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Building a website? Don’t forget about the user!

In the golden age of SEO and SEM often websites are built with the search engines in mind. This is not necessarily a bad thing its just that sometimes one of the key elements is forgotten. The user. The person who brings revenue and eyeballs to your site in the first place.

We know that content is king, always has and always will be. We also know that content is one of the keys to a search engine friendly site. But when the content does not speak to the user and is geared more towards the SE’s. Then we have a problem. As a Search engine marketer, you have to be intrinsically aware of what you are trying to achieve.  Simply put, you want…web nirvana. That happy place where you have achieved the goal of creating a search engine friendly site with a user friendly design.

It can be done, but remember that it has to be built from the inside out. That means your pages have to have ample room for content. Sure Flash is cool but really, what does flash do for a site? It makes it sexy and it’s visually appealing but the SE’s are not too wild about it. But… “What about my user? They like it!” And there my friend is the Catch-22. What’s good for the user is not necessarily good for the search engines. Thus the thinking that has to go into any and all web deployments. You have to straddle the beam like an olympian. Balancing between the users needs and expectations and the SE’s criteria.

Keep the flash to a minimum if you must use it, and spare the flash/splash as some organizations are wont to do. I would say that most users skip the intro anyway. Once you get past the flash, crank copy that you as a user would want to read and that is relevent to the site. After a rough draft, you can then go back and possibly tweak with some of your key words.

After you have crafted the content, then you can work on the structure, site maps, alt tags, metas and linking, all which speak to the SE’s and really won’t affect the user too much. Lastly once you have the site done, go back and see if it flows; and if you the user think the content is relevent to you, the user! While you’re at it, I would highly recommend one of the few Naples based seo companies

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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August 2007
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