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WordPress Design

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WordPress makes lots of things very easy to manage but ultimately you still need to have good design skills to make a website work. Beyond the basics of a few standard pages a well designed website needs to support the SEO, PPC, and Landing Page strategies. So most pages can be separated into classes of either Generic, SEO, or PPC.

Generic Pages

Generic Pages are the base of your website and typically include home, about, contact, services, products, and blog. In most cases this content is similar to what you would expect on a company brochure. While all these pages are critical the tough one here is the home page. As a business you only get one home page and it can only be optimized for one keyword. This page is the highest hierarchical position so its keyword target is a major decision.

Optimized Pages

SEO pages vary based on the strategy in the account but consist of those pages where the primary goal is to optimize the page for a specific targeted keyword. In most cases there is a page for every targeted keyword and these pages are linked to the generic pages most typically off the services or products page. If the SEO strategy includes a focus on location there are often optimized pages for location specific keywords. For example a Plumber in LA might have a city page that is optimized for each critical city in their service region.

Landing Pages

Landing Pages are designed for one purpose and they are NOT keyword optimized. The goal of this class of pages is to take specific paid traffic and ask for action of value for the business. In most cases this means getting an email subscription, sales lead, sales order, or some other item that the business deems of value. One mistake people make with these pages is they ask for too much and they confuse the message. The person came to your site with a specific search and the landing page is a continuation of that conversation. Do not make the mistake of trying to shift the message from the search term.

It’s about the words

Optimization has some basic rules that confuses many business owners and here are a few to think about:

  1. The more your page is about one keyword the less it is about any other keyword.
  2. You cannot optimize a page for more than one keyword.
  3. Pages serve people and search engines and what they want is very different.
  4. It takes more skill to write a short page than a long page.
  5. Long copy works for some part of the audience.
  6. Short copy works for some part of the audience.
  7. Smart designers understand the balance between #5 & #6

Rule 1 causes challenges when the business creates a list of keywords and wants their site optimized for those words.  This is why rule 2 says one page one keyword. Rule 3 causes difficulties because a page purely optimized for a search engine would be an embarrassment to the business.  Rule 3 forces the design to find a balance between the optimization rules and the quality of the web experience they are creating. Our general guidance is to design for the experience and then adjust for the optimization in ways that do not degrade the experience.  Smaller, Faster, Better is the credo of any good web experience and writing really strong good copy is one of the great challenges of any website. If you run into a web designer that tells you that they will do the design and you just need to write the copy you should immediately protect your wallet and run to the nearest exit.

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