Beautiful, functional and seen: That’s all I want from our company website. It’s not too much to ask for is it?

There is no simple answer to this because there are so many factors you need to juggle, often with a little compromise needed. Think about what you want your website to ‘say’ about your brand. Think about what information is made available to your potential customers. Think about what functionality you need for clients to get the best experience on your website. Sometimes, when you want to tick all the boxes, the practical approach needs to be taken.

So what type of website do you dream of? We have put together a basic list of ideas and issues that will result in compromise.

A beautiful website.

Design-led websites are great to look at, minimalistic in design and have more visual stimulants. The navigation is very simple with most visual information on the main page. In some cases the website is really just one long page with anchors to the relevant content.

If your idea of a perfect website is to have more visual content with less text, then you risk compromising search engine optimisation and organic marketing. You also risk confusing users (and search engines) over what your website is really about. As pretty as you want your website to look, never forget to incorporate text content in to your dream design.

A functional website with lots of content…

If you have lots of text content that you need to let your prospective customer know about, then make sure it is all completely relevant to the topic of your site and, crucially, to the user. Being text-heavy risks the site having duplicated content, because the owners want to make sure their message isn’t lost. Search engines can see duplicated content as a negative practice, as it becomes useless to users and will result in them having a bad experience on your site. No-one wants to read the same thing over and over.

Worse still, plagiarised content from other sources will result in your brand being blacklisted by search engines. Make sure all your content is completely original (including blog posts).

…which is easy to find on Google.

You have to take your hat off to Google because the world’s most powerful search engine is 96% artificial intelligence – and for a very good reason. Google is a local search engine finding the most relevant information based on your search criteria and location.

When crawling your website, Google wants the user to have the very best experience, depending on the device it is being viewed on. The information has to relevant to the product or services it promotes and written in a way that is unique to your business. Beautiful websites look great but if google can’t pick up text information then its isn’t going to rank as high as others organically, which means your website could get lost.

Likewise too much text and endless navigation is a real ‘turn off’ for Google and your website viewer. Websites with copied text from other places on the world wide web will be penalised too.

Mobile versions and SSL certificates (the green padlock) are a necessity, NOT an option.

Make sure that your website is a mixture of all the points I have raised, there will compromises as it has to be a mixture of design, relevant content, easy navigation and be all-device friendly. If you are thinking of a new website then make sure the web designers you hire understand SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as this it key when designing the site.

Putting the design of the site in front of content and accessibility could come back to bite you once introduced on the web.

For more info or a constructive chat, the coffee is always freshly brewed at The Soapy Group.