Building a website is easy but building a website that stands out is NOT easy. There are many things that a great website needs. And the most important of those things are — design and SEO.
That’s why web designers and SEOs need to work together.
If you’re a web designer who needs to start working with SEO — you have to know that SEO is more than just its acronym. SEO-friendly websites are more than beautiful interfaces. You’ll want an understanding of your stats and the terminology about your website.
Like bounce rate increases by 123% if a page takes more than one sec to load and sprinkling some keywords here and there won’t serve your client or even you.
Even if everything is laid on your plate in the name of website SEO, many issues are still a bad idea.
When people first learn about SEO — all they care about is the keywords game. But for designers, SEO is more than a bunch of keywords.
Listen up, SEO peeps! Your content fosters all other pillars of SEO such as link building, internal links, web speed, URL, and many more issues that allow your customers to have the best user experience.
Chaya Fischman, president of the Brand Right, has a well-rounded approach on this:
“We cannot add random words in random places that don’t read well. Yes, more traffic will come to the website, but then they will see how poorly the site has been built, and you will lose your credibility.”
As a web designer, you can handle this matter with an efficient architecture design and to-the-point content. It’s good to keep your clients’ keywords obsession in check.
According to Moz, even if a domain includes highly relevant keywords — it doesn’t mean that the site will rank well.
We get you, your clients’ keen eye for details, logo designs, websites contrasting colors, and more. But before anything else, we as a designer always put customers’ needs first (remember?).
Your clients’ audience wants to know the brand’s core message and get their work done, nothing much. SEO people need to understand that the concern for details is good, but if your website isn’t communicating the brand value properly, it still won’t work; even if you add in-depth detail explanations — it still won’t work.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall.
So, focus on things that matter both for your SEOs and their customers.
This one is a real issue — and obvious.
There are 4.45 billion websites pleasing the Google lord every day. But setting some realistic expectations for your clients’ success will make your design process smooth and stress-free.
Web designers can add content, build responsive web designs and tighten up security to keep the data private and secure; however, you can’t promise immediate results (could you?).
There are various misconceptions wrapped up in vague SEO tips and tactics present on the web. In the long run, you need relevant content for your people— real people, not machines.
“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – Phil Frost, Main Street ROI.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. Statistics suggest that over 50% of web traffic comes from mobo devices.
There are few content elements hidden from mobile screens because they create an ambiguous experience on desktop versus mobile.
Being said, it all begins with the user’s search intent. If customers on the phone don’t care about the hidden content, then it’s not worth it for SEO people to move forward with it.
Create one responsive layout for both desktop and mobile and help SEO people avoid this mistake. We all know content without any purpose can hamper a good user experience.
“My rule of thumb is to build a site for a user, not a spider” – Dave Naylor, Managing Director, Bronco.co.uk.
It can be tough to understand, but it’s not that hard. You know that a website is not just a bunch of pages; they are designed systems.
But why is it even necessary? It matters because your SEO client needs to get this: a website is made up of building blocks, and these blocks are placed across different web pages, linked with different other blocks adapting different layouts.
And if you try to replace one block, your entire website foundation will eventually fall. In simple words, don’t make new rules at the end—SEO people.
“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be functional” – Cameron Moll.
As a web designer, this statement isn’t new (raise your hands if you’ve heard this): “We don’t have any images or text yet. But could you design us a website anyway so that we can put them in later?”
No, no, and a big NO.
Things don’t work like that, and content is the most valuable asset. SEOs should spend more time creating rather than consuming it on Google.
“What helps people, helps business.” – Leo Burnett, Leo Burnett Worldwide advertising company.
Ask for the content first, and then go ahead with the design and structure. If brand USP (unique selling proposition), core values, and the mission are not clear in your client’s mind, then your website design will remain as an empty vessel.
“Simplify to amplify.” –Marie Forleo, a serial entrepreneur from New Jersey.
You live by this mantra, but what about your SEO clients? Their curiosity to add multiple colors to the website, teeny-tiny CTAs on every page, and flashy content can annoy potential customers and force them to leave the website within the first few seconds.
It’s scientifically proven that simple designs work best for your users and your business. So say what you want to say in a short, crisp, and quick way.
For your client, propose a deal that they can’t ignore: Simple website designs in return for the holy grail of conversions.
If your client’s goals and your website vision are not on the same page, then there is a huge gap in communication and clarity.
To achieve optimum results, two-way communication is crucial. You ask questions like: Do you just want to drive traffic? Or want leads, you want more subscribers, or you want to gain the trust of your potential customers first — and your client gets as detailed as he can ( this helps you even in the long run).
Heshy Friedman, director of radical creations, points out clearly:
“The main thing is that they provide a list of tasks. Either they give me as the developer the tasks to do, or they do them and give me a list which I then take note of and review. The main thing they should provide is a list, and accountability towards their work-that is what I would want to see most from the customer’s angle.”
Rather than having a hands-on approach towards web security, forget about everything else and make it your primary concern. A professional web designer (like me) will always suggest website protection first.
Also, make sure you hand out a checklist to the client on its importance.
If a company’s data isn’t safe online, having that awesome website won’t work in anyone’s favor.
Studies suggest more than 85% of web applications are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It’s more important than ever for SEO people to know about web security.
When you design UX and web security to keep the website safe from cyber culprits and your client pats you on your back, never leave him!
Okay, so what if your company SEOs comprehend all your wishes — but the ultimate suggestion you receive is — forget SEO.
Here’s the answer: Focus on fundamentals headings, meta titles, optimized images and after that, forget about SEO. Also, convince your client it’s good to stay away from SEO for a while.
You’re here to help your client, and it’s more important than ever to focus on what people want, not search engines, do what’s necessary. That’s it.
Take it with a little grain of salt, you know your job, and SEOs also know their work. Guide them wherever you can help with transparency, and then You do You.
“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.” – Jeff Eisenberg
Image Credit: Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!
Charu Mitra Dubey is a content writer cum strategist. She loves to write content for B2B SaaS companies and help them reach their target audience using content marketing. In 2019, she was awarded as one of the 50 most influential content marketing professionals in India. She has been published on multiple popular websites like Entrepreneur, ReadWrite, Hackernoon, and more. Visit her personal website to know more about her or contact her on LinkedIn.