Ranking of design elements to improve website visibility
Poster in Proceedings of The 13th World Wide Web conference
Weideman, M. 2011. Ranking of design elements to improve website visibility. Poster in Proceedings of The 13th World Wide Web conference. 13-16 September. Johannesburg, South Africa. Online: www.zaw3.co.za
High rankings for especially mission critical websites in search engine results are mandatory for the success of the marketing effort associated with a large website. Scholarly publications show that little work has been done to measure or identify design elements to be included in website design when considering website visibility. Results of empirical research on the identification of design factors which have a positive influence on the visibility of a webpage are presented.
Some theoretical models exist in the literature, and one SEO practitioner model was found. A scoring system was developed to aggregate the results of these models to produce one new way of ranking the elements with a positive effect on website visibility. While only one practitioner and three academic models were used, the scoring was done to give an equal weight to both sets of models.
The results indicated that many design elements were known under a variety of names, but in all cases the same trend was clear. The quantity of inlinks pointing to a given website ranked the highest, followed by the use of weight-carrying keywords in body text. In total, 17 factors were listed as having a positive effect on website visibility. However, it was noted that if these factors were "over-implemented", it could appear to the search engine crawlers as spamdexing. This in turn, could lead to the blacklisting of a website by search engines. In conclusion, it is important that website designers implement this ranking in their designs.
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