Building a brand new website using an SEO foundation requires an understanding of how search engines work and as well as how to utilize data regarding website visitor behavior.
Ranking takes time, especially with a new domain, but if you employ an SEO strategy, make your site responsive and monitor its activity, you can move up in search results faster.
When deciding to hire a professional web developer, you will have the greatest chance of success if you choose one with SEO experience and a passion for helping business owners drive traffic to their site and grow their brand.
Why Business Websites Fail In Organic Search
You can pay to have the most amazing website built, make it mobile friendly and fill it with gorgeous, high-quality images but still have little to no traffic. Without properly optimizing your site for search engines like Google or failing to use SEO-friendly content, your site will remain invisible. Does this mean you wasted money on having a website built? No, but the reality is that you chose the wrong web developers.
Why is an SEO-Friendly Website Important?
Organic traffic is generated directly from SEO and, according to Search Engine Land, easily makes up 50% – 75% of the overall traffic any website receives. This is what makes Search Engine Optimization so crucial to the success of your website. A good web developer knows this and builds the framework from that standpoint.
This strategy allows Google and other search engines to crawl your site easily and efficiently. The success of your website relies on how well search engines can interpret your content and effectively index it. The more SEO strategies the web developer incorporates into the design process, the higher chance you have of ending up in the page one search results.
Begin by Identifying Your Target SEO Audience
Decide who you are selling your brand, product or service to and then design the website and content around them. Narrowing your focus will allow for a more effective SEO campaign. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are a few things to consider when honing in on your niche:
- Who is this website/business for?
- Age bracket and gender?
- What are their hobbies, income level and type of work?
- Where do they live?
- How do they use the internet?
- Are they active on social media and rely heavily on it for information or do they prefer receiving personalized emails?
- What keywords are they using?
- Are they following other businesses and brands?
Once you’ve created your potential customer profile, focusing on that audience is a more successful tactic then trying to appeal to every person from every walk of life. Attempting that strategy will just dilute any efforts to drive traffic to your site organically or through social media channels.
Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Responsive Website Design
Google actively serves mobile users mobile-friendly web content. Optimizing your site and its content for digital device users is an absolute must. Responsive web design offers visitors a streamlined experience and your content will display properly on any device, not just cell phones. This is a more cost-effective option than developing an app to run your site or brand through. With the number of people using devices other than a PC, you’re likely to increase your conversion rate and not lose customers because your site can’t be viewed correctly.
In our world of instant gratification, users won’t wait around even a few extra seconds for a slow website to load. With Google serving responsive websites to searchers, its paramount that your website is fast. If not, you’ll see your bounce rates steadily increase as potential customers become frustrated and are lost to competitors with speedy, responsive sites.
You can find free website speed tests online. Some sites even give a few tips to improve the speed such as using a web browser cache and compressing all images and graphics.
Create an SEO-Friendly Content Strategy
Many business owners and web developers overlook the importance of a good content strategy when building a new site. Similar to finding your niche or target audience, your content needs to be clearly focused to promote your brand, product or service. Veering from your page topic is more detrimental than having no content. Whether it’s a blog or updating your site, having a long-term plan for content requires organization so you can be confident that top-quality, relevant content is being published.
Start by Optimizing Your On-Page SEO First
If your website is freshly built or has never been optimized, looking at your on-page SEO is a good place to start. Adding or improving on your meta descriptions and titles will help improve your site’s position in the search ranking. Utilizing keywords and long-tail phrases to optimize both the page content and the META will increase traffic to your site.
Take a look at your URL structure as well. These can also be optimized to improve search results. Google prefers shorter URLs including a target keyword; 3-5 words is ideal. Here’s an example how you can easily improve your URLs:
Revised SEO-Friendly URL:
Use Google Analytics – It’s Free!
Google offers a free tool that you should familiarize yourself with in order to grow your website. Setting up your Google Analytics account tracks and records visitors behavior once on your site. The data collected allows you to see what page or pages are viewed, how long they stay on your site and what keywords brought them there. Understanding what your customers are doing helps you, the business owner, to deliver better results. Google Analytics is actively collecting data without your input. It’s simple to look at that data as you can choose the metrics that are displayed.
This tool is also important to figure out why customers may be visiting your site but not finding what they are looking for. That is referred to as the bounce rate and it’s an important metric to help you diagnose the reason visitors are leaving. It can also reveal invaluable data such as the age, gender, interests, device used and location of your audience. Demographic data is used for honing in your content, keywords and deciding which social media platforms will be the most effective for your brand.
When Is It Time To Hire A Professional Web Developer?
You should hire a web developer that is not only experienced but one that understands SEO and is passionate about helping you develop your company’s voice, mission and goals. A website should be more than just a virtual business card as it is the main connection between customers and your brand.
If you are unsure of any of the topics in this article or how to execute them effectively, it is time to consider hiring a professional. The same sentiment applies if you don’t have the skill to build websites yourself, or the time to actively monitor it or create SEO-friendly content. If you want a website that increases your credibility, competitiveness and organic traffic, a professional web development company, like SoFloWeb, can handle all of your SEO, content and web design needs.