How Web Page Layout Affects Search Rankings


Did you know that your website layout can affect your search rankings?
In this article, I identify some key things to consider in your web page layout for both usability and organic SEO rankings.

What is website content above the fold?

Content above the fold is clearly visible immediately when people get to your website. They do not have to scroll to see it.

One question to ask yourself is: Can people tell what you sell, where you’re located, and how to contact you immediately when they get to your website?

For example, if the browser window is full of pictures, a flash movie, advertisements, or all of the above when people first get to your website, then you probably don’t have much content above the fold.

This doesn’t mean that you have to have a text based website for people to see your content, but rather place a few text elements near the upper left corner that answer the who, what, where, how for your products or services.

What content do visitors see when they get to your website?

The answer actually depends on several factors:

Screen resolution – device dependent
Browser window dimensions – user sizable
Device capabilities – graphics or flash may be disabled

The screen resolution of a computer monitor or device is measured in pixels (width x height). The following list identifies the resolution of some of today’s popular devices:

Computer Monitor Resolution – most popular today are 1024 x 768, 1366 x 768, 1280 x 800. See a current list at NetMarketShare.
iPhone 4 and 4S – 960 x 640
iPad2 – 1024 x 768
Kindle Fire – 1024 x 600
Android device – can vary, but generally 4 standard screen sizes of 426 x 320, 470 x 320, 640 x 480, 960 x 720
Keep in mind that on a PC or Mac, the user can resize the browser window and make it smaller than the full screen resolution. On a device, the user may use portrait or landscape viewing which changes how much they see.

Your website also needs to allow for some top, bottom, left, and right margin space for the browser tool bars, scroll bars, and window borders.

How to improve web page layout on your website

Move important items to the upper left corner. At first glance, visitors should know:

The name of your company (logo)
What you do or what you sell
Where you’re located
How to contact you