An appealing storefront with bright, visible signs and an ad in the Yellow Pages was an effective way to draw in customers a generation ago, but in today’s digital world, having a presence in search is crucial. Do you know how many new customers you are acquiring through online search? When people need something nowadays, they don’t hop in their car to drive around and find it, nor do they pull out the phonebook and start thumbing through it. They Google it.
Some people use Google on a daily basis; others use it when they begin the information gathering phase of the purchase process, or they’re on vacation and want to find a great local restaurant. According to Internet Live Stats, there are approximately 45,000 Google searches occurring at any given second and chances are one of those searchers are looking for your products and/or services.
Whatever the business, your company will benefit from proper search engine optimization and a professional website design. Read on for three simple yet effective website design tips to improve SEO and get the most of your company’s site.
- START WITH QUALITY CONTENT
Good SEO is contingent on great content and content is still king in regards to search. In addition, information architecture and website design start with quality content. Google is constantly updating and improving its search algorithms, and a jumble of words with some keywords thrown in is not going to cut it. SEO is about sharable information, providing industry related tips and advice that people actually find useful is a great way to create share worthy content. When your content is shared across social platforms valuable back links are created. So, any link building strategy starts with good content.
- UTILIZE KEYWORDS—WITHIN REASON
Keyword stuffing is no longer an effective way to boost rankings, in fact it can be a punishable offense. Having said that, keywords are still central to the way search works. Potential customers aren’t going to find your business or products if you don’t include the appropriate search terms with the proper keyword density in your site content, meta data, H1 tags, anchor text and alt attributes. By proper keyword density we are simply implying to be mindful of keyword stuffing and use phrases within reason. Don’t add another keyword at the expense of readability. If in doubt refer back to tip #1 and focus on the quality and sharability of your content over the addition of one more keyword phrase.
- LINK BUILDING
Content and keywords aren’t the only tenants of a successful SEO strategy. Your website design should be the foundation of your SEO campaign by including an internal linking strategy. We suggest mapping out your internal links so there is a logic to the organization of your site content. Especially for sites with 100’s of pages of content. The proper use of anchor text to link related topics within your site helps users and search engines navigate through your content. Again we emphasize restraint. We have clients who have been penalized for excessive use of anchor text, most likely for keyword stuffing.
Offsite, link building is definitely an effective way to boost your search rankings. This takes work though. Establishing relationships with authoritative sources and relying on just a few links to draw traffic back to a specific page on your site is actually more effective than building dozens of random links back to your site.
DON’T FORGET: SEO IS A JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION
Boosting your company’s rankings may seem overwhelming at first, but the above tips should get you pointed in the right direction, in fact it’s actually fairly simple. An effective SEO campaign requires constant attention to a lot of details. Organizing an SEO campaign is the topic for another article though. You can download this spreadsheet, which will get you started.