link below.

John Mueller also said that you should improve low-quality content instead of removing it 

User Experience on ALL devices.

This is pretty straight forward. If your content isn’t properly designed for every screen size, you will have trouble getting high rankings. As of 2017, over 61.2% of internet traffic is on small devices, like smartphones and tablets. If you aren’t designing for them in mind, you’re going to be left behind.

According to Google’s Danny Sullivan: “Neither mobile-friendliness nor mobile-responsive layouts are requirements for mobile-first indexing. Pages without mobile versions still work on mobile and are usable for indexing. That said, it’s about time to move from desktop-only and embrace mobile 🙂

Need some solid insight? Tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you determine if your pages are accessible on mobile.

Consider Using Schema Markup

Ryan MacKeller, in his “My Six Search Resolutions for 2018” infographic, had the best short and skinny definition of Schema, in my opinion: “No matter how smart we think Google is, it still struggles to make sense of what a webpage is actually about. That’s why there’s schema markup. It’s a form of metadata added to a website that tells the algorithm what it is drawing and how to categorize it. In December 2017, Google even launches an algorithm update that penalized websites without”.

Schema Mark up will help you boost your website SEO thus creating rich snippets, search results, increase search traffic, and drive a more engaging audience to your website

Schema Markup will assist optimize your website by 

  • Giving meaning to your content which gains recognition on the search engine.
  • Helping your page stand out on SERPs
  • Increasing Click Through Rates

Integrate Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP for short) is a new Google initiative to build a better, more user-friendly mobile Web by introducing a new “standard” for building web content for mobile devices. Basically, this new standard is a set of rules that form a simple, lighter version of HTML. And pages built in compliance with AMP are sure to load super-quick on all mobile devices

AMP is not a Google ranking factor as stated by John Mueller, although implementing AMP may get you more visibility in the SERPs. The benefits of AMP According to Google’s VP of Engineering David Besbris: 

  •  AMP pages are 4x faster, and use 10x fewer data compared to non-AMP pages;  
  • On average AMP pages load in less than one second;  
  • 90 percent of AMP publishers experience higher CTRs;  
  • 80 percent of AMP publishers experience higher ad viewability rates.

Embark on Link Building Campaigns

One major way to optimize your website is by getting links. The type of link needed is that which is targeted to

  • Links to your homepage
  • Links to deep pages such as products or category pages
  • Links containing your brand/company name
  • Links Containing the keywords of which you want to rank for.

For all these effects, you need to embark on link building campaigns which work effectively for your webpage. Certain link building campaigns have proven to deliver result over time and they are still working till today. They Include; Broken Links, Guest Blogging, Infographics, Feature Snippet, Referencing Influencers, Reverse Guest Posting

Conclusion

Your website needs to be top notch attractive. The designs should be well thought out.

To figure out if you have a good design, you can do some user testing. There are a ton of agencies and services that will interact (and provide feedback) on your website design and functionality.

Services like UserBrain, User testing, Crazy Egg, Unbounce, Hotjar, and Usability-Hub will give you valid insights on how people are interacting with your online content.

If running those tests were not in your budget you can ask friends and family for their sincere opinion on their visits to your sight. And be open to criticism.

Using free services like Google Optimize is a great way to know your next point of action, especially when it comes to landing pages.