Balancing Website Design and SEO: How To Make A Good Website Work For You

One thing that every web-marketer is constantly conscious of is its position on the major search engines, most notably Google and Yahoo. While search engine optimization (SEO) can be an important tool for a marketer’s back pocket, it’s also crucial to consider one’s priorities when marketing online. Basically, you should be asking yourself, do I want a website lots of people are going to see, or do I want a good website that those people are going to want to buy from? A large portion of web developers and marketers make the mistake of overemphasizing SEO while losing focus on the functionality and conversion potential of their site. In a retail sense, this is the equivalent of having a flashy and attractive sign outside the store, with a bare, unappealing, and unorganized interior.

The most common mistake in this area is designers sacrificing use of coding systems other than HTML, as HTML is the easiest for Google’s bot to crawl and analyze. However systems like Flash, CSS, AJAX, and more, while used intelligently and not overbearingly can really spruce up the appeal of your site, making customers more likely to make purchases. Even more problematic is when a web-developer is creating content on a site with more concern for the inclusion of high-return keywords rather than actual quality content.

Omniture, Inc., an online business optimization firm released their “Conversion Optimization Benchmark Survey” this week. The survey is designed to

…offer online marketers best practices in on-site conversion and an opportunity to gain insight about how their online marketing efforts compare to industry peers.

Essentially, the survey helps web-marketers by focusing on monitoring conversion events on your Web site and identifying areas of weakness and strength.

Omniture’s SVP of Marketing, Gale Ennis says,

Industry research indicates that for every $92 spent online to acquire site traffic or build awareness, only $1 is spent to proactively convert this traffic

As a business attempting to not only market, but sell on and through the internet, it’s vital to understand that exposure is a means to an end, not the end itself. Where is your money coming from? It’s through the conversion of potential customers into paying customers through the concrete appeal of your website. Still, don’t take that to mean that SEO should be entirely disregarded. It’s necessary to attract those customers in the first place. The savvy web-marketer will find a way to balance their design and functionality with their SEO, truly optimizing the business potential of their website.

And as always, an article for reference.

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