It’s all come together in these final moments. You’ve created your company and your website is about to go live. Designers have worked tirelessly into many a night to create a website and you are more than ready to sell your product. You make your website live and frantically rush to Google, Bing, Yahoo and every search engine you can remember in your fevered excitement. You proudly search, the smile on your face dulling as you got to the next page. Then the next.
It’s likely that the website’s fine so why is your site not the first one to appear? Chances are your site’s SEO needs improvement. After all, Search Engine Optimisation is the easiest way to improve your visibility, while also demonstrating your creativity and unparalleled product in one little package. Here are 5 Simple Web Design Steps to Improve Your Site’s SEO. With a little bit of polish, your search ranking and customer base will rise.
It’s imperative that keywords are used to generate traffic. However, you can’t just write your company name or the service your provide a zillion times and hope for the best. Start by getting into the head of your audience by conducting market analysis. What would your audience be searching for if they required your service?
Once you’ve thought of a few keywords (short-tail search) and phrases (long-tail search), it’s time to locate through a keyword research tool those which are searched for regularly but are low competition. For example, we may wish to use the search query creative agency brighton but may find more success using the term brighton digital agency. Of course, this cannot be heavily peppered into your websites pages as it will spoil the quality. Like a good seasoning, it’s always better when it’s organic and subtle.
This is where your content comes in. By inserting your chosen keywords or phrases into engaging, original writing, you can entice an audience to your website. Remember your market analysis? You’ve determined who you want to visit your website and you’ve now written something relevant for that demographic, while sneaking in a few words which will help your site be located in the future. This is known as optimising your content.
So what’s stopping you from repeating your keywords on every page until you’re top of the search rankings? Well search engines will pick up on this method, known as keyword stuffing and will penalise your website. The last thing you want is all that progress to be thrown away and your website gathering cobwebs in some dark corner of the net! Treat the search engine like a spider trying to crawl towards your website. To do so it needs a good structural web - or link in this place and to be enticed by a big fat fly - your content.
A good spiders web means that wherever the spider may crawl, it can still get back to its centre. If your website has not been designed in a similar way then your audience may struggle to navigate around, get frustrated and look somewhere else. ‘93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 47% of people click on one of the first three listings’. You’ve invited your audience to the website but a poor user experience will always mean a low conversion rate for your product.
While you may only have a few pages on your website to begin, it is important to consider a hierarchy for your website. Most websites follow a pyramid based structure with a home page sitting at the top. This will be followed by subcategories and relatable individual pages. Any pages you don’t want displayed should be blocked for easier access. Another way is to look at your website like a flower with the home page being the bud. Only when it has been cultivated, pruned and regularly attended (your individual pages) will it bloom into something beautiful that everyone will want to see.
Like flowers, websites that are aesthetically pleasing always attract the biggest audiences. Your content may be appropriate but if your imagery is not your audience may start wandering elsewhere. Don’t confuse the audience with images which do not relate to your product - make everything functional and with purpose!
Optimise all images and decorations so your website remains fast - even a few seconds of additional loading could mean a click somewhere else. You can even add suitable keywords to your images, which will add SEO value to your website and help you rank higher.
It’s also highly important you make the website mobile friendly. For the last few years, mobile internet usage has surpassed computer usage and if your website is a broken mess on a smartphone then a lot of your audience, regardless of demographic, won’t access your product. Font sizes need to be legible and buttons big enough for your smartphone screen. Images should be compressed so they don’t appear distorted, or cover the important information.
However, don’t sacrifice the quality of viewing your website via desktop. An option to switch your website easily to desktop viewing will mean none of your audience is frozen out. Besides, with the internet blending seamlessly into more and more items, communication between as many possible devices will help give you that SEO edge.
By now your website is pretty optimised with all your new shiny content, images and site structure. While you can keep pushing out admissible content, it’s good to give it a little boost by displaying it further for the world. If only there was a place on the internet which already had a huge audience.
While many people swear by social media for garnering an additional following, ‘Google’s Matt Cutts released a video saying that social signals––metrics such as Facebook likes and Twitter followers, which indicate a profile’s authority and influence––do not affect search rankings’. In which case, why should you put additional time into creating social platforms for your product?
Well, it all links back to attracting your demographic. You can personalise social channels to help show that entertaining and creative side to your company and those active channels can make knowing a brand more fun. You can tailor the social platform you use to your company’s needs; wanting to display lots of images will be perfect on Instagram or Pinterest while links to blogs can be tweeted, or posted on Facebook.
Social media platforms have a huge audience ripe for you to tap into and can spread the word about your company. Best of all, an active and successful social platform will give you other links to appear on search engines. Crucial when the competition can be so high.
SEO can be the difference between a company succeeding and failing in business. While it’s important to regularly nurture your website, don’t be disheartened if you follow these steps and do not see results overnight. SEO can be a long-term process of trial and error but the advantage it can add to your website, business and conversion rate is invaluable. If all else fails and you find your website withering, hire SEO professionals. It can take teams of experienced people to run the most successful sites and you may just need a wonderful creative agency to help your business flourish.