The way information is consumed and shared is an ever-evolving path changing from generation to generation, adapting to the technology most widely available. These past couple of years, we see millennials moving from consumers to producers, becoming the majority of the workforce, building businesses, and the like. We also have the rise of Gen Z, not only as the next target consumers but also the next market influencers.
Standing out today means more than just the search results page (SERP). It’s more than visual design work and quality posts. While SEO optimization is needed, it’s not the only thing that attracts people. The combination of design, optimization, and storytelling drives people to utilize e-commerce.
What is Web Design?
Web design is a subspeciality of web development and refers to the visual aspects of a web page. Unlike software design, which governs site maintenance and coding structure, web design governs user experience. It’s how people perceive and interact with your domain. This includes page layout, content formatting, and media placement, among other elements.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is creating content that caters to search engine algorithms. The more optimized your content, the higher the ranking on the search results page.
One way to optimize content is by adding relevant keywords. These relevant keywords are generated through research then these are ranked according to how useful they are to your brand or business. Some keywords will bring more traffic to your site, while others, though relevant to your field, would not.
SEO is also an ongoing and ever-evolving system as it matches new trends and aligns with new user behavior. It is not only limited to blog posts but any other media where you can add keywords like titles, meta descriptions, and infographics.
The algorithm is also not limited to just one platform, either. This is applicable on websites, digital newsletters, e-commerce stores, and social media. This December 2021, TikTok defeated Google in being the most accessed site. Now, guides for TikTok SEO optimization and “edutainment” (a combination of education and entertainment) exist. So as much as creators optimize with SEO, SEO also adjusts according to users.
How Do They Work Together?
Examples of web design and SEO working together are seen in almost everything online, particularly now with e-commerce and digital marketing.
As you’ve noticed, the layouts of most online stores are almost similar to one another. This is an example of good web design that lets users identify the site as an e-commerce platform. These similarities are evident even in e-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. All of these are designed to entice and engage customers into buying something from the store. They all show product listings arranged so that users see photos of the product, the title, and the core description.
While web design takes care of the look and feel, SEO determines how the listings are ranked. Here are specific examples of design and SEO working in tandem for e-commerce.
Optimizing product listings
Product listings are more than just posting an item for sale. They should be strategic enough to gain customer attention and boost sales.
You are required to upload primary and secondary images when showcasing your product. But the brunt of the work lies in the primary as it is the first thing users will see. A bad photo is an instant turn-off, and you’ll find people not even bothering to read what you’re selling. In e-commerce, first impressions do last so it’s very important that you take this into consideration.
Aside from the images, you should also supply the product title and its corresponding product description. It’s a good practice to include your brand on the title, as users may search your brand first before the products. Keep the description brief and accurate, using only the most relevant keywords.
It’s advisable to have a team of SEO experts who can help you with short- and long-tailed keywords in product descriptions. SEO analysts will also be able to leverage your use of keywords against competitors and check for keywords that they have failed to utilize.
Tip: Some prefer to hijack your listings instead of creating and optimizing their own. You might search for “how to protect my brand on Amazon,” and see Amazon’s strategies on the matter.
Build your website
The second example where you can apply SEO and design is a personal web store. Design-wise, selling on a platform saves you time with the layout and graphics but a website gives you more freedom to personalize.
Although the Amazon store does a decent job of making the product listings and Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) attractive and enticing, you are bound to Amazon’s regulations on what to post. For example, they require images to be in a specific format and file size. Although uniformity is good, it may limit how you’d want to present your content. With your own business website, however, you can showcase and market your products depending on how you want it to look.
As for SEO, content creation drives traffic to your site and increases brand awareness. Create optimized blog posts, customer reviews, case studies, and more. With keyword research, you should be able to rank up in search results in no time.
If you’re looking for a good guide, check out “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller. This framework works perfectly with the combo of web design and SEO. It covers the main points of what users would search for and how they would show up on their screens. After knowing these points, you can create a story brand of your own, and effectively create engaging content.
Digital marketing: Ads and bids
Digital marketing refers to campaigns and strategies applied in the virtual world. It targets potential customers and engages with them until they make a purchase. It has the same goal as traditional marketing. However, instead of handing out flyers and putting up posters, it all boils down to how your ads will look and where it will be displayed. It’s a whole different field that requires different approaches.
If you’re using Amazon, the design aspect was done during the product listing stage. Amazon will simply use your listing information in generating the ads.
Digital ad campaigns can be pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-mille (CPM), or the most expensive, cost-per-action (CPA). This is a bidding race wherein you bet on keywords you think are best.
Knowing which keyword to bet on is where your SEO team comes in. SEO analysts have tools to check which keywords are most related to your brand, which websites will get you relevant traffic, and so forth.
But digital marketing means more than ads. They could also be in the form of influencers and reviewers as they post on their respective platforms. It could also be in coupons, discounts, promotions, catalogs, and infographics.
Digital marketing drives e-commerce the most since it’s responsible for redirecting users from one site to an online marketplace. It’s what catches people’s attention as they scroll through news and social media content.
Web design and SEO are keys to driving traffic to and from e-commerce. Frequent research and testing in both fields help you stay relevant even with new generations and consumer behaviors.
Examples of design and optimization working together are product listings, online storefronts, and digital marketing. When making your systems, it’s best that you first have a strong foundation to work with. You can achieve this by carefully planning the content you’ll produce by creating a story brand. Afterward, you can then strategize depending on your target market.
It’s easy to focus on one aspect, whether it is just SEO or web design only. But if you truly want to stay on top of selling on Amazon, ensure you fuse these two things to get ahead of the competition!
Jayce is the managing director of Seller Interactive, the top Amazon marketing agency helping brands grow their business. As an expert in content marketing, Jayce has worked with top Amazon advertising agencies and brands such as GoDaddy and Toyota. He is eager to offer his expertise in Amazon listing optimization services for brands.