- March 21st 2014
Client Surveys – Balancing SEO and Design
When it comes to balancing search engine optimisation (SEO) and web design, a client survey is the most valuable tool you have. You may understand the conflicting interests of good design and SEO but your clients won’t.
Finding out where their priorities lie, what they really want out of the project, is vital to getting the right balance. Getting the client’s views at the start of the project, a client survey can be a big help with all aspects of the work. So how can you make sure that the aspects you cover include the SEO/design balance?
SEO in the client survey
Your client probably can’t work out for themselves how to get the best SEO – if they could then they wouldn’t have come to you. So your questions need to get at this indirectly.
Start by asking them who they want coming to their site, and what they want those people to do there. But don’t just ask the who and what, ask the why. If you understand why they want those particular customers, and why they expect those customers to be interested in them, this will help to target your optimisation.
Ask them to provide you with a list of competitor sites. This will give you insight not only into what might draw people to those sites but also into what you’re competing with. Some analysis on your part should show how those sites have been optimised, giving you a starting place.
Design considerations in the client survey
Whereas SEO considerations are built around the competition, design considerations should focus more on what the client likes and admires.
Ask them to pick out some sites that they find particularly appealing, and get them to explain why. Gather as much information as you can on their branding and existing design. You can be more direct with your questions in this area, asking what looks appeal to them and whether they have any information on what their customers like.
Comparison with competitors will be helpful again, but design is where you want to stand out as different from the pack. Use this part of the survey to encourage the client to think creatively and feel like they’re having an input. After all, you’ll want them to feel ownership over the finished site.
Striking the balance
Information about SEO and design needs is good in itself, but it will only really be helpful if you can get the balance right. Having led the client through function and design, you now need them to prioritise. Ask them to put features they want in priority order, and to specifically address questions about conflicting areas, such as whether they’re more interested in drawing new readers to their site or making it accessible to those already visiting.
This isn’t just about informing the decisions you make during the design process, though that’s part of it. It’s also about justifying those decisions and avoiding changes of heart further down the line. If a client has said that they want clear, short blocks of text, then later hears that this may adversely impact their SEO, then they may demand changes to what you’ve done. If they’ve understood and at the start that the short, easily understood text isn’t going to get such high searching rankings then they are less likely to change their mind, and you have something to point them at if they blame you for what they originally decided.
Collaboration is key
Of course you’ll also be applying your own knowledge, translating their ideas into SEO action and design elements. This is a collaboration between you and the client. But the more you get from them at the start, the happier they will be at the end.
- The Google Page Speed Update: What Can I Do About It? - July 6th 2021
- Small Business SEO: Q&A - December 10th 2020
- The Future Of Work: Five Tech Skills Anyone Should Have no Matter Their Profession - September 29th 2020
"As part of the service, the team at Leapfrog reviewed one of my websites for SEO and presented their findings in video format. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I could see the results of the tests and clear recommendations for action. I can thoroughly recommend this part of Leapfrog's service!!"Peter Clarke, PPG Proofreading
"One area in which Leapfrog has excelled is communication. Any queries are always promptly dealt with and we also receive excellent monthly reporting, with videos that clearly explain our progress. This is great as it gives us a clear picture of what’s going on."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
“Leapfrog provides fantastic video reports, to help explain the topline results. As SEO is a hidden science, this has made the whole process a lot clearer.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"When it comes to organic SEO, Leapfrog's your company. Thanks for everything you've done for my business."Paul Deach, Deachy Social Media
"Over a 6-month period, we’ve improved from a position of no ranking at all, to achieving page 1 rankings for our key search term. In a highly competitive market, this is really impressive and has already increased our organic traffic by more than 400% over a 6-month period. We can definitely recommend Leapfrog to other businesses struggling to get seen by Google."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
"I’m very happy to recommend Leapfrog Internet Marketing. They took the time to really understand our organisation’s marketing strategy and provided an SEO solution that significantly improved our Google listing. In summary: professional, honest, fun, results-orientated."Charles Wallace, BAE Systems
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing has been key in supporting my clients, providing SEO services to allow them to achieve increased and more qualified traffic to their sites. I've worked with Geoff and the team on several different sized projects and am very pleased with the results achieved. I highly recommend Leapfrog Internet Marketing for your online SEO needs."Oliver Schlieben, Digital Marketing Strategist
“The company is really helpful and approachable and you’re never made to feel embarrassed when asking questions.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing has been a key resource in providing insights and strategies within the SEO arena. Their work is always of a very high standard and always delivered on time. I would have no hesitation in recommending Leapfrog to any business."Drew Griffiths, Mosaic
"I've been benefitting from Leapfrog’s expertise and experience for several months now and really value the way in which they make knowledge so accessible. We've worked on improving website authority and content, list building and social media optimisation. A great company to work with and very good value."Chris Farrance, Frontier Digital Business Consultants
"Month-on-month we’ve seen fantastic improvements. Over the first 6-month period, search traffic has increased by over 550%. We've achieved page 1 rankings for at least 85 keywords relating to our key products, the site is now found on Google nearly 5000 times per month and an additional 800+ users visit the site monthly."Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
"The team at Leapfrog has been able to keep an eye on our site, using their specialised knowledge to not only spot any invisible problems that will affect SEO and site speed, but also identify any coding errors. This kind of value-added benefit is a great asset and makes a real difference for our company."Leigh Emmerson, Voice Fairy
"Leapfrog Internet Marketing have been working on our website for 6+ months now and we have certainly seen the benefits of professional SEO. Organic leads have significantly increased in line with our Google position and ranking. I’d highly recommend Geoff and the team at Leapfrog Internet Marketing."Mark Dalton, The Tech Lounge
“We’re really happy with Leapfrog Internet Marketing. We feel every step has been clearly explained, the communication is excellent and we’ve seen month-on-month improvements that have converted to enquiries and those all-important sales. We’ve definitely received the return on investment we were looking for.”Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery