When thinking about SEO, we often discuss what you can put into your site to help it perform better. But sometimes it’s what you don’t put on your site that makes all the difference. Remember, conversion is the name of the game, and your website should always be geared to convert first and to rank well second.
That’s why I want to talk about the importance of white space in your web design. Contrary to what some so-called “SEO experts” might tell you, every inch of your website doesn’t need to be crammed with text that will help you achieve higher search engine placement. In fact, it’s these text-crammed websites that intimidate visitors and cause them to bounce to another website.
Why White Space is Important
White space is an important design technique for several reasons. Here are just a few ways a little white space can help your website big time.
- Cleans up your website- Simply put, white space cleans up the mess on your website. We’ve all come across the websites that have every square inch crammed with text or graphics. It’s overwhelming and confusing. It’s like walking into a home that’s filled from wall to wall with thousands of little trinkets. It’s just too much. A little bit of properly placed white space makes everything seem tidy and in order. In turn, this makes your visitors feel more welcome when they land on your website.
- Reduces strain- It’s important to remember that computer monitors aren’t the best format for reading. Trying to read long blocks of text can put a significant amount of strain on your eyes. White space reduces eye strain, and helps visitors actually read your content.
- Improves eye flow- By now, you’ve probably seen the online eye tracking heat maps from multiple studies. To summarize, online users tend to scan content rather than fully read it. To improve the scannability of your website, you need to incorporate white space whenever possible. White space improves the eye flow on your website, and it makes it easier to guide readers’ eyes down to your call to action. As a result, white space can improve your conversion rate (assuming your content is good.)
- Adds a sense of class- Upscale brands have been using white space for years in all forms of marketing collateral. It gives the impression of class and elegance to the piece. It’s hard to be classy when your website is cluttered with junk. Clean things up by using white space to your design. The appearance of elegance can add trust and value to your brand.
White Space Isn’t Blank Space
As it relates to SEO, it can be easy to confuse white space with blank space. Many SEOs are adamant about getting the most out of the real estate on their pages. But what they fail to realize is adding too much to a page diminishes the importance of the content and graphics within.
See, white space is more than just a background. It’s more than blank space. When used properly, white space is a tool that can be used to add importance to your content and to guide your visitors through the conversion process.
White space is your friend!