As a small business owner, you may be thinking about a new website design, or you may be wondering whether it’s time to update your existing website. If you’re in the “thinking” stage of website design, you’re in a good place to ensure that your new or refreshed website is visible to the market you’re trying to reach.
What goes into good website design
Good website design has always had a number of moving parts, but in 2014, really good website design will combine appearance, function and search engine optimization techniques to improve the visibility and effectiveness of the site.
At the website design and construction stages, you have a unique opportunity to employ some fundamental SEO practices that can have a significant impact on the reach of your website. Here are three rock-solid SEO practices you’ll want to incorporate into your new website design.
Search engines rely heavily on keywords to help them understand what a website or webpage is all about. If you’re not inserting keywords into your pages at the design stage, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to be seen. There’s actually an art to picking keywords, so doing a little research up front is worth the time it will take.
Consumers have gotten very smart about how to search for things on the Internet, so you’ll want to look at more specific search terms to help distinguish your website. “Bathroom faucets” is better than “faucets” and “Ready to Rock special edition Ford Mustang” is better than “used car.” Keyword tools available through Google and other search engines can help you narrow your keyword focus and find keywords that will describe your site and help your customers find you.
Be sure to use your keywords in your page text, page titles, alt text, URLs and headlines for added bonus points from the search engines.
Use descriptive URLs
The text that appears in a URL is meaningful to the search engine, so avoid ending up with a website design that uses URLs like:
Instead, aim for specific, keyword-rich URLs, like:
Addressing the needs of a search engine during the website design stage can pay big dividends once your new website design is live.
While it’s true that search engines can’t decipher images, you can add tags to images to describe them. And the search engines can (and do!) use image descriptions to determine page ranking and relevance. Always add descriptive Alt tags to images. (And by descriptive, I mean include your keywords!) Use descriptive file names for your images, too. It’s better to have your page code call out an image file named “premium-widget-0001.jpg” than it is to have it call out an image file named “7238456.jpg.”
Hopefully, you see what impact some well-researched keywords can have on your website design. If you would like more information about search engine optimization at the website design stage, please contact our creative director, Dave Ramsell or call Dave at (330) 243-0651 for a consultation.
Photo Credit: wagg66, via StockXchng