The primary goal of every website is to attract visitors to a site that is both visually pleasing and SEO friendly. So although you might consider website development and SEO to be two very different entities, the truth is that equal importance should be placed on both search engine optimization and website design.
So why is this?
There’s no denying that good SEO drives traffic. You could argue, therefore, that search engine optimization is the key aspect – the ‘be all and end all’ around which everything else takes second place.
After all, if a particular keyword is strongly featured in your content and that content is well written, informative and has a good call to action, then it should be highly optimised and therefore, to all intent and purpose, rank well.
Of course, having a good organic ranking should in theory draw more visitors to your site, but the question you need to consider is …
What happens then?
If your interface isn’t up to par, or your website is nigh on impossible to navigate or is poorly designed, then visitors simply aren’t going to hang around. All the hard work you’ve carried out with your SEO might as well be for nothing.
In essence, if you’re a business that hasn’t put much thought into the overall user experience (UX) then it’s highly likely that visitors won’t want to use your services or buy your products.
This is why website development and SEO should be given equal importance because when they collaborate and the stars align, magic can happen!
Looking beyond SEO
While search engine optimization is key, the problem with it is that it doesn’t give you a true reflection of how your business is really doing. For example, analytics may show a month on month increase in website traffic and on the surface, everything appears rosy. However, dig a little deeper and you notice high bounce rates – meaning that those same visitors you’ve worked so hard to attract, simply aren’t hanging around.
With this in mind, you could be faced with a situation where you’re driving large amounts of traffic with quality SEO but getting no sales, calls or bookings with poor website development and design. This is why it’s important to look beyond SEO and consider every aspect of your website design too.
So how can website design and SEO work together to drive business? Let’s take a closer look…
Anyone who is even remotely familiar with search engine optimization will understand the importance of having a mobile-friendly website design. It’s so important, that Google made it a major ranking factor back in 2015. In fact, in 2021 more people carry out searches on mobile devices than they do desktops – That’s a fact!
Knowing what we know, it stands to reason that a bigger percentage of your target audience will find you via a mobile device and therefore, without a mobile-friendly website design it’s likely that you will alienate between 50%-60% of your client/customer base. That in itself is massive and is why a mobile-friendly design is so important.
It’s okay working hard to improve the SEO side of your content but the presentation of it (or lack thereof) on your website can make all the difference. Poor website design can make it difficult for visitors to read about what they came to your website to do.
Pages with blocks of content in odd places, strange hyperlinks that don’t serve a clear purpose or continual pop-ups enticing you to sign up for a newsletter or offer, can essentially turn away any visitors that you bought to the site in the first place.
In reality, if things get in the way of preventing a person from getting the information they came for, then you have to ask yourself…what’s the point?
A good website design takes advantage of key factors like white space, line length, headers, images and colour and the vital role that they play in the overall user experience.
Did you know that page speed is one of the most important aspects of technical search engine optimization? Yet, it’s a primary deficiency for many websites. If you aren’t ranking well despite all your SEO efforts, it could be because your website is loading slowly and as a result, visitors aren’t hanging around.
So how fast should your website load?
In reality, 2-3 seconds is the amount of time that people are willing to wait for a website to load. Any longer than this and you start losing visitors. Page load speed is even more important on mobile devices as people typically spend even less time waiting.
So how do you speed up your site?
Optimising images, eliminating unnecessary themes or plugins and allowing browser caching are all things that you can do to get your website to load quicker.
Another area where website development and SEO come together is site maps. A site map is a crucial element and acts as a guide to tell the search engine crawlers about the pages and content on your site – and indeed, their importance.
A site map can also help the user in their navigation as a new visitor can use it to find the information they need quickly. So if you haven’t already got a site map, you need to install one.
Creating a good impression
If you think about it, the whole point of website development and SEO is to create a good impression. Great content, for instance, positions you as a leader or expert in your field while a website that’s clean and easy to navigate helps to build trust.
Over the years as websites have developed, we’ve gotten used to looking at phenomenal websites and their ease of use. As such, high expectations dictate that any outdated website design that has poorly written content or is difficult to use, creates a bad impression. So although you might provide a service or product that the visitor is looking for, the overall look and feel of your website may not always convey this.
The key takeaway
Search engine optimization works best when carried out in partnership with great website development and design practices. Keep these two aspects in mind and treat them as equals, and you should start to see the increase in sales or business that may have so far eluded you.
Here at Mediboost, we specialise in medical and dental marketing in Australia. Our healthcare SEO and web design experts will work with you to bring more leads to your practice. Want to know more? Call us now on 1300 163 058 or book a free strategy consultation today.