Google Now Shows Favoritism to Mobile Friendly & Responsive Sites

7 Essential Web Design Tips from Google

Design better with these tips from Google

When potential clients land on your website, can they tell what the company does within the first 5 seconds? How easy is it for users to navigate through your blog? Is information structured in such a way that it’s easy for users to consume and understand? Are web visitors landing on your website and leaving very fast? These are some of the questions you need to evaluate to determine what needs to be done to improve your website design. In this article, we’ll feature some web design tips from Google which can help you to improve the look and functionality of your website.

1. Understand the user’s journey before designing the website

Every website design project should begin with a plan. On top of your to-do-list, you need to map out the customer’s journey. What will the potential customer do from the moment they visit the website to when they convert? What pages will they view and what offers would make them convert? You want to make sure your website answers the right questions and the design will play a huge role in ensuring this.

2. Steer clear of confusing and complicated content

There are obvious factors that will interfere with your customer journey and distract users. Among them include complex animations, long and boring content as well as Flash players. Today’s online audience has a very short attention span so you have to create the right first impression using short and powerful content on your site. Don’t use too much jargon or ambiguous content that confuses your users. Make it simple to avoid high bounce rates.

3. Make use of social share buttons

You may take time to produce the best content and publish it on your blog but what good is it if people don’t get to read it? Make sure all your pages have social share buttons. These simple buttons can open another world of social media traffic that eventually boosts your rankings. The social share buttons make it easy for your readers to share the page directly on their pages.

4. Effective call to actions

Call to action buttons help your web visitors to understand exactly what they need to do next once they land on your website. Provide your users with some sort of direction by making use of the call to action buttons. Use call to action buttons not only at the very bottom of the site but also at the top and middle of the funnel. Don’t just have a single call to action at the end. Consider adding other call to actions such as a link to learn more information on a topic instead of just one CTA for a demo/trial or consultation.

5. Pick the right images

Proper images can really complement your website design. Don’t be too quick to pick the stock photos that don’t appear genuine or have been overused on the web. Choose photos that will make your brand more realistic and give it a human touch.

6. Choose a simple navigation

The navigation system you choose for your website will determine the user’s experience browsing the pages. If the navigation is disorganized or confusing, you’ll have many users abandoning the page leading to high bounce rate which ultimately affects your SEO.

7. Make use of whitespace

Whitespace is such an integral design element that you can’t overlook. That extra space helps to enhance readability and emphasize on certain type of content. It also helps to properly position website design elements. Review your website pages and ensure you get rid of content that’s not adding any value to the user to create more negative space.

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A Responsive Website

How Can You Make Your Website More Responsive?

Gone are the days when you needed a computer to visit a website. Even when mobile phones became mainstream ten or so years ago, the average webmaster didn’t realize the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, let alone a responsive one. Today, a responsive website is a must-have for everybody – particularly those involved in internet marketing. If you run any type of business website or an online store, you simply must have a responsive website for all users, whether they’re visiting via PC, smartphone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android device, etc. What does Google have to do with it? The search engine giant now takes mobile-friendliness into consideration in its ranking results.

Mobile-Friendly-Responsive-Sites

Avoid Flash

For starters, you will want to avoid any kind of content that requires Adobe’s Flash Player. This is because Flash is not supported by Apple and some other tablets and mobile devices. In addition to videos, you will also want to avoid the use of slideshows or image rotators that don’t function properly without Flash support.

Eliminate Need for Zooming

Visitors should be able to read your site without having to zoom in or out. Zooming in a mobile device doesn’t always produce accurate results. It can be very annoying to deal with. The best thing to do is to make the text and icons large enough to see right at the start. Since screen size may be limited, think carefully of what content and text you are going to put on the landing page.

Space Links Apart

Not everybody who uses smartphones has small hands. Not only should you avoid making text too small to read, you should also avoid crunching clickable items up. It’s annoying for users to have to keep hitting the back button because they accidentally clicked on the wrong thing. Make it easier for them to find and click on what they want.

Use Correct Scaling

On a mobile device, your website should automatically scale down to fit the size of the screen. Users do not like horizontal scrolling, and neither does Google. Vertical scrolling is fine, although you’ll still want to put the most important information at the top of the page.

The Use of CSS Styles

You’ll be better off in the search rankings if you go all the way with a responsive design for all screen types and sizes rather than just having a mobile-friendly site. Many web designers use CSS @media queries as well as behind-the-scenes techniques based on web standards. When applied correctly, CSS @media queries make it easy to change the style of a webpage based on the characteristics of the PC or device on which the content is rendered. The characteristics can be changed for anything from the display type to resolution.

Take Mobile Friendly Test

Google now offers a “mobile friendly” test that that allows webmasters to analyze a URL. You should enter your URL and have it tested so that you will know whether or not it meets Google’s criteria for a more responsive webpage. It will give you some idea of what changes (if any) should be made.

Also keep in mind that not every single page on your site has to be modified for responsiveness. Some pages might not be worth the time and investment it would take. While mobile friendliness is the new criteria for search rankings, there are still other factors affecting the rankings as well.

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