In general, the word “design” refers to drawings or sketches that depict a rough look of the final product. In the Tech Terms Computer Dictionary, “Web design is the process of creating websites. It encompasses several different aspects, including webpage layout, content production, and graphic design.”
From these definitions, you’d assume that designing a website only encompasses pictures, text, and the layout of the pages of a website. Which technically is true. However, in today’s world of search engine marketing (SEM), a pretty website is worthless if nobody finds it.
You need to do additional work to make the site optimized for ranking purposes and to drive traffic to it. Many make this a task to complete after the website design is complete. While that is certainly an option, we don’t believe it’s the best one.
Slapping a website on the internet isn’t enough for your online presence. You need to have the right keywords embedded into the site in order to start building your organic SEO. So why not do the required keyword research upfront during the design phase?
Web designers and SEO experts are sometimes at odds with their priorities. The goal of designers is to produce an aesthetically appealing site that communicates to visitors that they put great effort into the final product. SEO is not their priority. SEOs, however, tend to include code that is easily crawled, indexed, and understood by a search engine spider. It’s focused on keywords but can be difficult to navigate and doesn’t do a good job of lead conversion.
So what you need is a balancing act when it comes to creating a web design that is SEO-rich. Getting that result requires using a process to accomplish both goals (attractive and functional design AND keyword-rich optimization).
Gone are the days when you could “trick” the search engines into ranking your site higher by stuffing the pages with the keywords they are looking for. The ranking algorithms have become much more sophisticated. It’s also a bit funny (and sad) to see supposed internet marketing agencies still engaged in this type of practice (Hint: run!)
Besides, even if the keyword stuffing did rank you higher and drive traffic to your site, do you really think that visitors would stay there long if they didn’t find useful information?
An appropriate amount of time and effort should be allotted to keyword research. Choosing the right keywords for your business is crucial. Words or phrases that your target audience might include in queries to find your product or service need to be included in your web content strategically in a natural, relevant flow of content.
Websites need to be designed for use on multiple devices: laptops, tablets and mobile. Over 70% of internet searching is done via smart phones and that number will continue to grow. If your website isn’t designed to be mobile-friendly, it will be penalized, not only by the search engines but by prospective customers. Google rewards mobile-friendly websites with higher organic SEO rankings. Users will not stay long if they can’t navigate easily or see what they want on the site.
If you design the website from the get-go to automatically adjust for optimal display on all devices, you won’t have to worry about it later on.
These are behind-the-scene items in the HTML code that can boost SEO for the website. Remember, great design is to help the people who make it to your site, but the code is to help the search engines get them there.
If you don’t have a website at all, we can design you one that meets your specific business needs, includes SEO to get your ranked highly and will promote lead conversion. If you already have a website, let us run a complimentary SEO Report against it to show you how it ranks.