In 1990, Canon’s television ad’s featured legendary tennis star Andre Agassi. In the commercial, he says “Image is Everything“. That statement is so true! Image and appearance are some of the most important factors when considering building a website. It’s the first thing visitors take into consideration when deciding to stay or leave. Your site must be inviting.
The impression you create when people are browsing through your website can lead to a purchase or call. If not developed strategically, your site will prompt a quick exit and a click on to your competitor’s webpage. Design trends have evolved from the early 90′s, and both the internet and consumers have matured.
So, let’s talk briefly about important factors you must implement:
- Choosing the right domain name and URL. Many people don’t realize that selecting a relevant domain name can help with their search engine rankings. To give you an example, if I have a box company my strategy would be to choose a URL like “boxesforsale.com” as opposed to “mycompanyname.com”. Having rich keyword in your url can play a factor in your ranking.
- Site Layout. Respect your website real estate. Having too much information on one page will make your website look cluttered. If your web design and layout looks inviting, you give potential customers the impression that you have paid attention to details and that you care about being professional.
- Navigation. Nothing will send your customers running to a competitor faster than a website that is difficult to navigate. If the customer can’t find the information or product they are looking for on your website quickly, then they are going to search elsewhere. Carefully consider your navigation when you are planning your layout. Sketching out your website or wireframing is a great process to plan out navigation of your site.
- Content is king. Make sure you have enough valuable content on your website that’s easy to read. Search engines “crawl” content on your website and index your pages. Your goal is to have visitors engage with your content. Videos, podcasts, diagrams, etc. They are all forms of content that gets visitors to click through your site. Why do some pages come up before others? Valuable content. The more people read pages or articles on your website, the more search engines deem it valuable and thus help your website rank higher.
- Keywords. When creating content, consider choosing extremely relevant keywords when developing your website. Search engines use keywords to display their search results, but keep in mind that you don’t want to keep repeating them because they will penalize you for it. Repetitive keywords also known as “keyword spamming” is considered to be an unethical SEO practice. Google provides guidelines you can follow to avoid being penalized.
- Call to action. There are many techniques to convert visitors into potential customers. Have you been to a website where there is a big red button that says, “Start your free trial, download now, call for a free quote, or fill out this form”? If so, you have been converted by that website. Becoming engaged or interested was half the battle for the website you visited. I remember the first time I clicked on Netflix’s “30 free trial” button- 3 years later; I am now a loyal customer.
- Blog and social Media Links. The ability for customers to interact with your business, products, and services is a vital today. What we buy, where we go, who we do business with has become a function of blogging and social media. Think about incorporating a blog like wordpress and social medial networks like Facebook, LinkediN, and Twitter. I recently posted an article “Customer Engagement through Social Media Marketing”; I encourage you to read it. Most importantly, when you include links on your website to your social media pages you build links naturally.
- Keep your website updated and up to date. I’ve seen websites that haven’t changed in years! How boring. Your customer doesn’t appreciate it and neither does search engines. Keeping a site up to date is no easy task, especially in a world where new information is being posted at the speed of light. There are many forums, and tech blogs that can help you stay current.
In a nutshell the important factors to consider when building your website are web design elements, strategic use of relevant keywords, interactive content, conversion techniques, link building, and maintenance.
There are fantastic tools out there that you can use to build an organic search engine optimized website, but consider using a professional company to create and maintain it for you. It’s important to build a website from an SEO perspective from the ground up. Doing so will help direct traffic to your future site. Especially in today’s environment, where major search engine have given more leverage to PPC campaigns and map listings. I hope this post gave you a bit of insight about building your website, please contact me if you have any comments or questions!