Good Design Helps SEO

Bing has confirmed that click through rate is one of the many signals effecting their ranking algorithm.  Google has yet to confirm this but considering their emphasis on improving the user experience, it only makes sense that they would include the effectiveness of a search result (click through rate) in their rankings.

This year saw the unveiling of the site preview in the Google SERPs.

This update allows searchers to immediately see the quality of the site they may click through to.  So what would they look for in the preview?

  • Clean design
  • Readability
  • Images
  • Content

And in each of those they will be looking for how well the site relates to the search phrase.  In example if I am searching for “botox before and after images” and the preview doesn’t show me images, I’ll likely move on.  Likewise if I search for “differences between laser hair removal and ipl” and the preview doesn’t show me substantial content to answer my question, I will likely move on.

The key here is that the user moved on before a measurable click ever happened.  This data will not show up in your bounce rate or anywhere in your analytics beyond traffic volumes not being what they should be.

In the past, an ugly site might have still received traffic and only poor conversion.  Moving forward, ugly sites may not even receive the traffic.

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