Yes, it is absolutely possible to make both site visitors and Google happy simultaneously.  But that doesn't mean it doesn't take some hard work and a little finesse.

I'm an old school marketing guy, which means that I want to design for the user first and to hell with the search engines. But you can't exactly do that.  You have to be cognizant of both.  With a little help from Jay Taylor, SearchEngineWatch and yours truly, we're going try and put you in the right frame of mind to accomplish both.

1.  Know your customer…and how they're likely to behave.  This is job one before anything else.  You can drive all the traffic you want to site, but if visitors don't like it, they are going to leave your site and you will sell nothing.  Know what your target market is looking for and deliver it on your site better than anyone else in your business.

2. Create websites that are at the very least, pleasant to look at.  Taylor and I disagree on this, but I am of the opinion that a good looking website goes a long way to enticing potential customers and improving conversions.  As a site visitor I have a better opinion of you, the better looking your site is.  Yes, I want it to be useful, but good design is a winner for search and for search engines.

Taylor does not by any means advocate designing a crappy looking website, but he says "they don't have to be beautiful.  They just have to be useful and engaging to your target audience."  He's not wrong, but I see no reason that in 2013 that you can't do both.

3. Make your site easy to navigate.  Amen.  It's imperative to do it if you want search engines to scroll your sites properly and it's imperative if you want site visitors to stay on your site and convert.  All of us have come across sites where you get confused as to how to find something (lack of search tool) or locating other pages are on the site.  What do we do?  We leave it.  Don't let that happen to you.

4.  Improve.  Taylor calls it measure and improve and he's right.  Test all elements of your site (not at the same time) and determine what really works best.  Test your order forms, your calls to action, your copy on each page.  All of it.  Don't be afraid to change and test your site.  Some things won't necessarily improve, but some will and that's great.

5. Don't write for Google; write for your target market.  This is true particularly if you need to establish trust quickly.  Nothing turns off a would-be customer like bolded-words, underlined keywords and unnatural sounding copy.  Yes, you have to do some minor things to get Google's attention, but each page doesn't have to look like it was designed by an eight-year old.

There you have it.  A few guidelines to follow that will not just please your would-be customers, but should make the search engines happy as well.