Finding a web designer to create a visually pleasing and effective website isn’t hard, there are plenty to choose from. But how much do your web designers know about SEO? And can they incorporate effective search engine optimisation into a site that also keeps your human visitors coming back?
Web designers are considered to be ‘creative’ people, interested in the aesthetics of design, a merging of form and function. But no matter how beautifully designed your website is, without good search engine optimisation it will be ineffective at best, lost at a lower page on Google at worst. Without good SEO, the search engine ‘bots won’t know where in the sea of billions of web pages on the Internet your page is. And if they can’t find it, it won’t get listed. A majority of browsers click on the first listing on page one of Google, whether that website is aesthetically pleasing or not. It’s relevance that counts, which is why your web designers have to know how to incorporate SEO into your site design.
But surely SEO is all about the content?
Search engine optimisation no longer relies on keywords, search phrases or just content. While these are still important factors to include in your overall SEO package, search engines like Google now also search for relevant visual images as well. This is where your web designers come in. By selecting the right visual images for your content, they can create powerful SEO that will attract the search engine ‘bots and help to boost your page ranking. So if, for example, you run an aromatherapy website, a picture of a tranquil landscape, no matter how beautiful or therapeutic to look at, will not catch the attention of the ‘bots. However, a stock photograph of a selection of aromatherapy oils will, because it has relevance to the search terms your visitors will use.
But it’s not just about the visual images. Fresh, original and unique content is priority number one for the search engine ‘bots, and this is the primary factor in boosting your SEO rankings. Web designers have to now understand how the written content of your website fits in with the overall SEO package and it is their job to present it in such a way that it is easy to read, grabs the human visitor’s attention and isn’t just a solid ‘block’ of copy to be scanned and then discarded by the rapidly bouncing visitor. Recent research in Canada has found that it only takes 50 milliseconds for a viewer to decide whether a web page is visually compelling or not. So your web designers have to make sure that the first impression the visitor forms is a good one.
Building an SEO-friendly website
For many years, content copywriters, SEO experts and web designers were separated into different camps. Now, as the requirements for a good SERPS position change and Google’s SEO algorithms become more refined, the three camps have to merge into one cohesive whole. Design, content and SEO all have to work together to create an effective, engaging and ultimately profitable website for any business. It is important that you, the client, are happy with the results, and that those results also represent a good ROI. If your web designers don’t believe that SEO or content is an important aspect of website creation, it may be time to talk to a new agency that does realise the importance of SEO in web design and actively embraces its inclusion into their design ethos. Your website needs good SEO. It also needs great design. Make sure that your web designers can deliver both.