Everyone it seems is clamoring to be top of the search engine rankings at all costs, even paying. Search engine optimization has become the new alchemy – with people losing sight of “why“. This is big business but it serves no customer or web user to find results cluttered with spurious and corporate results. We want good, honest traders offering what we want. And they want good, honest customers.
“Ever notice how Olympic athletes make their actions look almost effortless? That’s what your website needs to do. It needs to delight your future clients. Effortlessly.” – Rachel DuBois DoGood-Design
If you have a website – here are some thoughts of mine, some tips you could say, about what websites could look like, and how to be honest, have beautiful websites, and not play the game of smoke and mirrors that search engine optimization (SEO) has become.
Yes, we want people viewing our blogs and websites – and search engines are one of the main ways real people will find them. But we want quality not quantity. And you have to ask yourself why are you in business in the first place? Is it just to make money, at all costs? Or have you become aware of how our lives are ruled by the economy, how we feel empty, and how the planet is in crisis because of all the pollution caused by human over consumption? If the latter, then you are possibly seeking a way forward, a way to balance work with life, trading with ethics, time spent on the computer with time spent playing with your children.
I think, now is the time to readdress why we are working, how we want to work, what we need from it (not just money but a challenge, stimulation, learning, meeting like-minded people, etc).
Websites have got to be part of that as they are our window onto the world. So maybe it is not so important to sacrifice our lives to the alter of SEO and instead think about what our ideal customers look like, what they actually want to know and how best you can arrange your store to help them. Take pride in your place, as a local shopkeeper used to do, before the days as giant, soul-less super markets and generic stores.
Are we becoming just another bland store or website as we focus only on SEO – and what does that say about us? – what message is that giving the really nice people who are looking for your ‘store’ but want a personal experience and to know who they are dealing with? That’s what I want. Maybe you do to? Maybe we are just tired of crappy service from underpaid and under motivated staff, products that do not last and frustrating automated call centres, help desks that do not help – websites that do not let you find the information you so dearly want – because they are so focused upon text for spiders, crawlers or algorithms and other such voodoo magic.
How about we take some pride in our work and thus in our websites? Lets look at the graphic design, the usability, who our customers are and what they most want to know. Lets keep them clean, tidy, simple and honest – just like the best stores are – no gimmicks, cheap tricks, flashing adverts or other eye burning bright lights. Lets have websites that have personality – your personality – and be honest, helpful and reflecting who you are, what you do and how this will make the world a better place.
Have a look at the honest and beautiful Do Good Design by Rachel DuBois.