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What Design Elements Affect Your SEO?

When it comes to WordPress SEO you have to look at a variety of different elements on your blog. From keywords and anchor text links to navigation links and image tags. You have to look at your internal coding, too, to help minimize load times and make sure the code is easy for search engine bots to read and understand. Design elements like font sizes and colors are important, too. But if you don’t use them properly you can do more harm than good.

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How design elements can negatively affect your blog

Using H1 and H2 tags to designate headings and sub-headings has always been recommended for the search engines. The bots pick up those tags and understand that anything inside those tags is important information. For that reason, H1 and H2 tags are a critical design element for any blog or website.

But some bloggers use those tags too much. They use them to make the page look pretty or to highlight every other sentence. The search engine bots see all those tags and get confused.

But not only is it bad for the search engines, it makes it difficult for your readers to pick out the key points of your post, too. Remember, most online readers don’t really read your post word-for-word. Generally, they scan through the post, and their eyes settle on those key points that you’ve highlighted with H1 and H2 tags. If you’ve highlighted most of your post thinking you can force them to read every single word you’re wrong. You’re actually making it more difficult to read.

Font colors don’t have as much of an effect on the search engines but using too many colors, or too much red or purple or maroon, can have a very negative effect on your readers. First, it’s distracting and hard on the eyes.

But more important is the subconscious psychological affect of colors. For example, did you know that the color red, when used in excess, actually makes people feel afraid or cautious? No, they don’t sit there shaking in their boots while they’re reading your blog post, but there is a little alarm that goes off in the back of their mind. That’s why you rarely see a blog that has red anchor text links. Too much red and people just won’t click.

All that being said, when properly used these design elements will have a positive effect on your SEO. Use H1 and H2 tags for headings and sub-headings only, and use them sparingly. If you must use an alternate color, try using a shade of orange. Research shows that orange makes people feel happy and carefree.

And link colors? A few years ago, when Google was developing Chrome, they did some research to find the best shade of blue for contextual links. They found that they got 80% more clicks when they used Blue #0044CC. Now, whether or not that still holds true, I have no idea. Why not split test it on your own blog and see what happens?

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4 Comments (Add one)

  1. Ryan Biddulph
    Ryan Biddulph

    The subconscious stuff is fascinating Ste! We respond on a much deeper level, and these subtle differences can make all the difference. Thanks!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      There is so much more to our decision-making process than what we think about…

  2. Julia Spencer

    Well, I think that you’re absolutely right. And as about link color, then it’s also very important , because I have already seen many blogs with too bright link colors, and I had even no desire to press on them.I think that blue color is an excellent choice.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Picking Blue as the color for your links is the easy choice because it’s the default color with all browsers. I think the most important thing is to be coherent throughout your design.