5 top Web design tips to increase website traffic

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Since performance and speed are important to SEO (and therefore website traffic originating with organic search), Web design plays a crucial role in how well a website ranks in search results on Google and other search engines.

As a result, great Web design can have a dramatic effect on your business and how profitable and sustainable it is.

By implementing a few design improvements that leverage the latest Web technologies like CSS3, responsive Web design for mobile support, HTML5, and more, you can derive potentially large gains for very little effort.

This article discusses 5 great Web design tips that will help your blog or business website drive more organic search traffic, improve the browsing experience of visitors, and ensure that you make as much revenue as possible.

5 top Web design tips for increased Web traffic

I have tried to limit my Web design tips to ones that are fairly simple to implement for novice Web designers - (I failed a bit...). However, if you are completely allergic to CSS and HTML, then you might want to get in touch with your Web designer and get them to make these design changes.

1. Replace background images with CSS3 background gradients

Does your website still use background images? Images are large and chew bandwidth; slowing down your website.

In almost all cases, background images can be replaced with modern looking, attractive, and lightweight CSS3 gradients.

What's more, you don't even have to know anything about CSS3 in order to use it.

Head over to one of my favorite Web design tools, Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator. This will allow you to create cross-platform CSS using a graphical interface. All you need to do is copy and paste the new CSS code into your own style-sheets, and away you go.

2. Replace Images with text

Does your website use an image to display the site title? Do you use images to display written information?

Not only are images large and unwieldy, but they also hide valuable SEO information from Google and other search engines. Using an image as header text is fine for a human, but not for the search engines because they can't "read" images like we can.

Convert your text images into header text (i.e. <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, etc) that contains important SEO keywords and phrases, and you'll soon notice page rank improvements in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

For more information on using SEO keywords, check out How to research SEO keywords: Five SEO tips from top SEO experts

3. Implement responsive Web design

Does your website support mobile devices? This is arguably the most important Web design update that all bloggers and businesses will have to do in the near future.

Mobile access to the Internet will soon outpace PCs. In other words, more people visiting your website will do so from a smartphone or tablet. This makes mobile Web design an imperative.

Unfortunately, responsive Web design is not straightforward, and I wouldn't recommend you try it yourself unless you are a real expert (you have a business to run anyway, right?).

If you're building a site from scratch, then any of the leading website builders will allow you to create responsive sites in a jiffy.

4. Replace JavaScript with CSS3 transitions

As a general rule, avoid using JavaScript if you can - it can hide important content from search engines, slow down your site, degrade badly, and generally lead to slow and poor browsing experiences.

"Explore a list of the best SEO companies ranked by their overall value for money."

But, JavaScript has been used to add cool, professional effects to websites for so long that many people don't even consider what's out there. It's a pity because there are pretty amazing, super fast, super lightweight Web designs possible with CSS3 and HTML5.

Instead of using JS to implement a front page slider, why not get it done in HTML5 and CSS? Don't believe that it can be done without JavaScript? Take a look at the Juizy slideshow demo.

5. Go for speed

Google takes page speed and performance seriously, and so should you. There are three ways you can speed up a Webpage:

  1. Reduce the amount of time it takes to build a page on the server
  2. Reduce the amount of data transferred from the server to the browser
  3. Simplify the DOM (Document Object Model)

1. If you are using a PHP based CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla you might benefit from installing something like APC (Alternative PHP Cache) on your web-server that can help to speed up the actual PHP processing behind the scenes.

You might need to move to a better quality hosting company in order to do this. Use our create a website resource to find the best quality hosting service that's right for you.

You might also look at ways to simplify your website so that there is less PHP or database queries to process. Caching is an important part of reducing server processing loads, and every website should utilize at least some sort of caching to speed things up.

2. You can reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred from the server to the browser using a number of techniques like:

  • Compression, or gzipped transfer
  • Reduce images (as discussed earlier)
  • Optimize images (it is often possible to make images smaller without any noticeable loss of quality)

You can find more info at What are the best ways to reduce the size of my webpages to speed up page load?

3. Designers love using tools to design Web pages. Unfortunately, many of these tools don't create HTML in a very efficient way. Often there are unnecessary containers, tables, boxes, etc.

Every HTML element adds to the size of the DOM. The larger the DOM, the more processing the browser has to do in order to ensure that each element is styled or processed as instructed.

By simplifying the structure of your webpages (i.e. physically removing HTML that isn't required by your page design), it is possible to speed up page render time and improve the browsing experience of visitors.

Those are my top design tips to help drive traffic to your business website. What Web design tricks do you use to improve your page rankings and Web traffic? Do you think that Web design has helped your business succeed online?