Designing a new business website is one of the most important activities a business can take. The branding has to be right as well as the design. Choosing the right CMS and developer is crucial. And then there’s content.
With so much to worry about already, a solid SEO strategy often often falls through the cracks. In stead of being left until the end of the project or after launch, SEO should be included as part of the project itself as a part of the design, development and content process. Below are some of the most common SEO mistakes we see business make when designing a website.
Keywords are content on a website that are relevant to search terms people use to find a website. Understanding what keywords people are using to find website like your is key your SEO strategy. You may already have a good idea of what keywords people are using. If so, write them down and make sure they appear in top level domain addresses, in structured headers (H1, H2, etc), and in the page content. Your website should have a mix of broad keywords and phrases, that are relevant to your industry as well as a longtail key phrases that support key topics around your business.
If you do not know what keywords are relevant to your business hire an SEO specialist to conduct keyword research.
Effective website content should be written for a target audience and be clear and concise as well as rich in meaning. It also needs to be rich with keywords. Search engines recommend web pages based on how well the content matches keywords people are using to search. So put your keyword research to good use and make sure your keywords are showing up in titles, headings, pages urls, body text as well as in meta tags, image file names, alt tags, and hyperlinks.
A common complaint we hear about a website’s content is that there is too much of it, forcing visitors to excessively scroll and read to find out the point of a web page. Too much content can be a turnoff to a website’s users. During a website redesign, website owners will often try to thin out the content. But too little content can be a real problem as well. Search engines “like” content and will penalize website’s where pages have only small amounts of the content.
Both humans and machines love logic and the overall layout of a website should make sense to both human and machine users. Some rules of thumb for creating a website that both human and machine can enjoy, include:
Making up a website structure on the fly so to speak often leads to website’s that neither human or machines can understand. So make sure to invest in architecting an easy to browse and understand website before you start to design and develop it.
Many website owners see a website process as a one-time event and don’t realize the importance of the post-launch process. It's important to continually improve and expand a site after launch. Collecting website analytics can help you establish a performance baseline as well as decreases or increase in performance over time. Keywords can change over time, so analyzing your keywords periodically can maintain or boost your SEO performance. Search engines also like to see new content being posted to websites. Maintaining a news section or a blog will ensure new content is regularly posted.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of a website of which users are only vaguely aware. But it’s critical to your website SEO performance. For example, H-tags - H1, H2, H3, and H4, etc.. H-tag designates the hierarchy of page titles and subtitles so search engines can understand the structure of a web page's content.
Metadata occupies a crucial piece of SEO strategy. Metadata are the title and descriptions that show up in search results. Effective metadata not only improves your SEO performance, but can push a user into choosing one site over the other. Title tags should include all of the components search engines want to see as well as something that compels the user to click. Meta descriptions should provide a clear and concise summary of your company and services.