Google God Matt Cutts says yes, it can. “If you had a really good layout with a really clean design, where all the text was really easily indexed, and you move to something that was a lot more confusing, and maybe the text wasn’t as easy for us to extract, that could change your search rankings for the downside, or for the negative.”
If you’re tempted to go the whole hog and fill your site design to the brim with exciting whizzy bits, think again. Chill out and put your customers first. When you make it simple, clear, informative, interesting, pleasurable and relevant, search engines and human visitors like you much more than when you’re a clever dick!
How do you know you’ll get all your marketing and SEO ducks in a row?
- find a properly qualified web designer who has a decent appreciation of on-site SEO and all it implies, as well as the ability to build you some seriously good, hard working ecommerce eye candy
- find a freelance copywriter who can work effectively within an SEO-led design framework and join up the SEO dots, as well as write content that’ll keep human visitors coming back for more