June 4, 2011 Comments Off on The Keys to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Web Design
A website is not a word document or an online brochure. It is a dynamic and active presence that reflects your business. Your company’s website is today’s storefront. Just like you would keep a storefront window fresh, modern, relevant and interesting, you should treat your website the same way.
Search engines are looking for the best guess that the searcher of a “storefront” is most likely seeking. For your business to be ranked high on that list, involves some thought and effort on your part.
The keys to search engine optimization, in the design of your website, include a search-friendly design, proper meta tags, a content management system, social media integration, new and relevant and interesting content and regular improvements and updates to your website.
- Search-Friendly Design includes elements that that people and search engines like. Imagine, for your business, what people might search for. List those key terms. Look at what you find and see what the competition has and you do not. Think about ways, that over time, you can integrate those elements into your website. Be sure to include a search-feature on your website and a site-map.
- Key Phrases or Words Coded in the Meta Tags allow optimal searchability. Imagine, for your business, what people might search for. List those key terms. Are they in your meta tags? Are they in your content? Also, include a naming habit of your images. If you are a furniture store, people won’t search for picture_a or room_b, but they will search for leather couch or modern living room. Getting in the habit of better image naming adds to better searchability.
- Content Management System (CMS) Set-Up allows you the ability to add new content yourself and keep people coming back for more. This can be achieved by setting up a blog on wordpress or blogger. Think of how you can help your customer with some free advice or tips. Include them in a regular basis on your blog. Let them know, through your content, that you are a professional that they can rely on.
- Social Media Integration is the trend. Facebook, twitter, youtube, flickr, blogs and other social media sites play a role in establishing your company as relevant and fun. Creating games and widgets for your customers or potential customers can create a buzz, interest and keep your business name ranked high.
- Content Development and Copywriting by creating new and unique content or stuff your customers will want to read, demonstrate to people and search engines that your business is relevant. If you sell furniture, your whole site and content and verbage should be about furniture. Developing categories and how-to’s and FAQ’s about furniture need to be included in your website.
- Website Development Improvements are necessary to keep your website interesting and fresh. Updating it over time will help to achieve higher rankings. Keep your domain name expiration current (not to expire within a year, for example), consider adding events and specials that change on a regular basis, update the how-to’s and FAQ’s and images regularly, and keep a web developer on staff or contract.
Keeping a presence on the web for your business is a “moving target”. The industry is always changing and evolving. Web professionals are always learning and staying relevant themselves. If you want an online brochure, then these steps are not necessary. But, if you want higher rankings in search engines, then these steps will help you achieve that goal; they just require your involvement. If you have any advise or suggestions on this topic, do share.
Fran, Owner and Creative Director of Dighton Design