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SEO optimised VS Beautifully designed website

The Beauty and the SEO beast

I have been always meeting people who believe in SEO – at least they say so – but when it comes to accepting my SEO advise they step back and rather want a website which they think looks good and perfectly designed for users.

Of course, users come first. Google wants exactly the same. But wait a minute, how will Google know your website actually won the pleasure of users? Exactly… You need to admit: Building a website only for your customers without SEO consultancy or utilising SEO practice will be the death of your site.
Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it will all be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there. You just simply cannot ignore Google. Full stop. Because if your website is not on Google, your business doesn’t exist.
You need to adopt several practices which will not ruin the design but to give you opportunities for better optimisation.

Accept the compromise, start with winning content.

1. Poor content-rich content

What is the right amount of words for a normal home page? The minimum is 800 words I would say, although better to check your competitors appearing on Google first page. How many words do they use? 1200 or 2000 or more? Study shows that long-form content generates more backlinks than short pages: Below 1000 words: 0-1 link, more than 3000 words: 4 links. Okay, so longer content leads to more links, and with more links, you will have better rankings, but you still do not like that your page is full of words, and you would rather see nice pictures and moving around graphics? I will give you some design tricks on how to apply such a long content, without ruining your design, just keep reading.

2. Satisfy the search intent

Define your website purpose and the most important information first at the beginning of your content. Let your top banner captions be the answers for your users’ search intent. Use „Read more” or „Learn more” call to action buttons, make them engaged with your website and do not let them bounce to Google search again. They need to know they are in the right place within 3-5 seconds, otherwise, they leave your site. Test your website content: Ask people to visit the site and close it after 5 seconds and tell you what they learned, what is your website about. If they have no idea, you still have to better explain on the top, because your main message should go there. Picture a letter of „F” where all the important message and keyword should appear. That is the movement of our eyes on the screen. The hottest area in a website page’s heatmap, surprisingly Google measures the keyword appearance the same way too. That area is the best place for your most important keywords.

3. What else you should write about?

Examples and reasons, with proven data and facts. Use a little psychology, affect people’s 5 senses. Well, maybe not all 5 though, but you can write about what is it like to See, Hear, Smell, Taste, and Touch your product or services, how the user will feel soon if they select you. Describe their desired future, a solution to the problem. Then provide some satisfied customer testimonials.

4. How to find the right balance with long text and design?

Now you have a long content ready, but how you can keep the nice images and design? Here are some tricks where Google still can see and read your content:

  • Carousel with Text Hover Over Effect: When you point to the image with your mouse, a text comes out while the image becomes faded in the background.  This text visible for Google but only visible for users if they interact.

Carousel with Text Hover Over Effect

  • Carousel with flip animation: Just like the hover effect, pointing to the image with your mouse will flip the image with 3d animation and turn the image to the other side where the text will appear. You can use as many pictures as you want, but the minimum 3 recommended.

carousel with flip animation

  • Content carousel with image: If you do not want to hide the content, but to list many points in one line this is the right solution for you. Click right or left will scroll your images with the text.

content carousel with image

  • Text only carousel: Perfect for listing your testimonials in one line, 6-9 recommended. Or use icons on the top of texts and that can be the main features you provide.

text only carousel

  • Drop-down arrows: Use this for FAQ / How to – listing or steps to follow. Even if the text is hidden, Google can see this as well.

drop-down arrows

  • Toggle tabs: My favourite.  Very organised and the tabs call to action to click on the top. It uses the same area on your page with different text, depends on which tab you click.

toggle tabs

  • Vertical tabs: You can use all these previous hiding techniques vertically too.

vertical tabs

  • Vertical content carousel with image

vertical carousel

Find the right balance and add more content, because the content is the King. That is what will convince your visitors first.


Krisztina Peter