As we say on the front page of this site, "It’s not enough to bring your site visitors – we want to bring your site customers." Bringing customers to a site is an important crossover between straightforward search engine optimization and other forms of marketing.
Keyword selection is a critical part of both tasks – but a big part of keyword selection is a knowledge of your business that goes well beyond the use of standard keyword research. This is a knowledge which only you and your business partners really have. Bill Slawski recently wrote a long post on defining objectives as related to SEO.
To me, what it seems like he’s saying is that the fundamental need of a website is communication – communication from the site to the visitor as an end result and communication between the designer and the site owner at the beginning. Assuming that is what he’s saying, he’s exactly on target with what we believe.
The issue of design as a means of communication is at the forefront of the mind of any good designer. Cameron Moll assembled statements from many different designers on the subject not too long ago. The statement he started off with is a simple statement for designers to live by:
Good Designers Decorate, Great Designers Communicate
This is the core of effective design – ultimately, beauty is only a small fragment of the goal. If a potential customer can use your site and get involved with it, you’ve won half the battle already.