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Combining SEO and web design to win big

When it comes to building effective and purposeful websites for your clients, SEO and web design go hand in hand. A beautiful site for your client that doesn't rank on search engines like Google won't garner the traffic your clients expect. Equally, if your SEO game is on-point, but your client’s site doesn’t meet visitor expectations, it won't convince people to make a purchase. Offering these services as a package deal is often worthwhile for clients, so we sat down with Kellyann Doyle, Inbound Marketing Manager at Zoek, to find out how they go about it.

Zoek is a full-service digital agency based out of California, focusing specifically on SMBs. Its team provides clients with a suite of marketing and web design services - all the more important for smaller, local businesses vying for a coveted spot at the top of their customers’ search results.

Zoek didn’t always cross-sell SEO with web design. Typically, a client would start with one and only realize the other is needed further down the line. With over 8K+ premium sites on Wix, Zoek could see a pattern emerging. Instead of waiting for clients to return, it made sense to offer both services up front as a package deal. In Kellyann’s own words, the results were undeniable and the conclusion was simple:

“Clients that combine those services have a better outcome than those who don’t.”

Designing a site to match expectations

The number one job for search engines is customer experience, or more accurately, relevance. Google prioritizes content that matches your intent as accurately as possible, without having to bounce back to the search results. Preventing bounce-back is why web design is so important.

Every click along the way, you want to reassure site visitors that they’re in the right place. How often do you find yourself searching for something, click through and the experience doesn’t match your expectations? When we’re not sure if a site is exactly what we need, we go back to searching.

“Ensuring that visitors can easily navigate your site should be a top priority.”

A user-friendly design takes into account page responsiveness, load times, branding, overall experience and keeping messaging consistent throughout the funnel. Making sure your web design is top-notch and meets visitor expectations is critical. But a well-designed site is only half the battle.

The impact of SEO

One of the first things Kellyann tells clients is: Google can’t see things, it can only interpret what it’s given. Some of the ways Google interprets your information is by using the right keywords, meta-descriptions, and ensuring the site is mobile friendly.

If a beautiful website is created, but nobody is around to optimize it for search, does it still get found?

It’s a conversation Kellyann and her team are constantly having. You can have these beautiful images, great backgrounds, cool videos on your website - but if Google has no idea what it is, then there’s really no point to it. When you’re designing a website, considering SEO best practices is important because it directly impacts how you develop and design it.

The end goal:

“Show Google that you know what it’s looking for.”

Meet Kevin Lanier - No, not that Kevin Lanier

Last year, a photographer called Kevin Lanier approached Zoek for help with his website and SEO. He had a very unique challenge. There was another photographer with the exact same name, working an hour away. You can imagine the confusion for potential customers when searching for “Kevin Lanier photography”.

As a photographer, Kevin needed a site to perfectly capture his visual style. This would be a potential client’s first look at his work, and with a focus on weddings and portraits, it had to introduce Kevin before he had a chance to introduce himself in person. In essence, Kevin initially reached out to Zoek to create a site that would be an extension of his professional self.

But with this particular namesake challenge, it became clear to Zoek how important SEO would be to Kevin’s success. A beautiful, easy-to-navigate site wouldn’t be enough to convince Google that this Kevin Lanier was the one to show first.

Zoek got to work and applied their SEO services across Kevin’s site. First, they focused on adding targeted keywords across the content, and other relevant keywords, such as “destination wedding photographer”, so that depending on the search intent, he ranks higher than other competitors in search with broader keywords. Secondly, they updated existing content, created new relevant content across all web pages, and linked pages with ‘Learn More’ tabs. The SEO and web design combined achieved exactly the results Kevin was looking for. Online bookings shot up by 60%, and he currently ranks above his competitor - which was ultimately the goal.

“If you take care of your clients, they’ll take care of you in return.”

Client referrals remain a valuable source for new business. Kellyann attributes this, at least in part, to offering web design with SEO. Not only does it offer Zoek an opportunity to cross-sell, it makes business sense for their clients too. When you’re able to control multiple aspects of someone’s digital presence in the right way, the outcome is more business for you and your client. Especially if you’re designing for a product-based business, combining SEO and web design grabs attention organically and guides site visitors through the funnel.

“Make sure the path to checkout is seamless.”

In the end, achieving client goals and bringing in the right results increases loyalty and trust in your agency. By offering multiple complementary services, Zoek has continued to grow its business. Since combining SEO and web design, Zoek has continued evolving its services, and now offers other graphic designs services, social media management, and copywriting, adding more revenue and longer-lasting client relationships. That’s a big win.

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