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I am trying to improve the SEO of a website. I notice the website itself is very cluttered and the content isn't laid out very well. The owner claimed it used to rank higher on Google, and that there are many positive reviews for the business (e.g. through Yelp) yet less popular businesses in the same area rank higher in search result. The cms is Yola. Can lack of following UI style guidelines affect search results?

I'm a bit new to SEO, and even though I've red up on it, I'm having trouble here. There's many things that could affect SEO so do you need to check each one individually or is there a technique to find what exactly is the problem?

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I think you answered in your 2nd paragraph: There are many things which affects SEO and ranking in general.

The simple answer to your query: Does site content affect SEO: Yes.

Forget for a second what customer is saying. Good content on the website and structure is vital for SEO and its the foundation of the website to rank well in the future.

It is extremely important to have good content on the website, you may think about following:

  • The website should be well designed with proper structure and with good quality content.

  • Ensure the website is quick to load.

  • Check the website on Google speed test.

Once you will be done with this then look for external factors:

  • What your competition have which you don't.
  • If you have good reviews etc that's good.

So, Yes, the UI matters but other factors matter equally. A website may have average content but if it may have powerful links then it will still rank well.

So, your intention should be to optimise in a holistic way. Starting from website content, UI to off-site activities.

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