Integrating SEO and Marketing into Site Design


There are three mind blowing statistics every person who specializes in site design should know, and on which this entire post is built around:

  • 38% of people abandon a website if it’s unattractive. (Source)
  • The analysis of 200 small business websites showed that 70% of them failed to include the most basic marketing elements. (Source)
  • The top four organic (not advertised) results on the first page of a Google search gets 63% of all clicks. (Source)

Further, it was found that in general, site designers who understand search engine optimization, struggle to develop sites that are attractive, while designers who don’t possess SEO knowledge, don’t develop sites that attract traffic.

This is a problem for the clients of website designers. This post will explain why and what to do about it.

Design for visitors, not clients

A website should not be built for the owner. It should be built for the people your clients are attempting to attract to the website. Now most website developers will build something that the client wants, just to keep them happy, but it’s a problem, because it may not be the best solution for your client.

As the one responsible for the site design, this makes it your problem.

It’s possible your client doesn’t understand their target audience any more than you do, so you need a way to extract this information from your client, so that you can build a website that will really work for them.

Take the time to educate them. Increase your billing price if you must, but you cannot create an effective website if you don’t understand who you’re building it for.

Learn to understand SEO

The most visually stunning websites created by agencies, and which have been awarded for their attractiveness, do not rank high in search results.

This is because the websites are not developed to help search engines understand them and if they they can’t understand what they’re about, they can’t match them to searches, so they end up assigning them a low search ranking.

In essence, while a website needs to be visually appealing for the humans who visit it, it also needs to make sense to search engines. This article should provide some guidance.


Elements of on-page SEO

Focus on search engine optimized content

Once you’ve got the site design elements nailed, just as important to your client’s search ranking, is optimized content.

Don’t panic. You don’t need to become a pro writer too; simply work with an experienced copywriter who understands SEO. Emphasis on copywriter: a copywriter is not just a writer. A copywriter builds content that sells without selling, using subtle psychological nudges to get something from each visitor on every page of the website.

For instance, the “about us” page should work to build trust and credibility, but so many “about us” pages are full of poop – useless information that nobody cares about. The right copywriter will know this, and build content that builds authority.

Be warned though: just as many site designers don’t understand SEO, so do most copywriters not understand it either, so be sure to find one that does.

Include basic marketing elements

As stated in the introduction, a whopping 70% of small business websites don’t contain the most basic marketing elements in order to drive conversions.

They don’t have any call to actions on them, don’t offer a newsletter or anything to obtain email addresses so that they can do email marketing, etc.


An example of a call to action on a website header

This means that your clients are missing out on conversion opportunities, which is why they are online in the first place.

Stand out from the crowd

Especially if your clients are small businesses, they would appreciate guidelines as to how they can increase the ROI of their website after you’ve shaken hands and said goodbye. Why not develop a checklist containing some of these money-making blog pointers that relate to SEO and marketing on websites?

In summary

Statistics show that visitors abandon websites that are unattractive, that the majority of small business websites lack the most basic marketing elements, and that the first page of Google search results gets clicked on most. If your client’s website doesn’t feature on that first page, they will not get a lot of traffic.

As a site designer, these issues are your problem, and if you help your clients with marketing and SEO on their websites, you can really differentiate your business from your competitors who simply won’t bother.

Tips to integrate SEO and marketing with site design include:

  • Create a website that appeals to your client’s visitors, not your clients
  • Learn to understand and implement SEO principles
  • Include basic marketing elements