SEO Is Only Half the Battle

This is a guest article by Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.

Search engine optimization is the practice of making changes in different areas of your website and web presence overall so that the search engines can find you and deliver targeted visitors to your website.  A properly implemented SEO campaign will result in an increase in quality traffic to a website.  However, that’s where the SEO power ends.  SEO can get a visitor to your website, but the quality of the website itself will determine whether or not that visitor takes the steps necessary to convert or bounces right out of there.

In order to get the most out of an SEO campaign it’s important to have a website that:

Is Visually Appealing

Who says that looks don’t matter?  They certainly matter when it comes to website design.  A website should be clean looking and without unnecessary distractions.  Hard to read fonts, a blinding color scheme, and pop up ads can all contribute towards a visitor thinking, “I’m outta here!”  A website should look modern.  If it looks like it was designed in 1997 that reflects poorly upon your company.  It looks like you are just as outdated as your website and that you don’t care to make the effort or spend the money to upgrade.

Is User Friendly

The first thing that a visitor notices is page load time.  The days of dial up are long gone and Internet users are impatient and have grown accustomed to receiving information at lightning speed.  It’s important to always be aware of your page load time and make necessary adjustments to improve upon it.  Anything more than a few seconds provides a bad user experience.  Another big part of website usability is the navigation and internal linking structure.  It should be easy for a visitor to navigate a website to find what they need.  Users have grown accustomed to finding a primary navigation with drop downs to all of the main internal pages at the top of a website.  Breadcrumbs also contribute towards a good user experience because they leave a “trail” of where the visitor has been so that they know where they are in the grand scheme of the website.

Provides Only Quality Content

The content of a website is more than the text.  It’s everything that makes up the site.  Some website owners think that they should get the most out of this website “real estate” by cramming as much in as possible.  Don’t do that.  Website content should be about quality content that is most relevant to what the website provides.  Extraneous “clutter”, like too many images, is an unnecessary distraction.  Some of the best websites are quite simple.

Makes It Easy To Convert

The goal of a website is to increase conversions, whether that is sales or leads. The goal of an e-commerce site is obviously to get the visitor to purchase something.  In order for the visitor to feel comfortable making a purchase, they need to trust you.  Provide contact info and a clear return/exchange policy.  The shopping cart experience should be simple and straightforward.  The goal of many B2B sites is to get a lead form filled out so that the sales team can follow up.  It isn’t a game of 20 questions. Only ask for the most important information like name, email, phone number, and reason for contacting. Too many questions are annoying to answer and the visitor probably doesn’t want to give you too much information anyway. Whether the purpose of the site is to generate sales or leads, you should include clear call to actions throughout the site encouraging the visitor to make the move.

  • http://www.baxie404.com Ashley Baxter

    Good points Nick. Here recently I see a TON of people missing out on having a user friendly interface. If a visitor has to make too many guesses on where they need to go next, they will disengage and move on without converting.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      Ashley, it is a valid point and I have to day that most sites think of an elaborate design which clutters the design, making it incomprehensible which totally defeats the purpose of the design

  • http://www.barrywheeler.ca Barry Wheeler

    People still write entirely for the search engines. It has to be about your user experience as you’ve mentioned.

    SEO is one part of the equation, but the social side of the equation has to balance. If you users are struggling with your site, or can’t see your great content because of the ads you’re running, it’s time for a change.

    • http://www.bloggodown.com Gautam

      Barry, I have seen the same. The tone of such paragraphs is so monotonous that even if it attracts search engines, it will bore the visitors that come from it.

  • http://www.couponspicker.com Vinati

    full battle with Google is going on…But as you said User interface should be neatly usherable.users should be in cushions while in your site with your clear cut ushers …not a thorny and unbearable path …

  • http://www.webmasterquery.com/ Cristian Balau

    Having a visually appealing website that blends perfectly in your specific niche is really hard to achieve if you know nothing or very little about website design and using some free themes will not necessarily help you. But all in all I agree, having a good looking website can make all the difference in the world and I don’t think you can have success without it.

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    In fact, some of the bloggers provides high quality content on here :)

  • http://wtechs.net/ Akshay @webmaster tips

    Some people who primarily blog for earning money through advertising, usually post content that’s really not of considerably quality. That content contains keywords and is better SE optimized. When a visitor comes over that blog, he doesn’t find the quality content, so to get away from that page he either pushes back button or clicks on a revelent ad, earning the money to the blog owner. That’s a great strategy, but someday, Search engines will overcome such misuses of ‘em.
    Anyways, what you told was also correct, I was just trying to tell what other people also do!

  • Adik

    Thanks for info

  • rnd technologies

    Nice blog.