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  • April 4th 2014
  • SEO

Web Design and SEO – Three Basic Principles

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Once, it was enough just to have a website. But increasingly, it’s more complicated than that. Businesses fight for the top spot in search engine rankings. With over 1.55 billion pages recorded on the Indexed Web, there’s a lot of competition out there.

It’s important not to forget, though, the real purpose of your website. It’s not to top the search rankings. It’s not even to win awards for best website design. There’s no denying these increase your visibility and are therefore nice to have. But ultimately, your aim is either to sell to customers or to inform an audience. Keeping the end-user in mind is the key to achieving a truly effective website.

Content, Content, Content

Plan out a content strategy. It’s your website’s business plan. Decide what you want to achieve and how your website will do it. The aim is to make it easy for customers to find what they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. The ideal time to plan is before your website is designed. It’s more cost-efficient than publishing a website and only then thinking about how it appears to the end-user.

Pick a content management system that allows you to update your website on an ongoing basis. Regular, fresh content pushes you higher up the search results. And you’ll lose momentum if you have to call on your designer whenever you want an update. Critically, ensure your web design incorporates a blog. Even if you don’t want one now, you might in future. It’s an easy way to keep refreshing your site.

Great content is all very well, but it must also be relevant to your audience. This is why keywords matter. What keywords are your customers searching for? What keywords are your competitors using? Markets change; and the ways people search changes too, so it’s worth refreshing your keywords periodically to ensure you’re up to date.


It’s estimated that soon, 59% of internet usage will be on a tablet or smartphone. It’s therefore increasingly important to optimise your site to be as viewable on mobile devices as on a desktop pc. This is where Responsive Web Design comes in. if you haven’t already got it, you want it. Because this means that viewers will be able to read content easily, navigating through with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling.

As it develops, test your website on your own smartphone. Does it respond? If you’ve incorporated a comments box or contact form, will they work on an iPad? If not, you may have just lost a potential customer. Remember, Flash isn’t supported by most mobile devices either. If you’re planning on including animations or slideshows, you may waste time and effort if your target audience are gadget-lovers.

Be Sociable

Think about what social media platforms are most relevant to your business. Pick the ones your customers use on a daily basis. And tie your website in with all your social media. It’s expected these days. Ensure your ‘follow’, ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons have high visibility, integrated in the header of your site. Find out about the management tools available which will simplify your social media integration. They’ll help you work out what’s working and what’s not – then you know where to focus your time and attention in future.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, SEO and web design are not incompatible.  Nor is one more important than the other. You need both, but remember they’re simply tools in the battle to engage with your end users – customers. Used the right way, your website is more likely to score highly in search engine results organically. And you should see your bottom line increase.

Geoff Roy
  • "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
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    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
  • "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
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    Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery
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    Drew Griffiths, Mosaic
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    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
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    Rebecca Couture, Rebecca Couture Millinery