Perceive the digital marketing world as a big ocean of fish. Some fish are consumers, others are designers, while others are SEO practitioners. One needs another in order to survive and grow, so the ocean is a big and complex space where the magic happens. That’s about how it goes with designing, SEO, and digital marketing. If you want to grow as a business and help your customers grow through your value proposition, you must be able to perceive the whole picture and do your best to “do your part” well.
As a designer, it’s your job to satisfy the client’s needs and ensure that your collaboration proceeds smoothly. Nevertheless, when you meet an SEO marketer, the requirements, expectations, and difficulty of the project will always be more significant.
There’s a good reason for that, though. SEO is the primary way of acquiring organic and targeted traffic. When you design a site, whose main digital marketing strategy is SEO, you’ll have to prove that you know what you’re doing first because your client is already in the big business, so he perfectly knows what he needs.
In today’s post, I’m sharing the most important SEO basics that every designer should be familiar with right now. Learning this stuff will help you get noticed, complete tasks more effectively, and take your personal branding to the next level.
Pay attention, take some notes, pick up some books, learn, and start improving the quality and complexity of your services!
Your Main SEO Goals as a Designer
A designer’s role becomes more and more complex as the digital marketplace evolves. Web development and web design, which I often see as backend versus frontend design, are no longer separated.
Therefore, you need to think in terms of “what experience, effect, and results will my work generate?”, regardless of your technical “responsibilities” that fall in the web design “field”.
Essays on Time performed a recent study, which outlines the main SEO goals for designers during the present times:
- Become familiar and then an expert in on-site SEO optimization
- Focus on quality over quantity, and be able to perceive the whole picture
- Develop the roadmap (the journey) of the user.
- Define and implement the UX strategy
- Create a design that matches the UX and the needs of the brand.
- Design mobile-first experiences to improve SEO rankings
- Design and structure the content to improve the organic reach
- Understand and avoid the most common SEO mistakes
Understand Your Client and His Audience
To be able to provide a great deal of value to all of your clients, you need to treat each gig like the poker player treats every single hand differently.
Whenever you start collaborating with a new client, it’s crucial that you understand his business properly. That means you should start researching the brand’s history, the reputation, the target audience, and everything else that’s relevant to the sales process. After all, every client hires you so he can ultimately make more money. Understand it first, then start providing it!
Know What People Care About
An above-average designer will put himself in the users’ shoes and think on their behalf. In digital marketing, attention is a very important factor. To capture attention, you must know what people acre about in websites:
- Flexible and easy-to-digest texts and images
- They want to be able to use a website easily, without bugs, on all devices (PCs, mobile, tablets)
- Great navigation system. The user wants to be able to reach what he wants fast. Barriers to purchase are often generated by obstacles in the navigation system.
- People unconsciously want to feel that their time is well-spent. Therefore, the improved quality of the user’s experience is a key priority.
Design Content for Smaller Screens
Again, put yourself in the shoes of the people who’ll use the website. A website is nothing more but a name, a domain, and content. Content is king. Everybody knows that and you should probably acknowledge that too already. By knowing, you can help your clients craft better content marketing campaigns for mobile users and design the proper experience. The key lies in knowing how to place content on the page so that mobile users’ experience is prioritized over the desktop ones.
That’s pretty bold advice, right? Well, take a look at Seth Godin’s blog design and content functionality. He’s one of the world’s greatest marketers and business authors, so this is not an ignorable example.
Also, have a look at Backlinko. Notice the way these guys put words on the screen, and you’ll understand what I mean!
How do you design content for smaller screens?
- Make the content riveting enough, so the user can’t stop scrolling. But how?
- Stop thinking in terms of paragraphs, sentences or words. Start thinking in terms of mental representations. When your users read a sentence, they’ll think of something. The next sentence will lead them to something else. Therefore, you’re designing mental experiences, so report to that.
- Headlines should be very attractive, short, and crystal clear.
Site Speed is Key
Time is a precious asset, both for you, your clients, and your client’s customers. Focus on developing a fast experience by carefully optimizing your website for speed. There are so many useful practices you can learn, you just have to start looking in this direction. Some of the most important reasons why site speed is key:
- Better site speed improves Google rankings.
- Lower bounce rate (fewer people leaving your website right after entering it)
- Fast-loading pages improve the quality of the user’s experience
- Everyone likes to save time so convenience might be a determining factor for higher sales
- When users have to wait, they get annoyed. The more annoyed they get the more your brand will have to suffer in the long run.
Maybe a few years ago, SEO and web design weren’t that interconnected. Now? They go hand in hand. A designer who knows how to optimize a website for the search engines will always deliver more value and create more opportunities for his clients. Your web designing resume absolutely needs that SEO qualification and skill proof, so what are you waiting for?