Website Design • Creative Design • Creative Designers • Digital Marketing
How Website Design Impacts Google’s Definition of Quality Content
The quality of your website content not only offers a great user experience for your customers, it also plays a key role in determining just how many people will actually visit your website in the first place. Whilst the SEO industry has long debated the importance of web content versus web design when it comes to driving search visibility and conversions, the definition of what quality content means to Google is actually much broader than commonly believed.
In a recent SEO office-hours hangout, Google senior webmaster trends analyst John Mueller suggested that both technical SEO and website design, and the content side of SEO play important roles in how Google understands your content.
Google’s Definition of Quality Content
For a number of years, it has been widely understood that Google’s definition of quality content places a lot of emphasis on factors such as author signals, the quantity of advertising on a page, and most importantly, E-A-T.
When it comes to quality website text, Google looks for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, and if website content is found to have a low E-A-T score, it will not trust the site, negatively affecting search rankings. In contrast, content that is found to show a high level of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, will be recognised as quality content, which will have a positive impact on search engine rankings.
John Mueller has expressed that whilst Google’s definition of content quality encompasses all of the above factors, quality content goes much further.
Website Design and Technical SEO
It’s long been suggested that making technical improvements to a website and working on design is less important to SEO than having quality page content, however, Mueller states that quality content is more than just text.
To define content quality of a website, Google is looking at the overall quality of the site, including everything from layout to website design.
As well as looking for high quality text, Google is interested in how content is presented on each page, how visual elements are integrated into the page, and the loading speed of the website.
Google has stated for a long time that images are important for SEO, but it isn’t as simple as saturating a website with stock images. Properly optimised images provide many advantages for user experience, and of course, search ranking opportunities. When it comes to successful use of images to improve SEO, it’s important to:
- Choose the right image format and compress your images
- Work with a creative designer to produce unique and memorable images that stand out
- Customise image file names and write SEO-friendly Alt text
- Make sure your images are mobile friendly and scale with the size of the site depending on the device used
Page loading speed
Whilst the importance of page speed has long been disputed, Mueller’s new broader definition of content quality shows that this is no longer the case. Page loading speed is key to how Google views content quality, so this must be considered for the design of a website. As discussed, image optimisation and compression is key to improving page speed.
Web design and layout
Most importantly, how all content is presented on a web page has a significant impact on how Google views content quality. It isn’t the case that Google simply looks at the text on the page and ignores everything; it crawls the text for E-A-T, whilst also judging the quality of everything around it, including how text, images, animations and other visual elements are presented to the user.
What Makes a Good Website Design?
So what makes for a good website design in terms of quality content? Simply put, quality website design puts content first. When it comes to providing website design services, great creative agencies choose to focus on content (including text, images, animations, video and more) first, in order to give them a better idea of the web design structure that is needed to provide the best user experience, but also to appeal to Google’s content quality definitions.
Taking a content first approach ensures that creative designers and web developers can gain essential insight into the bigger picture of a brand’s marketing strategy and end goal. This isn’t to say that design can’t guide content too, and in some cases, design may influence changes to content!
Website Design Services to Boost Content Quality
If your SEO strategy has focused strongly on improving website content for E-A-T, but is held back by poor technical SEO, website design and page layout, Bluechilli can ensure your website ticks all of Google’s content quality boxes.
As a team of creative designers and marketers, we look at the overall quality of your website and how our creative services can ensure your message makes maximum impact.
Talk to us about creative website design.