When building a website there are many considerations to make and it can often be daunting trying to weigh up what you should and shouldn’t do in order to satisfy every criteria. Of course you want it to look nice, you want to make it engaging, it’ll need to be easily navigable and content rich, but not too dense and overwhelming and if it isn’t search engine friendly then the rest of it is irrelevant. So where do you start?
It’s startling just how many people concentrate on one aspect of the site creation process at the expense of everything else, then act surprised when it doesn’t achieve the desired results. Essentially you need to balance content, usability, design and search engine optimisation (SEO) together until you get just the right blend. But this is easier said than done!
Many SEO companies, such as my company Artemis Internet Marketing, an SEO Sussex company, generally suggest that you work with an SEO expert before you even begin to plan out your new website; that way you can be certain that the website will be set up in the most effective and efficient way for search engine performance from day one. Retrospectively changing a website to then make it work better for search engines can often prove quite problematic, time-consuming and costly.
What often surprises people however is just how much a site’s SEO is intrinsically linked to every other aspect of its design and layout. Playing fair with Google’s complex series of algorithms and ranking techniques takes a whole host of factors into account, not least your site’s design and structure.
Google might be a machine but it tries to think like a person, and the more you treat it like it’s a person, the more likely you are to enjoy success in its all important rankings. If your site is cluttered and complicated or just down right unintuitive then it won’t just put off visitors, it’ll likely fall foul of the big G’s ranking algorithms too. And if Google doesn’t rate your page, it might as well not exist.
The trouble is that over optimising can be as bad as, if not worse than, not trying at all. Those who try to fool Google by tweaking a site purely to achieve favourable search results always get found out. But of course if you do nothing at all how can you be sure that Google will find your site?
There is a very fine line between designing your website to suit its intended audience and building it for Google’s benefit. And this is why SEO is everything. Get it right and your site can enjoy top rankings and satisfied visitors. Get it wrong and nobody wins. So which would you prefer?