When designing should be at the top of your list:
1. Designing an SEO friendly website that is fully optimized for search so that it earns high search rankings and shows up in search results when search users type keywords that relate to the content and purpose of the website.
2. Designing a creative, user-friendly and highly engaging website where users can easily find what they are looking for.
If you consider that Google processes in excess of 2 trillion searches every year, you will understand that the competition has become fiercer. There are hundreds of other websites that offer the same services as yours, sell the same products or even carry similar information. This is a wide variety of options for internet users and you need to be aware if you are serious about catching your share of the market.
Of course, there is something to be said about a visually appealing website, and so you should aim for a design that combines function with form, but remember that it is the result of your marketing efforts that will determine if anyone will get to see your beautifully designed website. This is why your website should have a solid SEO framework.
Designing an SEO friendly website involves a lot of work, but it comes with numerous benefits. Here are just a few of them:
Improves website visibility
It doesn’t matter if yours is a small blog or a large ecommerce website, you will need traffic to grow your website and business.
SEO is what helps you rank in search engines. This means that when you have an SEO friendly design, you are easily visible to the people searching for the products, services or information your website carries.
It is one thing to attract traffic however, but a completely different ball game attracting the traffic that matters to your business, people who will be willing to make an exchange for goods, services or information on your website.
An SEO friendly design takes all this into consideration. It involves extensive research and planning that optimises your website from within (on-page SEO), and from the outside.
Improves user experience
User experience plays a crucial role in the success of your online business. This is because when your visitors are satisfied with the time they have spent on your website, were able to do what they needed, in time and with limited effort, they want to come again. Not just that, but they feel confident enough to refer your website to friends and family. No wonder Google places such huge emphasis on user experience as a ranking factor.
A well designed, SEO friendly website provides a seamless user experience for your visitors. In fact, any website designed with SEO in mind will have a lot of user-friendly advantages. There is ease of navigation, good content, clear calls to action, and minimal distractions.
When your website is like this, it increases leads, boosts sales, encourages social sharing, attracts new customers and retains old customers.
Increases organic search traffic
Paid search is good, but this is not where the bulk of your traffic comes from. The bulk of website traffic comes from organic search results, and this is directly tied to the SEO ranking of your website.
Search users prefer to click on organic search results because they feel these are less prone to manipulation, so, being at the top of SERP shows that your site has the best answer to their search query.
An SEO friendly site has the potential to appear consistently in organic search results, and if you consistently adhere to Search Engine Optimization best practices, you improve your chances of appearing in the first page of Google SERP’s.
SEO friendly design is optimized for conversion
Attracting the right kind of traffic is important, but it becomes a problem if these people leave your website without moving further towards conversion. In other words, you have to be able to close a sale with them.
A well designed, SEO friendly website has what it takes to propel your visitors through the important sections of your site and get them committed to making a decision in your favour. It makes taking the desired action such as subscribing to your newsletter, booking an appointment, and even buying a product easy, because with all the SEO and design efforts you have put into your website, your customers will easily find the information they need in order to make a decision.
It will earn you good reviews
Studies show that 84% of people will believe an online review as if it comes from a friend or family member and about 80% of people will check for reviews before buying from a company. From this number, 78% will never return to the website if they had a less than pleasant experience. These figures show the important role that reviews play in business success. In fact, a bad online reputation can result into a 70% loss of business, with about 50% of that because of people who will abandon your website. This is not the type of business you want.
An SEO friendly website makes it easy for people to have a good lasting impression of your online business. They can easily find your website online, and when they visit, they can find what they came for, carry out their transactions and leave. Of course, with this type of experience, they would want to encourage others to visit your site, and they would also visit again.
You should take advantage of this by encouraging customers to leave reviews about your website, on your site, on your social media pages and on other independent third-party review websites like Google and Yelp.
When you design an SEO friendly website, you are effectively designing a website that is optimised to succeed. Website optimisation means more traffic, more conversions, more people spending money, your business making more money and a high probability that your online business will grow.
As you plan your new website for 2019, or if you intend to redesign your existing site, ensure that you consider SEO in your plans.