Designing a website from scratch is no easy feat. Visual elements are surely important to gaining attention of visitors, but the quality of the content and everything going on behind the scenes are at least as important to ensuring that visitors are making their way to your site and, later, actually inclined to continue down the sales funnel.
That first component, being sure visitors make their way to your site, will be much easier if search engine optimization (SEO) is ingrained in your site’s design from the very beginning. It should really be a key consideration throughout the entire build.
Optimizing a site for search engines means making it clear what kind of content and value you are looking to provide their users. There are a number of components to doing this, and not everyone goes about it the same way, but there are a number of things you can incorporate into your website that will let google know that your site is high-quality and valuable, and of course, that your site deserves a high ranking.
Here are some points to take into account when building your site:
- Use concise URLs containing relevant keywords for each page . They should make it easy for search engines to understand what your page content is about.
- Page speed is important for user experience and visitor conversions as well as search engine ranking. Sites that load faster will always outrank an equal competitor. Being sure your pages load quickly will ensure that google has enough to time to index as many of your pages as possible.
- Responsive design is non-negotiable at this point. Google knows that an enormous amount of web traffic now occurs on mobile devices, so it rewards responsive sites with higher rankings. Your site should have the consistent HTML code and URLs no matter the device a viewer is using and its styles should adapt for ease of use when pulled up on a mobile device.
- Avoid over-stuffing your content with keywords and hiding keywords in tags. You’ll be in the clear if you create thoughtful, informational, and high-quality content that gives your readers exactly what they’re looking for.
- Think about what your user might type into a search engine if they were looking for your content and be sure to include those phrases and keywords in your copy. Google can now pull up answers that to queries that may be different in wording but the same in meaning, so SEO strategies should focus on including groups of related terms and synonyms rather than sticking to single words.
- Your website should be designed with humans, your prospective customers, in mind first and foremost. Search engines are smart enough to figure out when you’re ‘cheating’ and so are your visitors. If a word doesn’t fit naturally into the text or doesn’t really contribute to the idea you want to convey with your content, just take it out.
- If you are redesigning an old website, take the time before starting out to audit your currently existing content. Look at your visits, keywords, inbound links, indexed pages, etc. to determine which aspects are working and which ones aren’t.
- Don’t forget to set up 301 redirects to bring customers who may be looking for you at your old URL to your new site. This will preserve your existing SEO rankings and traffic, giving you a great starting point to work from.
There are a lot of things that go into building a website, and search engine optimization is something to consider every step of the way. After all, bringing visitors to your site is a critical stage of the buyer’s journey. The good news is that inbound marketers, like Google, live by the importance of providing the highest-quality content and the most value possible to viewers! Incorporate these best practices into your next website design, and you will experience the benefits of a fully optimized site.
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