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On-page SEO without the SEO expert

Wayne McMaster

22 January 2016

The design of your new website should be influenced by more than taste and the list of nice-to-have features ‘admired' on other sites. The design should be influenced by how users are going to interact with the site—usability.

It should also have one eye on findability too, will Google have enough to get its teeth into, to be able to rank your new site well for the keywords and phrases you want to be associated with. Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a website.

Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design.


Splash pages


There is a need for many high end interiors brands to feel the need to make an impact of the homepage with a beautiful full screen image.

As attractive as this can be, and while it may well respond to the size of the screen too, it is just an image, not a good hook for Google to cling too, not to mention, the words “welcome to our website", or "click here to enter…” While your homepage must arrest the viewer and capture the essence of your brand, it has to work much harder than that.

Your homepage should provide content, better still if that content is updated regularly such as the latest Blog, or highlighted New product or latest project.

Your homepage will tend to carry the largest PageRank value of your site.

As an example of a beautiful site, TaylorHowes

Taylor Howes website

thank you www.camber-group.com the homepage has the word ‘project’ 14 times and the phrases ‘featured project’ 6 times, hardly cause for Google jump with joy.

They have no heading to hold onto, and all those beautiful images have no ALT tags - the words used to describe the pictures, that would at least have given Google something to chew over.


Text as Image

When high end brands try to force their offline design approach on the web, it can lead to a straight-jacket for the developers who can struggle with replicating beautiful fonts that print well, but have no alternative as a web font.

 

 

DeGrisogono-DavidCollins-studio

Taylor Howes text as image

Janine Stone

This can lead to restricting the look of the website to that achieved in advertising and brochures, meaning text end up being created as image, rather than through CSS and web-fonts. Here are some examples of pages that are pictures alluding to be text.

As a result Google cannot index pictures that are trying to be text, pages struggle to be ranked well. And certainly for a minority of visually impaired users, who would rely on screen reader to audible communicate and describe what is on a page - text as image really is a non no.

 

Terminology


First of all, it’s of utmost importance that a brand reflects the terminology that their target market uses, in order to describe their products or services.


Try to keep ‘different for different’s sake' out of the design and plan for descriptions and particularly navigation. Use words and phrases that your users would would if they were searching for you in Google.

Create clarity rather than confusion with sensible, pragmatic naming structure for products, that reflect what a product actuality is or does, rather than naming with themes constructed Names.

For example we know what a shaker kitchen looks like, but what does a Pure Kitchen look like, we may have more of an idea if we described it as a modern kitchen or a contemporary one. Google has 164,000,000 results for Contemporary kitchen, 371,000,000 results for a modern kitchen and only 80,600,000 for Pure..(its also likely that Pure is used as a name for many other businesses, rather than describing a kitchen.)

To ignore that will result in reduced findability and usability is causing search users to either turn to another high-end interior brand that is more prominent online or buy that particular luxury brands item via a reseller.


Investment of resource to address these two points of usability and fundability is advantageous because they are intrinsically linked with one another. If you design and build your site with the end user in mind, then this is also beneficial for SEO.

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