Design vs. SEO: Can My Site Look Good And Rank Well? - You can be...
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You can be sure that there exist at least 30 web sites built to rank for the keywords "pumpkin bread recipe". Note- why did I use the number 30? It's safe to assume if you're not on the first three results pages of a search, you're not being seen.
While this is a simple example, hopefully you understand that it would be impossible to optimize this simple page without redoing it. This isn't always the case, but extrapolate this into detailed, multiple pages in an entire website and the issue is greatly magnified.
Aesthetic Importance vs. Traffic
Everyone has an idea of what they want their site to look like. The pretty factor- splash pages, cool flash and graphics must now be justified as to their importance to the bottom line. If you want/need to establish an online presence, you will have to make some compromises in these areas.
Understand exactly the role your site should play in your company marketing.
Ask- What is the goal of your website and who is its audience? Is it for existing clients to see? Is it to reach new clients? To venture into yet untapped market segments?
Ask- How strongly do your other marketing efforts promote your site?
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