There is a lot of weight put on the design of a website and on the SEO, both from a technically optimized standpoint as well as user experience.
Jon-Mikel Bailey did a great article on this called: “The Design of Your Website Does Affect SEO, No, Really!”
One of the great points he made was:
Design, UX (User Experience), and SEO
Design and UX matter more today than ever before when it comes to SEO. Google wants to provide the best listings possible in the SERPs. Basically, they want you to use their service because their results are always the best.
They can no longer rely on keywords and content to gauge the value of a website. Now they’ll also look at these indicators:
- Bounce rate– a visitor clicks on your listing in the SERP and then hits the back button returning to the SERP after they see your site/content.
- Time on site– if you get past the bounce, then the next indicator is time on site. Literally how much time the user spends on the site once they’ve clicked in from the SERPs.
Your bounce rate and time on site numbers can be improved with design and UX improvements. For example, if you click on a restaurant listing and the site looks like it was done in 1999, do you stay?
If you do stay, but you can’t find a menu or the hours or maybe there are no good images of the location or the food. Do you spend much time there?
User experience is about design and usability. But it’s also about value. What value does this website have for the user? Will they then pass it along to others in social channels, rating sites, or listed in their blog or on their site (backlinks)?
While we, at LinkTiger, completely agree with this statement, there is one component often overlooked, which is broken links internally within a website as well as broken links going out to other websites.
The impact of broken links within a site significantly affects the user experience AND it can also hinder the way the search engine spiders crawl through a website. If a spider hits a broken link, it may assume there is no more content to crawl and it will leave the website. This can lead to indexing issues and potentially not seeing all of the great content you have put so much effort into creating.
When you encounter indexing issues because a spider can’t crawl your site, this negatively impacts the SEO of your site. When a user bounces because they are constantly encountering pages that don’t exist, this will increase your bounce rate and reduce time on site…which again negatively impacts the SEO of your site.
There is a solution though!
Broken link checkers can make the task of finding broken links much faster and regular scanning of your site for broken links can help ensure you are not impairing UX or search engine spiders.
So, when evaluating your site for SEO optimization ensure you take all of these ranking factors into consideration and don’t forget to deal with the broken links!