Having a website used to be enough. However, it is increasingly becoming a much more complicated matter. Geoff Roy from LeapFrogIM.Co.UK has helped me put together this article and explains how businesses compete for the number one ranking in search engines. The indexed web has more than 1.55 billion pages in it, so the competition is fierce. It is very important to keep in mind what your website’s real purpose is. It isn’t to reach the top of the search results or win best website design awards. These things can be nice to have and will help to increase the visibility of your website. However, your ultimate goal is to either inform an audience or sell products and services to customers. The key to having an effective website is keeping your end-users in mind.
Plan Your Content
Make a plan for your content strategy, this is the business plan for your website. Figure out what you would like to accomplish and how your business website can do this. One of your main goals is to make it easy and convenient for your customers to locate what they are looking for as efficiently and quickly as possible. Ideally you should plan your content strategy even before you have your website designed. It is a lot more cost-efficient to plan ahead of time than to publish the website and then think about the content and how end users can find and use it.
Choose a content management system that will enable you to easily update your website on a regular basis. Fresh content published on a regular basis will push your website higher in the search results. If you need to contact your designer every time you want to update your website, you will lose momentum. Make sure there is a blog incorporated into your web design. Even if you don’t happen to want or need one right now, your needs may change in the future. A blog provides you with an easy way to keep your site fresh with new content.
It’s nice to have great content, however, it must be relevant for your audience as well. That is why keywords are so important. What keywords do your customers use in their searches? What keywords do your competitors use? The way people search does change and markets change as well. Therefore, you should periodically check your keywords to make sure you are still current.
Estimates are that very soon close to 60 percent of internet use will be done from a smartphone or tablet. Therefore it is becoming more and more important to have your website optimized for mobile devices in addition to desktop computers. This is something Responsive Web Design can help you with. If you don’t have it yet, it is something you want to get. It will allow viewers to easily read your content and navigate through it without a lot of scrolling, panning or resizing.
As it is being developed, test your site from your smartphone. Does the site respond? If there is a contact form or comments box on your site does it work with the iPad? If it doesn’t, you might lose some potential customers. Keep in mind that most mobile devices do not support flash. If you plan to include slideshows or animations, you might be wasting you efforts and time if your target audience loves gadgets
Figure out which social media platforms to use. Think about which ones are the most relevant and choose the ones that your customers use every day. Connect your website to all of your social media account. Now days, this is expected. Make sure your share, like and follow buttons are very visible and integrated into your website’s header. Become familiar with available management tools that make social media integration simple. They can also help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, which will help you determine where to focus your attention and time in the future.
Ultimately, web design and SEO are not incompatible, they are both equally important. These days, you need to have both. Just keep in mind they are just tools to help you better engage with your customers. When they are used correctly, it is more likely that your website will score in the organic search engine results. This will help to increase your bottom line.
Amy Rice enjoys writing about internet marketing, when not writing she plays adventure golf and visits the cinema.