So how many web designers commonly use the SEO jargon of crawlability and indexing? The design and development of websites are two unique skill sets that often overlap. Some artists and graphic designers have incredible technical skills and vice versa. The selection of colours is often in the hands of the technical and artistic staff. For designers and developers: Do you understand that your color selection affects how the content of your website could be interpreted and displayed by a web search engine? Do you understand how people can interpret your color selections? Do you understand that your color selection can have a negative impact on conversions… even with a search engine ranking of 1lb? Impact of color selection As I mentioned in a previous article, clickability and search engine-friendly web design, clickability is an essential part of the user/researcher experience.
To reiterate the important points:
- All clickable items on a web page must be clickable
- All non-clickable items on a web page should not appear clickable
- All items to click on a web page must be clickable and provide feedback
- Don’t place a link on a page that you don’t intend to click on users/researchers
I am not saying that every text link should be formatted in blue and highlighted. Not at all. I say that clickable and non-clickable text should not be formatted in the same way. For a search engine, it may seem that you are trying to hide links from users, but not to search engines. “But Shari!” he said. I hear many web developers and designers exclaim with the required eye roller. “This design principle is sooooo old-fashioned.
The keyword: conversion
People will know what to click on after putting their cursor/mouse/finger on the text. “What these designers and developers describe is called mine dredging. According to Usability.gov, mine dredging is:
“An action designed to identify where on a page links are located on a web page. Mine dredging involves the user quickly moving the cursor or pointer on a web page, looking to see where the cursor or pointer changes to indicate the presence of a link. ”
I have personally conducted usability tests for over ten years on desktops, mobile phones and tablets. I have observed, first hand, who mineweeps for links and who does not. Do you know the band that really likes to flirt? Children Now, my next question is: does your target audience include children? I didn’t mean it. In addition, requiring users/researchers to minesweep slows down the completion of tasks. And, to be perfectly honest, if an item on your web page doesn’t seem clickable, most users/researchers don’t click on it. So if you use colors to indicate clickable and non-clickable elements, please use them consistently. Don’t confuse researchers with search engines. Color, Readability and Legibility In my first book, “Search Engine Visibility,” I wrote about the five web design rules. The first rule is that all websites should be easy to read. Of course, the rule has corollaries, such as:
- Easy to analyze (visual hierarchy)
- Understandable Colour contrast is extremely important for legibility.
The highest color contrast comes from the use of both black and white colors. Some website designers like to use white text on a black background because it looks more elegant, but it is actually harder to read and can result in a drop in conversions. If you make the content too difficult to read, it doesn’t lead to the best development of links. And, as we all know, link development is always a key part of the REFERencing process.
Help with SEO
And, do you use colors that have a low color contrast, such as light gray text on a white background? Or, has your web designer defined a text size too small to read (which I often see in mobile designs)? This would be considered a form of search engine spam, even if the text was barely readable. If I work on a website that implements responsive design, for example, I make sure that the font size never falls below a certain size. Sacrificing legibility and legibility for simpler coding is not a user-centric approach. The color must also be understandable and easily interpreted.
“Color communicates a message by association,” said Flint McGlaughlin of MECLABS in his recent webinar, “How do the colors of the website influence conversion? The blue color can have several different meanings. Navy blue can communicate professionalism, safety, trust and dignity. Aqua blue has a different message (lunatic, cool, tropical, water).
And a soft, light blue can often feel more feminine than masculine. So always keep the color contrast in mind so that your site is easy to read and interpret easily by researchers and search engines. For your website’s colors to be understandable, you also need to understand color associations and culture.