A fresh, brand new website is a beautiful thing! It’s contemporary, stylish and (if done right), capable of delivering one truly fantastic user experience. In the business world, there’s simply no substitute for an optimized, streamlined and effective website that hits all the marks, offers a great browsing experience, and makes it easy for customers to shop.
But, what about SEO?
It’s a sad truth that many companies think about SEO long after a website build or redesign has been completed. That can spell trouble if you’re hoping to hit the ground running on solid momentum to build your business and attract new customers. SEO should always be implemented during the actual design phase of a website, as opposed to being an afterthought. Sure, you can re-optimize the site with SEO techniques after the fact, but there’s so much more work, effort and wasted money involved. Here’s why you should never skip SEO when designing your website.
DOES SEO EVEN MATTER?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of implementing techniques designed to get your company’s website at the top of that coveted search engine list. The better your SEO is, the higher you’ll rank. Both new website designs and those receiving a new paint job will need to build search engine momentum in order to gradually rank higher. If you start out with strong SEO on your new website, you’ll shorten the amount of time required to rank high on search results.
HOW DOES SEO FACTOR INTO WEBSITE DESIGN?
Many people are forgiven for thinking that website-related SEO is all about keywords, avoiding repeating content, and implementing a working sitemap, but it doesn’t stop there! The implementation of user experience (UX) into a website’s design can affect your SEO when search engines perform a “crawl,” which is a way of describing when a platform like Google sends automated bots to discover new and updated content.
Therefore, overall structure and navigation should be prioritized, so that search engines will give your site a proverbial thumbs up, and reward you with a boost in search rankings. While website design offers plenty of room for uniqueness and creativity, there are certain unwritten “laws” that only experienced website developers truly understand when it comes to factoring in SEO. Is your website design clean? Will it encourage visitors to not only visit, but stick around for a while and explore? Search engine algorithms are remarkably adept at figuring these things out, so always bear this in mind when moving ahead with a new website.
IS IT MOBILE FRIENDLY?
These days, most consumer-related online traffic is done through a mobile device like a smartphone, which means your website needs to be versatile. “Responsive” design is the practice of making sure that a website design automatically reorients itself to a mobile device as needed, which can look quite different from a desktop computer version. Search engines know this, and they’ve already stipulated a “mobile-first” approach when analyzing and ranking websites for search results. If you’re not mobile-friendly, your chances of making it to the top of a search will dwindle quite fast.
Luckily, responsive design has become standard fare in practically all web development circles, but there’s a right and wrong way to do it. Always remember that the easier and more convenient your browsing experience is, the more likely search engines, and your customers, will rank it high.
SLOW SPEED = SLUGGISH SEO
Ever browse a website that felt stuck in molasses? That’s probably due to bad design and coding, which can significantly slow down page loading. Search engines won’t tolerate a website that takes ages to load, and neither should you, for that matter. Both visual, audio and written content needs to be optimized for delivery across both high and lower-speed networks, which means trimming excess file sizes down to their slimmest, and making sure there are no bottlenecks.
The faster a webpage loads, the more likely a customer will stay on the site and browse. Remember that attention spans are short, especially when users can simply hop off your website and visit a competitor. You can prevent that from happening by blending excellent, intuitive UX into your website design that loads fast. Your SEO will thank you for it!
BUILD TO CONVERT
Your website may look gorgeous, and your product images may spur on salivation, but if you can’t convert a lead into a sale, it’s all for nothing. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play, and it’s vital for generating sales that will lead to greater ROI. Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons, text headers and clickable links are all great ways to guide customers along their journey throughout your website, and if done right, they’ll provide a convenient “on-rails” experience that will increase the likelihood of sales at the end.
If you’re providing a service, you may want to convince your visitor to fill out a form that will trigger the next stage of engagement, such as booking an appointment. If a customer places items in a cart, there should be an indicator message or Email reminding them, in case they forgot. The way you structure your website will have a monumental impact on lead conversions, which in turn will get noticed by search engines impressed by your traffic and levels of engagement. Remember, they’re always watching!
If you’re thinking about designing a brand new website, or giving your existing site a much-needed facelift, we encourage you to stop for a moment, and contact us here at Operatio Marketing. Not only do we understand the dynamics of SEO as it relates to web development, but we have built some of the most impressive websites imaginable for our clients! Choosing Operatio Marketing means enjoying immediate results from a digital marketing company that will optimize your site for maximum impact, from day one.
If you have already designed a website, but neglected your SEO, don’t worry! We can help adjust and tweak your website so that you’re getting the most out of your online presence. We’re ready to assist you!