Following our first episode on user experience vs design, SEO also offers more avenues to exploit audience perceptions as a beneficiary to the business. Not only does it require regular content updates (which enhances credibility) to enable the optimal results of the methods, but the outcome of these processes directly contributes to consumer opinion. For example, the positioning of a website’s ranking on a search engine result page ( or SERP) can directly influence how the customer views the company. In accordance to Ken Lee’s 2006 article, Paying for Shelf Space in the Search Supermarket, there is growing evidence that Internet users hold implicit knowledge about the results rankings in SERPs, where it is seen that display prominence indicates brand strength. In particular, Internet users expect the most relevant sources to be listed at the top of a SERP and may have been conditioned to consider the ranking of search results as indicative of the degrees of relevance to their search terms. Such beliefs are further supported by iProspect (2006), whose industry survey indicates that a substantial portion of Internet users believe that companies whose websites appear at the top of SERPs are the top companies in that field.
Ultimately, these studies show that in the argument between website findability versus usability, the properties that are attributed to visually driven website design, although beneficial, can be rendered as useless if the site is not discoverable in the first place, thus demonstrating the importance SEO has in developing an online presence.
Navigation through a SEO Sydney website, illustrating where there is dynamic content.
Life Fitness is a website that has been optimised by us here at SEO Sydney. A quick look through the homepage shows some of the ways that it has been optimised. First, keyword optimisation is apparent in the keyword ‘fitness’ is replicated in the URL, the title, through multiple menu items and also within body content. Secondly, a quick scroll also shows that the website is made up of content both from standard blogs, which we can see here, and also connected multiple social media channels. Finally, and most importantly, the homepage is easy to use, and allows users to easily and quickly find what it is they may be after.
Show ranking of website on Google compared to design based website Studies have shown that search engine optimisation is more important than simply having a visually appealing website. In our last two screen flows, we compared two websites: Hunter, a design-based website, and Life Fitness, a website that has been optimised by us here at SEO Sydney. By comparing their search results we can immediately see the benefits of optimisation. While Hunter’s website is visually appealing, when I searched ‘creative agency Melbourne’, they did not rank at all on Google. As such it makes it nearly impossible for users to find their and appreciate their beautiful website. On the other hand, Life Fitness, which has been optimised, ranks on the first page of Google. If we scroll down here, we can see that it ranks. This reinforces the importance of optimisation and why you should always use the tools of SEO.