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Thread: Are design and content more important than SEO score?

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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Default Are design and content more important than SEO score?

    To me this is an age old battle. Is it more important to follow every SEO rule on every single page, or design for people and accept that not every page can follow every rule?

    Personally, I'll let some pages go if it means a better user experience, or it's going to screw up the layout. I won't cram 300 words on the home page if the design doesn't support it, or it makes no sense to do so. To me the entire site works together and it is possible to do well in the SERP's if you're doing all of the other stuff. One page is not going to be so detrimental that it makes or breaks your entire marketing strategy.

    Other people believe that Google has to be pleased on every page like some ancient Volcano God, regardless of user experience and design.
    Sometimes you can do both. But if you can't, which do you choose?

    Google first? Or do your marketing, branding, design, and people come first?
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    Content and design are always more important to me than SEO. What's the point of getting someone to your site if the site itself offers no value. The irony is that's exactly what Google wants you to do.

    If you focus on building the best site you can then real people will tell others. They'll share links to your site, which still outweighs everything else search engines use to rank websites. That doesn't mean you should ignore SEO completely, but you should ignore all the tricks to get your pages ranked. Good SEO practices aren't counter to good usability practices. You don't have to sacrifice SEO to create a great site filled with content people want to consume. You only have to sacrifice the side of SEO that exists specifically to manipulate search engines and for the most part doesn't work anymore.

    I've spent a lot of time over the years learning how search engines work and how they rank web pages. I use the information when I'm making decisions about the websites I build and the content I create for them. For example I've learned that page titles are important for SEO. If there's a specific phrase you want a page to rank for, it makes sense to use the phrase in the page title and you probably want the phrase as close to the start of the page title as possible. I'll use that information to write page titles and I'll try to come up with a title that includes the phrase, ideally close to the start. However, if I come up with what I think is a great title that will make people interested enough to click through to the content, I'll always choose that title even if the phrase isn't at the front or even in the title at all.

    I use what I've learned about SEO to make decisions about my sites and content, but I never choose SEO at the expense of real people.
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    Content and design is what I think of... What's the big content saying now in the SEO world? "Write for Humans". I think what google really cares about is not what the content says per se but how it solves the searcher's intent.

    For instance, if someone is searching "How to steam lobster", the number one result might be "How to steam shell fish" and that content might not ever mention lobster, but it solves the searcher's intent.

    I guess the way I look at it is, if I build my site for search engines, it's only going to be good for search engines... search engines don't pay me, real people do, so build it for real people and more people will come.

    What I'm trying to focus on more now with my new website redesign im going to be starting is attracting and engaging visitors rather than casing and convincing them to go visit my site, I'm going to let others do that for me by that attraction and engagement. I'm actually REALLY excited about this new design and I'll post it for review once I'm done but it's about a month or so out, I have other things I need to take care of first.
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    Google wants its users to have great experience. So a lot of the Rules Of SEO are shaped by users' browsing habits. Like when someone hits your page, they quickly scan the header text, the first sentence or so and maybe some image captions. If it's not immediately congruent with their search query, they leave. That's why Google weighs front-loaded keywords in title, headers, etc. That's only one example. Google is geared toward people first (for the most part).

    But, nah, you don't need sweat it on every page. Just landing pages that are targeting your keywords.
    Last edited by BBlake; 02-11-2016 at 07:40 PM.

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    Are design and content more important than SEO score?

    In my opinion, SEO is simply a byproduct of the others. Kinda like saying, is business more important than profit?
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    Design and content first - always.

    The hard truth is that the SEO rules are always changing based on what Google thinks developers have learned how to game, and also based on the changing online and social media landscape. SEO should always be top of mind and considered, but design and content will be what draws people to a site and keeps them there.

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    SEO's will always figure out ways to game the system.

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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewalds86 View Post
    SEO's will always figure out ways to game the system.
    And it's funny. It's funny that there's always going to be SEO's that think they can outsmart the best mathematicians and engineers in the world, instead of just following the clear instructions that they give you.

    It takes just as much work to do it wrong, as to do it right.
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    From my experience in order of priority.
    Your offline network way more important than your design and content which is more important than your SEO. You need not be Page Rank 6 or 7 website in order to take your business to next level. Even a PR 1 would be fine if you have enough target audience (doesn't matter if it comes from offline or online)

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    SEO is content and design.

    They are not separate, they should all be thought of together.

    Design exists bases on the content (and not vice-versa) and SEO means making everything work well and following some optimization rules.

    Create content for your prospects, design a responsive fast-loading website (it's important for SEO as well) and stop counting keywords like in the old days

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