How to integrate creative design and writing with website SEO

Messaging Eats Keywords For Lunch

vortex-website-seo-and-creative-thinkingWhen it comes to SEO and keywords, success in achieving high rankings and click-through rates is about targeting your audience. We know that effective targeting depends on a thorough understanding of your buyer’s personas and effective messaging. At the same time, setting your brand apart often depends on more than keyword strategies and Pay Per Click (PPC). The fact is, getting noticed takes creative thinking that doesn’t always align well with search strategies.

A basic understanding of getting found online with PPC and keywords tells us to target individuals words and phrases that are likely to be used in search queries.

The latest and greatest algorithms are effectively delivering results based on natural language phrases, and local vs. regional or national results. Pay Per Click ads can get around some of the keyword realities, but if the website doesn’t have what the user wants in the way of information or value, the ad is a lost cause.

Understand The Goals of Design and Copywriting.

Design and copywriting fall under the realm of creativity. Creative development is a difficult thing to explain. It’s “another way of looking at things” that falls outside the expected. There are many problem-solving processes and measures of creative work, but the originality of the ideas themselves emerge from the unique perspective of the individuals who create. Graphic + website designers and copywriters have to tell the brand, product or service story in a way that’s compelling and engaging.

In terms of websites, the primary focus of design and copywriting is to provide clarity and order. But if that were the only goal, then most sites would look and read the same.

Understand What Makes for Great Design and Copywriting

What makes writing and design work effective and memorable is the proportions of clarity (content and context), originality (uniqueness) and appropriateness (style). Ironically, being different or shocking just for the sake of being memorable is not a good measure of effective design or writing.

Understand The True Value of Creativity.

Applying creativity to design and copywriting can exponentially affect response rates. The right amount of content with uniqueness and style helps companies to stand apart. Creativity is why there are a myriad of design solutions for every problem. Adding creative thinking to a project injects the “x-factor” – a means of standing out. In traditional advertising and marketing, focus groups, testing and gut checks were what determined which ideas were implemented and which were not. In the digital world, web analytics are a way to measure their effect and value.

Understand The Conflict of Creativity and SEO

Many great design and writing concepts in traditional advertising and media channels that we’re familiar with don’t measure well in terms of SEO or keyword strategies. The very fact they stand out and are memorable is often because they are outside the envelope of common place thinking and the mundane reality of what terms we use to search.
A few examples of memorable ad concepts:

All of these are powerful concepts permanently cementing a brand name and product in our minds. If you could have that same effect powerful effect with your web presence, would you take it?

How to Integrate Great Creativity with SEO

Consider Creativity an Important Part of the SEO and Keyword Solution

Technology is not supposed to replace creativity or vice versa. Getting to page one of search results for the right terms is an important goal. Even so, once you have a click-through to your site, creativity can make a big difference to the level of engagement. In addition, you may attract inbound links and increase social sharing just by standing out from everyone else.

Integrate Creativity Early In the Website SEO Planning Process

It’s popular wisdom to incorporate keyword phrases in your website  H1 tags (webpage headlines), page titles (what you see at the top of the browser window), meta descriptions (150 character text descriptions that appear under the headings in search results. If you take the time to work with the website designers and writers with keywords upfront, they can probably figure out how to inject creativity in an exciting way.

Creative art direction and design can be incorporated into:

  • Custom, non-template website designs
  • Information hierarchy
  • Compelling home page visuals
  • Original photography or illustration
  • Animations and javascript effects
  • Slider elements
  • Social media, including YouTube videos

Creative copywriting can come be incorporated into:

  • Header visuals
  • Subheads (h2, h3 etc.)
  • Page titles and meta descriptions
  • Image captions
  • Pull-Out quotes
  • Compelling offers
  • Compelling Calls-to-Action
  • Standout product and service descriptions with keywords embedded
  • Links…and more

Commit to Quality and Creative Teamwork

By committing to quality and teamwork, you’re doing the best you can for your brand, product and service. If you only focus on SEO or PPC, you’re taking the risk of missing out on creating a more powerful statement.

Even if your organization has an in-house creative team, bringing in an qualified marketing consultant with creative experience to help address issues can be an efficient way to establish a new strategic website SEO program without upsetting the existing workflow.

CPAs, Attorneys and other professional service firms can also hire a lead generation specialist with creative experience who can go beyond traditional approaches to help set their firms apart from the competition.

Download our free guide Learning SEO from the Experts, a collection of essays from the industry experts.
About the author: Tom Weinkle is a founder and partner of Vortex Communications, a graphic and website design firm who offers graphic and WordPress web design, build, troubleshooting and training services along with search optimization, social media and inbound marketing services. Based in Miami, Florida, Tom has over 25 years of experience in visual communications for the healthcare, medical, law, accounting, software, financial services and banking industries.

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