The most common advice for starting a business is to go step by step. While generally speaking this is the way to go, there are certain exceptions. We all know that in these digital times the core of every business is an attractive and engaging website that needs to be ranked high up on the first page of search results. The most common mistake the inexperienced business owners make is to design a website right away and worry about the SEO later. Well, these are the two steps you need to do simultaneously. As Sydney SEO experts constantly point out - there is an essential and natural link between the site’s design and it’s search performance. So let’s take a look how can you make this interplay happen and make the most of it.
1. Yellow Brick Road
In today’s ever-growing competition the battle for the user’s attention has never been greater and the result is that all of our senses are constantly under attack, our vision in the first place. In order to attract their audience, most of the business owners overload their websites with various eye candy because they think that will boost their engagement. But results are usually quite opposite because people easily get lost among this visual stimulus. If you want to build a spectacular Land of Oz you need to include the yellow brick road that will lead your customers to your sales funnel and CTA buttons. If your pages are confusing and difficult to use your customers will quickly get frustrated and look for the ones with greater usability factors. That’s why your design's navigation is crucial for SEO - with a proper guidance people will stay longer on your pages, share them with friends and you’ll get the higher volume of inbound links. All these factors are an indication of quality which is rewarded by search engines. When creating this navigation remember that your roads need to stretch to mobile devices, too.
2. The Cobweb
Your users are not the only ones who need to have open roads before them - you need to knit the cobweb for those little crawling spiders because they’re the ones who can make your website discoverable - or not. These search engine bots in charge of indexing are sophisticated, but their ability to discover content is not without limits. Their web consists entirely from links to your content and if these links are broken, buried, or simply don’t exist - your pages will be impossible to rank. The key is to make the architecture of your website intuitive from the perspective of design and crawlable from the perspective of SEO. That’s why you need to keep your most important content high up and then build subcategories from there.
3. The Wizard
At the end of their adventures in the land of Oz, Dorothy and her friends realize that the great wizard is just the man. Nonetheless, they don’t end up empty-handed. The presents are simple, but they’re just what they were looking for. In the same manner, beneath all that eye candy on your website, there’s a content. It is an indication to search engines of what your page is about and it needs to be just what your users are looking for. And only simplicity can produce real results - the times when you could stuff your landing page with keywords is over, for modern SEO the quality of the content is crucial. You need to know the purpose of every page, what is the information the users need or will want to know about every topic and what kind of content is necessary to get your message across. And you need to know all this before you bring your design ideas to life because they should be developed to assist the content, not to distract the users from it.
4. There’s No Place Like Home
Although we’ve promised you the tips for nailing the design and SEO, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to maintain the world you’ve created. The competition and the rapid evolution of technology can easily make your website outdated in only a couple of years, so redesign has become a normal procedure. Same as the SEO, the design is also an ongoing process. That doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong, things simply need to be updated to satisfy new standards. That’s why it’s important that all the elements and connections between them find a way to your new and improved look. This is the point where the connection between the design and SEO becomes indisputable - if you redirect things wrong all the SEO value you’ve been building will go down the drain. So before you start, get a really clear view of the current state so no pages and their content (along with rankings, title tags, and other relevant information) are left behind.
We live at the times of short attention spans so strong visuals are necessary, but they mustn’t become the distraction. You need to keep the navigation clear and the content visible and able to survive the winds of change. Only if both - spiders and searchers - can find their way around you’ll be open for business.