Minimalists Website Design vs. SEO

One of the most common website design practices today is minimalism. Minimalism is defined as a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity by the Merriam Webster dictionary. Minimalism makes the user experience easy because the user is not bombarded with choices when they reach the website.

When most people visit websites, they are not going to read every single word on the page. It is beneficial for website designers to keep this in mind and only highlight the gripping aspects of their company or product. When a user clicks on one of your webpages, the page that they land on is an elevator pitch. The danger is including too much information on a page, and it becomes a deterrent for the user.

Benefits of this Approach

The minimalistic goal is to streamline the paths that the user follows, so they can easily navigate through the website. Other benefits include:

  • A user having limited choices makes it much less likely for them to get lost in their journey through the website.
  • With less content on the page, the website will load faster and perform better overall.

How SEO Gets Affected

The danger on the SEO front is that SEO thrives more on content on the page. Crawl bots find a webpage and pull them to the top of the search results. The more your page aligns with what people are searching, the more likely your page will be brought to the top of the results. The balancing act that must be performed is including as much content as possible, while still limiting the content to make the website more accessible for users.

How to Balance Both

The first line of optimization can be taken is on the back end of the website with alt tags, URL structures, sitemaps, and the general data structure of the website. Dealing with content on the front of the page comes down to efficiency. The website designer must choose the organic keywords that they will include on their page. With minimalism, the designer will limit themselves to a certain number of keywords and they must decide which ones are the most valuable to the company on a brand level as well as on a metric level. They must measure which organic keywords rank higher on the search engine, the total organic traffic number to their website, and revenue generated from organic traffic.

Written by Google Products Associate, Ray McDermott

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