As an SEO company, we have the opportunity review dozens of websites a week as candidates for search engine optimization. The bottom line is, unless you want visitors to have the same reaction as the photo below, realize that you only have one chance to make a first impression.
How many times have you clicked on a link and thought “oooohhh”, as you struggle to get past a poor design?
Your first thought, is this a deliberate attempt at sabotaging their own site to send their competition more business? If not, then a redesign should be their first priority before embarking on any type of SEO campaign.
With so many options available to nimble surfers, if a website fails to visually hook the reader within the first 10 seconds, then you may as well be a doormat for competition. What’s the point of driving traffic to a website that once they arrive, the site just becomes a casualty of the infamous click and run?
Design transcends form and function and is a subjective equation.
Not only does your design style communicate your brand statement, it must coincide inasmuch as the content must be (a) thought provoking (b) provide a solution to a problem as well as (c) have a clear call to action to convert window shoppers into sales. This facet of optimization is known as SEO web design
On the contrary, having a great website that is not SEO friendly can provide just as many obstacles to overcome.
Things such as:
- having url strings filled with gibberish and session ids chalked full of numbers and question marks for page names and folders
- Trying to use the same title, meta tags and descriptions across multiple pages
- Having style sheets inline (in the code on each page) vs. linking to a CSS file
- Using excessive tables when Div Tags or CSS would keep pages leaner
We could go on and on about ways to improve website performance. However, all of this can be remedied from just letting go of the past and starting fresh with an SEO web design makeover (using a stable (CMS) content management system and CSS based theme or design).
Business who haven’t updated their web pages in years must realize that no amount of SEO is going to make a person stay,feel comfortable, read the content or purchase a product or service if there is a low priority or rather no priority on design.
The underlying message is, if you are going to invest in SEO, the last thing you need is a hideous website scaring off new prospects once they arrive.
Just put yourself in their position. The natural reaction to an ugly website is to hit the back button and sift through the other options in the search engine results pages and find another site or landing page more suitable to their palette.
Not that you can blame them, so, your website can be the new website they find, or the one sending visitors packing. Depending on your choice and your design, it is truly is up to you….