Websites can sometimes face issues that prevent them from appearing on Google’s search results pages. This leads to little to no traffic, thus reducing your revenue. If you rely on search engines for people to find your business, you must prioritise search engine optimisation (SEO). A website is your company’s home. As such, you must build a solid foundation by engineering your design system and templates to maximise your SEO potential. An excellent design system will ensure a great user experience, which will increase your search engine visibility. This article will discuss some of the best tips on creating a design system that will help your website perform well on the SERPs.
What is a Design System?
A design system is key to streamlining your design approach and empowering your design team to bring your company’s whole essence to life. Design systems are ever-evolving sets of components, principles, and guidelines that provide designers and engineers with a shared language for consistent product and web design. A design system guides your design team to create a smoother user experience. A sound design system will allow designers to understand how to make a website that constantly stays relevant to users and search engines.
What Should You Include in a Website Design System?
While there are no standards for a design system, we have standard features that most effective design systems include.
- Design Principles.
These principles are the rules or values that drive your design team. For instance, you can decide to stay out of users’ way or make your website mobile-friendly. Design principles differ from one business to another but reflect your brand’s core values.
- Pattern Library.
This is a repetition of more than one design element working in concert with each other. The elements can be shapes, lines, or colours.
- User Interface Kit.
This is a collection of UI-focused elements like widgets and buttons. User interface kit allows designers to create consistent and UI-friendly designs.
These rules help your design team understand and interpret the principles as they create your website.
Why Does a Website Design System Matter?
Most designers overlook the design system despite being among the essential aspects of a website’s SEO performance. Here are some reasons why a design system is crucial.
Great User Experience
The perfect website design is all about the design system if you take away the colours, graphics, white space, and fonts. The human mind looks for a balance and a logical way to put things together. Users want to find items the way they expect and locate what they want with ease. An excellent website design is satisfying to users, and the more appealing it is, the more attractive it is to search engines. If your website does not allow users to spend more time, it will not perform well on the SERPs.
Sitelinks are a listing format in the SERPs that show your website’s primary page along with several internal links. Sitelinks are a significant SEO advantage since they increase the navigability of your website. Users can easily find what they want, thus increasing your clickthrough rate and shortening the conversion funnel. Search engine’s algorithm automatically awards sitelinks to websites with sound design systems. If you do not invest in a design system, you may never receive sitelinks, which may hurt your traffic and conversion rate.
Search engines bots crawl design systems. The primary objective of crawling the design system is to place your website on the search results page. Search engine bots will find it easy to crawl and index your pages if you have an excellent website design system. Search engine crawlers do not automatically discover all your pages. However, a design system makes their work easier.
How Do Design Systems Ensure Your Website Performs Well on the SERPs?
SEO and design systems are entwined and essential for your website. If you create a website without considering SEO, it will not rank or earn revenue. If your website seems to fail, you can take advantage of UX microcopy to create engaging, interactive 404 pages. This ensures that your redesigned website can still find high-performing pages. This will be your only way to maintain an online presence and rank on the SERPs. Design systems impact your SEO efforts. For instance, mobile-friendly design systems will increase your traffic and dwell time. This translates to more referrals and even links to your website.
How to Create the Perfect Design System
Here are the four primary steps to building a design system for your business.
Audit Existing Product
Go through your products and review their front-end design elements. This information will help you build a catalogue of UI components and visual elements that will form the foundation of your design system. The audit report can also help you identify any inconsistencies that may have emerged and make the necessary decisions.
Define Your Design Language
After reviewing your product, it is time to set clear rules on how you think about your product. Create guidelines on how you plan to bring the principles to life. An excellent design system will outline your branding vision, including how you want your clients to feel when using your website. Do you want them to feel calm, quirky, or friendly? Let your design system outline how you want your customers to think about your website. Some of the visual languages you choose include colour, typography, iconography, and imagery. These elements should work together to create a feel for your website and instil the desired emotion in your customers.
Build a Pattern Library
The pattern library refers to a collection of reusable UI components that will streamline your design in future. We have two types of patterns; functional and perceptual. These patterns work together to create a design system that you will love.
The functional pattern defines the structure of your design, while the perceptual pattern defines the visuals. Together, these patterns form a structurally sound library and are evocative of the appropriate emotion and brand aesthetic.
Without a clear guideline on how and when to use the design element, you will not have an authentic design system. Instead, you will have a collection of components and libraries. Always ensure you document shared practices on how your team can effectively use and maintain your design system. Some of the guidelines you can incorporate include;
- How team members can contribute to the system.
- How to report issues.
- How to address ongoing maintenance issues.
- How to govern consistency between the design and production code.
What Makes an Ideal Web Design?
Even after creating an excellent design system, you must monitor its performance and update it regularly. When reviewing your website design, consider the following to maximise your SEO strategy.
Spying on your competitors and watching out for trends will keep you informed on the latest strategies to keep you on top of the SERPs. Ensure that you showcase any social awareness campaigns when creating your design system. Be ready to introduce one-click models to reach pages quickly. You can also have a strategy in place to alter your payment method in case a new financial system takes the world by storm.
The world is shifting to mobile technology. Most people want to access information on the go regardless of where they are. Your website may look great on a laptop or desktop screen. But have you tried accessing it on a 5.5” screen? If it does not display pages correctly, you will lose a significant amount of traffic. Google will also not rank your website, especially after rolling out the mobile-first indexing.
Getting your users from point A to B with little fuss is the most prominent concern when creating a website. You must ensure that your website offers an enhanced user experience for your clients. Avoid stuffing your website with unnecessary pages, ads, and links. Such elements will distract your visitors or hinder them from accessing what they want. Speed and simplicity is always a win for websites.
Get First-Party Information
One thing that users want in 2021 is reliable and first-hand information. Begin by understanding your audience so that you can look for information that will get them interested in your website and its content. Obtain information that they willingly provide and tailor your offering to them. Sourcing information yourself will also save money and time, and you can also ensure accuracy.
Clear Brand Messaging
Ensure that your website explains your values and mission clearly. Look at your website from a visitors’ perspective and determine whether you understand what it is all about. Can your visitors tell what you offer on the first click? If you cannot convince a user that you are worth their attention in less than 15 seconds, they will click away and move to your competitor.
Technology is constantly changing, and you must ensure your design system adapts seamlessly to these changes. The best time to create a design system is before you build your website. If you are redesigning a website, you can rework the design system and tailor it towards improving SEO. You must consider the design system and several other factors for your website to perform well on the SERPs.