How to use graphic design for better SEO.
Google is being super unclear about how "reader experience" influences SEO.
In 2021, Google’s John Mueller suggested a site's appearance feeds into Google’s understanding of page quality and thus ranking.
He said "that could reflect how your website is perceived. And in the long run, could reflect something that is visible in search as well."
In Google’s September 2023 anti-trust hearing, a former employee said, “pretty much everyone knows we’re using clicks in rankings” and “we try to avoid confirming that we use user data in the ranking of search results.”
The reason for avoiding public confirmation? Not wanting SEOs to manipulate it (duh, we can't have nice things!)
They deny. They confirm. They confuse.
And who cares 🤷🏼
Google is a mysterious misinformation machine. No news there.
But forget about Google for a minute.
Instead, focus on what really matters: your reader.
As marketers, we often forget that our reader is…just like us.
- See a wall of text and think...nah, cba.
- Bounce away from slow-loading pages.
- See poorly designed graphics and assume the worst.
- See pop-up ads and hate the brand (it’s the truth 🤷)
→ Are drawn to beautifully crafted design.
→ Feel at ease with information hierarchies.
→ Know custom graphics = special effort content.
Design. Feel. Perception. They matter. Much more than busy SaaS teams realize.
So IDGAF what Google says matters to ranking.
The written word only shines through when the structure, format, graphics, & page design allow it to.
So, for the next four weeks, this newsletter will be dedicated to experience & design in the SEO and content world.
Each newsletter will share a checklist for improving reader experience:
1. Graphic design checklist (today - below!)
2. Content design checklist
3. Blog template design checklist
4. SEO design checklist
Investing in the principles I’m gonna share MIGHT increase ranking. But they will definitely increase brand affinity and conversions.
My SEO Graphic Design Checklist
The targeted use of graphic design is powerful.