In today’s online world, it is virtually impossible to conduct business without a good, easy to navigate website. While not all companies and organizations are created equal, it seems that there is one commonality that every business shares – the need for a quality website. But what does that look like, really? For a lot of business owners, creating a website seems like an impossible task, but just as with anything else, it seems impossible until it is done. By building out your website to create a quality user experience and following a few easy tips and tricks, you can create a platform for your organization online to bring in more engagement, drive organic traffic and ultimately generate more revenue.
The most important thing to consider when creating your website is SEO or search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. Simply slapping together a website and putting it up online is not going to garner much return if you’re not taking any search engine optimization techniques into consideration. By doing your homework a bit beforehand, you will be able to set yourself up to be in a much better position to rank higher on search engine sites like Google.
- Know the Goal of Your Site
The first step to getting your SEO strategy up and running is to start with some research. To understand how to reach people on the internet, you first have to understand how people are searching for certain topics. So say you are a pediatrician looking to get your site up and running to find potential new patients for your practice, you’re going to need to tailor your strategies to fit SEO for medical practices, which might look a bit different than a strictly e-commerce site. The goal of your site is not so much to make a sale as it is to sell your practice to soon-to-be-parents. Therefore, your site should be set up as a hub of information rather than an e-commerce store. You might also want to be able to facilitate parts of your business through your site, so including services like telehealth software to your site would be a great idea.
- Make Your Site User Friendly
In practice, that means building and designing your site to be as user-friendly and informative as possible. If someone is looking for appointment information or office hours or even just your practice’s stance on a particular debated health topic, it should all be spelled out plainly and easily navigable from the home page. This is especially important for medical website design.
Most internet surfers are not patient people. If your site is confusingly laid out or hard to navigate, they’re going to get bored and move on to the next site on the list rather than try to decipher yours. Odds are that your bounce rate is going to be unreasonably high.
Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. So to keep this number down, make sure your main headers and clickable links on your site are clearly visible and labeled appropriately. If there is a certain action you want visitors to your site to take, like sign up for a newsletter, make an appointment, or make a purchase, make sure to clearly label the button in a high visibility spot on the site. Ideally, this call to action button lives on the top right-hand corner of the page or along the top as a drop-down menu. That is traditionally where visitor’s eyes tend to go and expect to find this kind of information.
- Find Your Keyword Niche
Once your site is laid out, it is then time to fill that site with information. To start, it is a good idea to identify some keywords or topic clusters to use on your site. Keywords act as roadmaps to help google’s algorithms understand what your site is and then rank it accordingly with the keywords you use. So for example, if you sell used cars, you’re going to use phrases and words on your site that research shows people use to search for used cars. “Used cars” might be a very competitive keyword so getting more down into the nitty-gritty and finding a niche that works for you is important here, especially if you’re just starting out and are still establishing a strategy.
A good rule of thumb is to start local. If you’re based around the Atlanta area, the phrase “Used cars in Atlanta” might be a good place to start but still relatively competitive. It is a balancing act between finding a phrase that is specific enough that you can be competitive in the ranking and universal enough that people are actually searching for your phrase. If you have a more robust website with a log of landing pages and subpages, then you can start targeting multiple keywords and phrases to fit the topic on that particular page. It might take a bit of tinkering at first. There are plenty of great resources out there to help you along the way to find what works best for your organization.
- Garner Backlinks from Other Sites
Once the front-end of your site is put together, you can then start thinking about other avenues for bringing people onto your site. One strategy that ranks well within google is backlinking. Backlinking happens when a separate website links back to your site as a resource. In the eyes of Google, this gives your site authority and credibility if other sites are willing to use your site as a source.
Regardless of how you layout your SEO strategies, the most important thing to do is to do it with intention and care. Google can tell what sites look suspect and which ones look like they are maintained with care and will rank them accordingly.