Which Is Better Being The First Or Being The Best?

by Nicole Branigan on April 9, 2013 · 0 comments

Please don’t imagine me having one of those introspective, Carrie Bradshaw moments where I’m looking longingly out my window while smoking a cigarette or eating an apple or doing something equally as horrible. I swear I’m not.

As a person who works online, it is important that I be aware of my online presence, and by online presence I mean I just googled myself. Where I once ranked in the top three for key search terms like “freelance writer in Nashville” I’m currently on the second page.

Oof.

Talk about a practice what you preach moment. The pleasures and challenges of daily life have certainly taken their toll on my web presence. Regular blogging is a thing of the past and it’s time to step up my game and deliver the goods I promise to provide. That being said, when I begin to peruse the websites currently in the top tier of Google’s search results I notice two interesting things.

There aren’t cohesive brands.

You can say a lot about my lack of blogging commitment and my unwillingness to waver from Courier New. But when you visit my website I believe you get a clear picture of who I am and what I do. Whether you hate it or love it, my blackbird logo is pasted every place I’m associated with so you identify me with my logo, and my logo with writing.

Things are a little out of date.

I know, pot and kettle moment. But a lot of professional websites are out of date and even an aesthetic turn off. I’m in the web design school of “clean, concise and cool,” and a lot of websites are muddied with a shitload (technical term) of content, stock graphics and icons, and confusing navigation (my arch nemesis).

So which is better? Is it better to be first in Google’s search engine rankings or is it better to have a clean and professional looking website? Sure, customers may find you first but if they get there and don’t see what they are looking for will they jump ship for something else? Or is it moot to have a cool website if no one can find the damn thing?

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “the answer is both, dummy,” and you’re right. But if you had to choose one, which would it be?

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