As many of our friends on twitter may know, we here at Web Nation Group are big golfers. A common phrase in the golf world is “drive for show, putt for doe.” This got us thinking about how this saying can relate to web design.
A web designer’s main goal should be to make their clients happy. Unfortunately this usually means a “cool” web design that fits into their budget. The optimization of the site is an afterthought, even though this is probably the biggest factor in determining the effectiveness of their web presence.
That’s why we thought the golfing phrase was a good analogy for how people think about web design. For the recreational golfers, they may be happy if they can go to the range and hit a couple good drives. As time goes on and they start playing more frequently, their desire to shoot better scores increases. As they learn more about the game and analyze their strengths and weaknesses, it becomes apparent the best way to shave strokes off their game is to improve their short game (chipping and putting).
A similar scenario plays out all too often when developing websites. Many times a business owner will have a graphic designer create their website. They will be happy with it at first, but after six months to a year, they start to realize that they are not receiving the response they thought they would. That’s when they start looking into search engine optimization.
The best way to go about the process is to address your search engine optimization during the initial development. I heard a comparison to seo before that stated seo is similar to the electrical wiring in your home because it needs to be accounted for during the building process and is integral to how the home works. Most people think it is like an addition to their home, similar to a deck.
Of course there are many ways to combat this error if this is the case. It is more difficult and takes more time though. Search engine optimization done organically takes time to develop correctly. There are no short cuts. So if you don’t do it right the first time, you are looking at another 3-6 months to get you back on track probably. You can always pay for sponsored links, which can provide value, but also cost more money. Link building and social media are two other ways to combat poor initial search engine optimization as well.
It all depends on what you want, but the point is, more emphasis should be placed on your optimization from the beginning. We’re not knocking the importance of high quality web design, because nowadays you need both good seo and professional image once people visit your site. At the same time, you can have the best-looking site in the world, but if nobody can find it, it doesn’t do you much good.
All we’re saying is make sure that you develop a strategy and work that into the initial development of your site. Don’t be like the novice golfer who only concentrates on the part of their game that makes them look good. We encourage you to have a well-rounded site to ensure its effectiveness. If you’re web designer is not talking to you about keywords and link building, I would highly recommend looking around some more.