As an online marketer at Glacier Digital, I work very closely with our development team and even more so with our design team (as I hope most SEOs do) during the development, launch and ongoing management of a website campaign. SEO is a combination of various tasks and techniques in an effort to increase the quality and relevance of a website for (primarily) search engines, but more importantly, its visitors.
How does a website’s design make a difference in the quality or relevance of a website? In a number of ways.
Call To Action Placement
In order to make sure a Call To Action is effective, it must be integrated within the design in such a way, as to provide the visitors with an incentive to continue with whatever the specific call to action is. Whether the action is “Request A Quote”, “Get More Information” or “Buy Tickets Now”, it needs to extend the users’ visit and entice them to engage with the site in some way.
Good website designs assign certain high visibility areas as Call To Action blocks. They are found above the fold, typically in a striking, bold text font. Please note the Call To Action below (the website might seem familiar). It prompts the user to ‘Contact Us Today’ and since the goal of this website is to capture leads (via either a contact form, or over the phone), this should be the most prominent button on the page.
Page Speed & Media
Not only does the load time of web pages have an effect on user experience, but it can also effect organic search engine rankings. For months, Google has included the speed at which a page loads in the calculation is makes within its search algorithm. While a page with optimized code and content certainly makes a difference, the media used can have an enormous impact. This is why proper image placement, image optimization and even CSS minification are just as important as having clean code.
Google has also provided tools to use with their Analytics platform in order to accurately track your website’s page speed.
Usability (And The Sales Funnel)
Ensuring that the navigation through a website is as smooth as possible, will ensure your visitors find the information they seek and ultimately proceed through your predetermined sales funnel. Regardless of what this funnel consists of, any delays or roadblocks along the way will reduce the percentage of successful visitor conversions.
Example: Are visitors stuck on the account creation module on your E-Commerce site? What could be done to assist them in order to make it easier to sign up?
While an SEO consultant can perform a post-launch analysis and provide recommendations, there could be potential pitfalls prior to launch that could be eliminated. Techniques such as A/B testing can also provide valuable user browsing data and behaviour. Engaging in such techniques can potentially require design and development assistance, which is why it’s better to work in tandem.
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