For the benefit of those who haven’t read our previous blogs on this topic, when building a website it is vital that you consider functionality and practicality as well as aesthetics. A website ranking high on Google is great; but only if it is designed and built to be engaging and fit for whatever purpose it has been built to fulfil. Similarly, if your website is brilliant but is nowhere to be found when potential clients are searching for the products or services you offer, your website isn’t fulfilling its potential or its purpose and most of all, you’re missing out on prospective business. The way around this is to achieve both; satisfy google whilst satisfying your clients. So how do you go about doing this?
A targeted approach
Understanding how Google’s needs and the needs of your users differ is crucial if you want to satisfy both parties – and adopting a targeted approach in relation to each allows you to clearly define what you are doing and for whom. This user-centred, two-pronged approach requires a little research on both sides. What does Google need to rank you highly helping consumers find you easily and bring you more business – and what do users need to keep them engaged with the site once they have found you and encourage them to come back?
What do my users want?
It’s very easy when building a website to get caught up in the excitement of the design and content and neglect to think about who you are building a website for. Aside from appeasing Google on the SEO side of things, your website ultimately serves a purpose. Whatever that purpose may be, you need to know what it is – and know who it is who you want to visit and gain something from your site and how they are going to do so.
Asking yourself ‘what do my users want?’ is the first step to success. Once you have established your target demographic, it’s time to consider what it is they want to get out of your website (the purpose) and how you are going to get them to visit the site to do that (functionality). It’s useful to conduct a little market research and check out what successful competitors may be doing to keep their customers coming back for more.
You may find that what your users want differs vastly from your idea of how things should be – and it’s useful to note these differences and use them to your advantage. You might not agree with what your clients want, but the purpose of the site is to satisfy your clients’ needs – not yours. If you want them to engage with your site, it’s crucial that you listen and take on board their requirements and the things they like and dislike – even if they contrast with your own views of how things should be.
How do I appease the mighty Google?
It’s all very well having a website which looks incredible and is a charm to visit and explore – but if your target audience aren’t finding it in the first place, it’s unlikely to be much use to you. Google algorithms are complex systems designed to offer users good quality, relevant results when they search for their desired topic. This means that the algorithms change constantly to ensure these results are fresh and that people find exactly what they are looking for each time – so if the content on your website isn’t up to scratch in the first place, it’s likely your ranking will deteriorate over time. Once upon a time, keywords were the sole focus when it came to keeping Google happy – which is why you would find banks of nonsensical text on websites filled with keywords and key phrases. Nowadays, keywords still matter, but Google is more concerned with good quality, engaging and genuine text which incorporates keywords in a clever and relevant way. There are plenty of SEO tips and tricks you can use to achieve this – and it’s something we specialise in here at Search and More.