Balancing SEO and Web Design for Business Success
Generating website traffic is fundamental in gaining customers and boosting sales. To rack up website visitors, you must rank high in Google’s results page – since majority of internet users utilize this search engine to find answers to queries. When people search for keywords relevant to what your business offers, you want your website to appear high in the results. Furthermore, you want to give these potential customers a great experience when they visit your website. Your goal is to convert these visitors to buyers. As such, it’s crucial for you to know the part that SEO and web design play in your website’s success.
SEO and Web Design: What are they and why are they important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves developing your website to an optimum state so that it is deemed valuable by search engines such as Google. Your website is considered SEO-friendly when it has a high ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) whenever people type in keywords relevant to your site.
Web design, on the other hand, pertains to the overall look and design of your website. It sets the customers’ impression, conveys brand personality, and can be the deciding factor if the visitor stays or leaves your website. (See 6 reasons why your business needs a website: https://sortedhost.co.nz/blog/website-for-your-business.)
Combining good practices on both SEO and web design makes it easier for people to find and take desired actions in your site. When you create an interface that works well for users and search engine crawlers, you maximize your visibility and significantly increase organic search traffic, ultimately leading to more sales and increased brand reach.
However, the challenge is that people who work on SEO and web design may have differing strategies in mind as to how your website should look like. SEO virtuosi may focus on optimizing your site for more keywords and more content, while web design experts may want to keep things cleaner and simpler for the user.
These are some things to remember to keep your SEO and web design practices working together:
Know your audience
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of things, you should determine first who your website’s target audience is. Here are a few questions that might help:
- Who are the people that need my website’s content?
- What kind of visuals appeal to these people?
- What do they want and need from my website?
- What keywords does my audience use when searching for websites similar to mine?
If you’re targeting the Generation Z market, they are more video-centered and into social media (FB ads can be a great marketing technique here!). If millennials are your audience, they want instant information and straightforward answers. If your website is for a specific country, like New Zealand for instance, you can make choices based on local preferences and demographic. Knowing your audience makes it easier for you to make educated decisions through the process of SEO and web design.
Consistency is key to web design. Mind your brand colors, and make sure that visitors will feel they’re on the same website when they view other web pages within. Focus on good typography, appropriately-sized images, and a generally easy-to-navigate layout. Elements must fit like a glove so visitors are not distracted or confused by any inconsistencies. If your website’s design is unappealing and complicated, it’s very likely that visitors will close it and find another site. You can be in control of all these when you create your own website, even a simple one in WordPress (learn how).
When people visit your website for the first time, they should have a general idea of how to get where they want to go. Your interface should not require much brainpower, and users should find it easy to locate a certain web page. Through web design and SEO, you should be able to guide your customers through your website. Navigation should be a seamless flow, not a confusing experience.
Keep things as simple as possible. You don’t want potential customers to find it hard to purchase a product or book an appointment. Remember that when people come to your site, they’re looking for an answer and they expect to find it fast.
Content hierarchy is a great way to help people navigate easily through the site. Take the Trade Me website in New Zealand, for instance. It offers an overwhelming amount of postings – products, jobs, properties, and motors. But with content hierarchy, it’s easy for consumers to find what they’re looking for. Under their marketplace, they have a wide variety of categories such as antiques, baby gear, clothing, electronics, health, and more. But under each category are more subcategories, which users find helpful when looking for something specific. For instance, under the Electronics tab, you can find batteries, players, radios, cameras, music players, and others. This practice makes it easier for customers, and it’s also good for SEO since crawlers can easily index the site’s content.
People want information and they want it now. They won’t wait on you if your webpage takes too long to load. The more seconds it takes, the more people will bounce off and find a new site. At 2 seconds, about 12% of visitors leave. When it reaches 4 seconds, 25% more are lost. Clearly, speed matters in today’s world where info is instant.
Ready for all devices
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets when surfing online. As such, your website must be fully-optimized for all devices. All text and images should adjust to the user’s screen to give them the same quality experience as desktop users. If your website is not designed for all devices, your traffic is likely to spiral down. So make sure you keep this in mind from the moment you hire someone to build your website or when you create your own HTML website.
The strategies you implement would be ineffective if you don’t produce quality content. Definitely, content is still king. When people find your content to be extremely helpful, they will keep coming back. Furthermore, quality content will make it easier for search engine crawlers to index your content and rank it higher on the SERPs.
SEO and web design are two important pillars in getting traction in your website. Together, they create a powerful way for you to increase traffic, significantly boost conversion rates, and achieve business success online.
To learn how to boost your business further using Google My Business, read this article.