Having a website can something seem to be a big list of choices – what you want to include, what the website should look like, what images to include. At a basic level, you want the website to look good and be easy to use. But you also want people to find it and this means considering search engine optimisation (SEO). So which should come first?
The simple answer is that neither should come first or last – both design and SEO should be considered together in a holistic approach. They are not two different approaches but rather two complementing areas of web design that should have a harmonious relationship to get the best for your business.
The best websites today combine the clever elements of SEO with what is called User Experience or UX. This is a concept that people visiting the website will find it easy to use, filled with interesting content that is relevant and well written as well as a design to the site that is logical and sensible. They can move around the website easily and find everything they want. In the background, the SEO works away, telling the search engines that the website exists, what it does and what products it offers, helping bring traffic to the site.
Ask anyone who studies SEO and they will tell you there is no guaranteed way to get your website noticed but there are a series of good practises. Gone are the days or stuffing lots of keywords into everything that referred to your business with the aim of ranking well. Now it is all about quality and the right kind of quantity. If you feel like you need assistance with SEO, companies such as Grapefruit Digital in London can really give your website the boost it needs.
Currently, for example, Google is into bigger blog posts and longer articles with an odd in-depth piece of around 2000 words adding to the SEO value of the website. Don’t forget those authority links and if you have a video or can find one that works with the topic, they are always popular. www.thegrapefruit.co.uk is a great company to help you with this if you think you might struggle going it alone.
When designing the website, don’t just think about what looks pretty but think about what will work for your visitors. Capturing an audience’s attention needs to be done in the first few seconds of them arriving on the site. Creating a website filled with beautiful pictures and videos may look great but isn’t going to rank you highly on those SEO rankings and you will likely get a high bounce rate. This is the number of visitors who arrive on the website and leave without going anywhere else – in other words, they didn’t find what they were looking for quickly enough and moved on.
Another massive element of design is ensuring that the website works on all the different devices that people use. Mobile friendly, tablet friendly, all these elements should be covered. This includes using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) so that when someone reads your content from a mobile, it works just as well as on a laptop.
Getting your website design right is now about more than just getting the design right but the design is also still very relevant. Ensuring that all the components work together is by far the most important part of website design.