It’s a great accomplishment when you reach the first page of Google. You probably have an influx of clients and a boost in revenue. All those blogs, white papers, website links, and digital marketing efforts are finally paying off. You’re successful enough that you don’t have time, or perhaps the will, to market yourself. After all you’re a success so that means you can take your foot off the pedal, right? WRONG!
Your Websites Fundamental SEO Is More Important Than Design
There’s no dispute that a website should be well designed, with a creative branding structure that really sells your business to web visitors.
No-one wants an ugly website.
But the online marketing industry has fallen into somewhat of a dangerous trap of creating websites that are gorgeous, yes- but at the expense of fundamental SEO practices that actually bring visitors to your site from search engines.
In other words, we see a lot of websites with insane design that actually never get seen on the SERP.
You’re stuck with a website that can’t be found.
And with websites being perhaps the most important online marketing tool under your belt, that doesn’t really help.
The SEO Of Your Website Is #1 Priority
The list of fundamental SEO practices for websites doesn’t actually run that long, but you’d be surprised at just how many of them are missed when a new website is built.
Really, it’s a blend of sacrificing these fundamentals for design elements- or billable hours being allocated towards the design rather than the skeletal framework of the site.
Fundamental SEO includes factors like:
- Keyword optimization
- Title tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt tags
- Site maps
- Crawl accessibility
- Snippers/schema markups
These are all pretty non-negotiable when it comes to being seen on the SERP and taking a leading spot on page 1- but they seem to be common factors not quite hitting the mark on a lot of developed websites out there.
A Websites Design Doesn’t Boost Your SERP Ranking
But it does affect other analytics like bounce rate, page session and even conversion rate.
Which is why a harmonious blend of strong SEO and visual design makes for the perfect website. It just seems that it’s one or the other out there with many web agencies.
It’s not an industry trend that we are happy to see.
Is SEO More Important Than Design?
Short answer- yes.
Detailed answer? It’s not really that simple.
Is getting seen online more important than how you are seen?
It’s a hard question to answer. One on hand, if no-one ever finds your website due to poor SERP ranking, that means no business for you. On the other hand though, you can be found very easily on the SERP but have people bounce out of your site really quickly if your website isn’t visually appealing and user friendly.
The most fair way to analyze these questions is to assess the goal of your website development in general.
If you don’t feel the need to be seen on the SERP and execute alternative online strategies, design away.
But most businesses want to be seen on search engines:
- 62.9% of online users conduct searches for products and services on Google
- 67% of online users only use Google to search for products and services
- 51% of people convert after using Google to search for products and services
In that case, building a site that is perfectly optimized for search engines is crucial- and so yes, SEO triumphs web design to ultimately satisfy business goals.
Building a skeletal framework that is strong, strategic and well executed will put you in a good spot for maximum exposure, and design elements can be created around the core of the site.
Don’t Forget- Website Design Still Matters!
We’ve truly noticed it’s one or the other, because we sometimes see sites that are beautifully optimized- but are downright ugly.
One of the hardest parts about online marketing is that you are creating content and elements that have to both appease search engine crawlers and real live humans.
And that is difficult. Really difficult.
That’s why the design elements of your site still really matter, and why great website developers are hard to find- one with a perfect balance of technical and visual development.
The design of your website speaks to your branding and the quality of your services, and remains the last step between a potential customer and confirmed lead generation.
It draws users in, and keeps them engaged with your brand.
It’s like sticking a billboard up in the most high traffic area, but the billboard is comprised of cardboard and sharpie markers. People will see you, but they’ll drive right on by (or to another competitor in this case.)
Website Design & SEO Go (Almost) Hand In Hand
Like we said, great website design is difficult because it demands both a technical understanding of search engines and visual creativity.
The two can very easily exist together (and should for that matter) but it takes finding a developer that builds with both in mind.
Be sure to discuss your visual goals, but also inquire about the SEO framework these design elements are being built around. You’d be surprised at what may be missing.