So you have hired an amazing SEO company that knew what they stood for, had some great case studies, and whose culture fit perfectly with yours. They have started doing an audit of your website — both from a search and experience standpoint — and have come back with the recommendation that you need to make major design and architecture changes, or redesign your website completely.
Now, if you are like many of the small businesses I’ve worked with over the years, you might be shocked, and even wonder why your SEO company is talking about your website experience. Website redesign! WHAT?!
Don’t SEOs just optimize for keywords and write title tags? NO!
Rand from Moz.com did a great Whiteboard Friday video that outlines what SEO is. He defines it like this:
“We talked about SEO being anything that impacts potential links. But SEO is really any input that engines use to rank pages. Any input that engines use to rank pages goes into the SEO bucket, and anything that people or technology does to influence those ranking elements is what the practice of SEO is about.
That’s why SEO is neuropsychology. SEO is conversion rate optimization. SEO is social media. SEO is user experience and design. SEO is branding. SEO is analytics. SEO is product. SEO is advertising. SEO is public relations. The fill-in-the-blank is SEO if that blank is anything that affects any input directly or indirectly.
This is also why, unfortunately, when people try to boil SEO down and put us into a little bucket, it doesn’t work.”
Make sense? Let’s talk more about the reasons why your website experience and design is so important for SEO.
Is ‘good enough’ enough?
Do you think your website design is “good enough?” A study published in the Journal of Behavior and Information Technology found that users will judge your website in just 50 milliseconds, and that this initial judgement is long lasting. So “good enough” won’t cut it.
Why does this matter?
- A poorly designed website can impact the trust users have in your business.
- A poorly designed website can deter visitors from buying your products or services.
- A poorly designed website can impact if users will share your content.
The overall design experience of your website, as well as its mobile friendliness, is a ranking factor for Google.
Design for SEO
I hate being the bearer of bad news, but if you just redesigned your website it might not have been done properly. If you or the company or person you hired to design and build your website didn’t plan for (or do) SEO, or build a transition strategy, you might need to make major changes.
If you hire a freelance website designer or design company to create a website for your small business, be sure to choose an individual or firm that builds SEO into their design and development process. Doing so can save you time, money and heartache down the road.
Also published on Medium.