That’s a great question! Let me break this question down into a couple smaller questions.
Do simple layouts get more traffic than complex layouts?
Search Engines are looking for many things before they determine who to sent their visitors too. They care about incoming links, keywords, tags, content etc. So normally people don’t think about the layout effecting the ranking. However one way the layout may affect the ranking is in regards to keyword density. Keyword Density is the number of times a keyword is mentioned in a site, compared to the rest of the words on the site. Let’s use Morris MC as our key phrase.
“Morris MC, is an internet marketing firm.” keyword density is about 25%
“Morris MC does website design and development, search engine optimization, content writing, Pay Per Click management and setup, Social Media planning, management and coaching, and many other internet marketing services.” keyword density is about 6%
The first example is much more dense than the second example.
There is one very important fact you have to remember about search engines, they are not “reading” your site. They are looking at the code behind your site, and that is the point where layout may affect your rankings. If your layout is very simple and the design only takes up 100 lines of code then your keywords will be more dense than if your design takes up 1,000 lines of code.
Do graphics effect the amount of traffic a site gets?
Search Engines’s don’t look at images in the way we do. They can’t look at a logo and say “Oh that says Morris MC.” However, if I put an alt tag on the image and say “Morris MC logo” than that will count for a key phrase. However where graphics will hurt you is if you use them for your navigation. Search Engines like to see text links using the keyword as the link. All three options below will take you to Morris MC. ltd, however the first one is the best option in regards to search engine optimization.
Would lots of graphics be too much clutter?
When we talk about clutter, we are talking about people. Search Engines don’t see clutter, but people do. If your site is not appealing to people, or if it’s hard for them to navigate or understand, even if the Search Engines send them to your site they will leave.
I hope that helped answer your questions, if you have any questions of your own please send them to me and I will answer them on my blog.
Thank you and have a terrific day,