When we first sit down with a client to strategize their web presence, there are many variables clients don’t think about. Often to them their website is the visual skin of their website. But there is so much more if a client wants results.
For instance we ask them how important it is to be found on search engines like Google. If the answer is “very”, we explain to them that we’ll have to build the website in a way that is “search engine friendly”. This means careful consideration as to how a website is constructed.
Google is vision impaired. The same way a person with vision loss uses a text reader to read a website, in a matter of speaking, so does Google via robots, known affectionately as “bots”. Bots and text readers read text in a certain order. So when building a website, the web designer needs to write the code in a way that sets the context for the reader including Google. Thought and strategy need to go into the layout, title, headlines, copy, navigation and more. Google doesn’t read Flash nor do all browsers or handheld devices.
What I tell clients is that they, and we, don’t count. It’s the target audience that dictates what should be in a website and how it needs to be presented. What do they want to see and how do they need to see it? When search engines are important, you need to consider them one of your target audiences. Websites are more than the visual you see. They are more about the 80% of a website you don't see.