Search engine optimization is almost crucial for website development today. Optimizing for the search engines has made a huge difference in how websites are created and what is on them. However, what would it be like if search engine optimization had never been created, and websites did not have to be created in a way that helps them rank higher?
Lack of Quality Content
Content is king, but only because it helps boost the ranking for a website. If there was no optimization needed, many websites would have a lot less content. The content that was there wouldn’t need to be high-quality, either, since it would mainly be designed to inform and not to help bring in more traffic. New content would likely be added sporadically, as needed, instead of regularly to draw in more traffic.
No Focus on Saying the Right Thing Fast
With SEO, landing pages are generally optimized to send out the message as fast as possible, so visitors are encouraged to stay on the website and get more information. Longer visits help boost the optimization, so getting to the point fast is necessary to draw in visitors. Without SEO, there’s no need to be brief, which means landing pages might be longer, and it might be more difficult for customers to learn exactly what they should know from the page.
Less Attention to Accuracy
Without SEO, there may be less attention to accuracy with the website. Instead of focusing on making sure that all pages have a goal and that they reach that goal, the focus is just on creating a few pages for visitors to check out. This means the pages may be more jumbled and may focus on more than one thing, which can be confusing to new visitors. It may make it more difficult for them to find what they’re looking for when there’s less attention to the accuracy of each page.
Lower Quality Websites
Websites designed with SEO in mind are carefully planned, so every detail is optimized or able to be optimized. This leads to well-organized websites that are easy for visitors to navigate. When SEO is not a concern while the website is being built, there may not be a hierarchy between pages, the website’s organization might suffer, and the links within the website may not be easy to keep up with. All of these issues take away from a visitor’s ability to navigate the website and find what they need.
Less Focus on Usability
Websites that don’t focus on SEO might not be as useful because there’s no focus on making sure the website is mobile-friendly or fast loading. This means those who view the website on mobile devices may not be able to easily read the information on the page or find the links they need to get the information they’re looking for. It also means websites may load slowly, which can cause the majority of visitors to leave the website before they’ve found what they’re looking for.
Less Consistency Throughout Website
Without SEO, there may not be as much consistency through the website. Though branding will be important, the focus on making sure every page is the same and has the same layout might not be as important. Information could be found in different places on each page, navigation might be far more difficult, and even the layout for each page can be different, which leads to difficulty for visitors who are looking for something specific.
Traffic Visits Website, Then Leaves
If there was no need to optimize a website, the biggest issue would be that the traffic that does visit the website would likely leave again quickly. Though people would find and visit the website, they wouldn’t be targeted visitors, so they would check out the page for a few seconds, then look for something else. With SEO, traffic is targeted, so a higher percentage of visitors to the website are going to engage with the content and stay on the website longer.
Though website design should focus on the end-user and making sure visitors can find what they need quickly and easily, SEO is still crucial and needs to be thought of through every step of planning, designing, and building a website. Without SEO, websites would be very different, and it would likely be far more difficult for visitors to find the information they’re looking for. If you’re planning on starting a website, make sure you keep SEO in mind to avoid issues that would be common if the website wasn’t optimized.