Less than two-thirds of small businesses have a website. But in today’s competitive business world, consumers expect companies to have an online presence. Creating and launching a successful online presence starts with basic website SEO and social media profiles. A search-engine friendly website,designed with user experience and search engine algorithms in mind, will bring organic traffic to your online storefront, increasing your brand reputation and netting you increased sales and conversion. But it’s not enough to know website design and on-page SEO. There’s a lot more to a successful SEO strategy than meets the eye. Below are our top SEO tips for your new website.
Keywords and keyword phrases are the lifeblood of your web pages and are one of the primary mechanisms for getting your web pages to rank on the search results page. When it comes to building a new website, you have to please the readers AND search engines. Your blog posts, meta descriptions, title tags, and image alt descriptions should all include relevant keywords.
When you’re first starting with your website construction job, it can be challenging to know what types of keywords and phrases you should be building your site attributes around. Fortunately, there are a few free keyword research tools you can take advantage of. One of those tools is Google’s Keyword Planner. Keyword planning tools like Google’s allow marketers to see the amount of traffic specific search terms are getting, and what competition they can expect from other websites.
When you’re performing keyword research and trying to narrow down what terms you want to use for your web pages, you’ll need to be realistic. SEO is extremely competitive. A new website won’t be able to compete with the big boys for broad, generic terms. When you’re just starting, get specific and niche-y, so you can start building up a branded, online presence that the search engines (and readers) will like.
Also, try to target keywords and phrases for each blog post and webpage on your website. So it’s a good idea to do keyword research to inform your overall strategy, but you’ll also want to specify keyword terms for your unique web pages too. Defining and targeting your keywords will also help prevent your individual web pages from competing with each other for the same words.
The look and feel of your website are critical to the user experience. A website designed for humans is just as important as developing a site that the search engine crawlers will find pleasing. If you’re building a simple website that is only a couple of pages, it might not seem like a priority to plan your site’s architecture. But failing to plan is planning to fail. You’ll want to figure out your site’s architecture in the beginning, so the structure is in place as you add more pages and attributes.
Most websites can benefit from implementing a pyramid structure. The homepage would be at the top of the pyramid, and the essential pages would go down the pyramid structure in descending importance. So, right below the home page, the next section of the pyramid would be the web pages that make up the main menu. Underneath, you’ll put in subcategories and individual pages that are a part of the main menu pages.
Organising your website structure in advance in a simple pyramid format will help you figure out what pages to prioritise. It also enables you to prioritise the pages that readers will most likely want to explore, and it will help increase your website’s user-friendliness because it will be easier for website visitors to navigate your site. Planning site architecture also lets you figure out a user-friendly and organised internal linking strategy.
The longer people are on the site clicking around and reading things that are easy to find and that interest them, the less of a bounce rate your pages will have. Google Analytics does not like to see a high bounce rate. So, in the long run, planning your website design will go a long way to improving your SEO scores.
Also, the search engines and the people reading your blog posts and visiting your web pages want a mobile-friendly website design. Make sure that your site architecture is optimised for mobile viewing. This will also help your pages rank highly on the SERPs.
The title tag is the part of your web page that Google uses to figure out what the page is about. Target your keywords here. Also, keep the title tag short. Only 50 to 60 characters of the title tag will display on the search results page, and even fewer characters will display in the tab at the top of the browsers. You don’t need to use a ton of keywords, or otherwise stuff the title tag. Instead, use the primary keyword or phrase once, and you should be good to go.
For images, you can customise the name of the image to include the keywords you’re targeting for the page. It’s a good SEO strategy to update the alt image text on the page with the same targeted keywords too.
A meta description will not directly change your SEO rank. But they are still important when it comes to your website’s click-through rates. When someone sees your web page displayed on the SERPs, they will see the meta description directly below the title. Words in the description should match your keywords and the search terms the reader used to see your page displayed. Use the meta description to convince the viewer to click over to your page. But remember – meta descriptions should be relevant to the web page’s content. Otherwise, people will click off the site, and it will impact your bounce rates negatively.
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