It’s easy to get carried away when creating your website because A). Creating a website is fun, and B). There are tons of different options available when it comes to customizing your site.
However, it’s important to make sure that you don’t go overboard and create something confusing and overpowering. If your website is too complicated, you run the risk of scaring off readers (if the page will even load in the first place. If that isn’t enough to get you to stop downloading all of those plugins and upload those photos, consider your SEO. Simple websites often lead to better SEO.
Why Simple Websites Offer Greater SEO Benefits
When you have less to worry about on your website, it’s probably easier for you as a Webmaster to manage your SEO efforts and really make things happen. Aside from just having more time and thinking about other SEO factors you could perform, however, Google actually finds it easier overall to crawl simpler websites.
There are essentially two main reasons that simple websites fair better in the SEO game than the complicated ones:
Google Can’t Keep Up. Putting your actual SEO efforts aside, Google bots are not necessarily keeping up with all of the latest design and display technology. It’s hard to believe that Google would be behind on anything, but the truth is that this isn’t the first thing Google has on its mind. Their ability to understand and then crawl all of these new things just isn’t as fast as the rate at which they are developing.
Google Outlook on Big Brands. Google oftentimes will make changes because big brands figure a way around their system or they are not earning the rankings Google things they deserve because they are so popular. Michael Gray wrote about this topic in an article posted on his SEO website, Gray Wolf SEO and explained that when Google makes adjustments to their algorithm, it is us (the Webmasters) who will need to adapt. In the latest case, this means making websites similar.
As discussed above, Gray noted that the latest case of big brands getting their way dealt with none other than the infamous Apple. Here he discussed the recent case that sparked this discussion:
Apple Case. As we all know, Apple is one of the biggest brands and has some of the best visibility on Google. However, it wasn’t long ago that Google was having a hard time crawling Apple’s website, which led to direct links to apps missing from Google SERPs. This left a lot of people scratching their heads, and once the issue was fixed; it sparked the debate of simple vs. complicated websites.
What actually qualifies as a “simple” website is up for debate, but it certainly doesn’t mean that your website has to be void of color or cool fonts or quality graphics. A general rule of thumb is to make sure you’re not taking too many risks when it comes to the pages where customers can really convert. On your other pages, just use your best judgment (Hint: Tons of videos and fancy flash players might be a bit much).