I see it on Active Rain almost daily and a handful of articles a week land in my inbox, touting SEO WordPress Blog Design and such. I hate to tell you, but there is no such thing. There is website design, wordpress website design, blog design and then there is SEO. But there is no such thing as SEO Blog Design. Doesn’t exist, no matter how many pages of Google those phrases come up on.
While a well built website should be optimized for search engines, SEO is not part of ANY design element. Proper permalinks, tag clouds, keywords and all that jazz that goes into SEO should not at any point be confused with actual design and development of your website. So next time you run into a provider touting their SEO Website Design skills, think about it for a minute or two before buying into it hook, line and sinker. We all want to rank in Google and elsewhere, but your website, above all else, is (or should be) a reflection of you, your personality, your market, your brand. Every day your website is someone’s first, and at times, only impression of you, and your only chance to capture that stranger who happens to land on it.
If your site is designed by an SEO blogging coach, you might appeal to Google, with loads of bold keywords, links and bits of anchor text strategically positioned to attract the spiders, but will your bloated tag clouds on your home page serve your visitors? Will your readers trust you enough to want to call you? Will someone landing on your, for the sake of example, real estate website feel immediately that they are in the right place?
As tempting as the SEO Blog Design promise sounds, it’s just SEO, with no design involved. And that’s the way it should be. Your content, proper category and link structure, clean code, fast load times and a slew of other parameters will determine where you come up on Google. Great website design will help keep your visitors on a site, and help them easily find exactly what they are looking for, the whole time feeling rather comfortable, and not the least bit defensive. Making that happen is a science and an art, and can’t be taught in a webinar.
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