23 Jan 6 Things Your New Website Design Needs
Let’s go basic on website design. Before we get bogged down in web strategy and advanced search engine optimization techniques, let’s talk 6 basics that have to be present.
Today’s search engines, like Google and Bing, are quite a bit different than they were several years back (or even several months back). Old school SEO required overloading the site with specific keywords (sometimes keywords that didn’t even apply to the site, but showed up in a lot of searches). Things have changed… drastically.
Google and Bing have advanced well past these methods. In fact, the search engines do not rely on keywords through meta tags – they look for them on your pages and associate them with content to verify the validity of the page. Interestingly, Google’s technology is moving towards a point when it can read a site’s page very much like a human would. While we will cover SEO specifics in later posts, we’ll dive right into the 5 things you must have.
The mention of SEO, is important in web design because ultimately, you want to rank well for interested parties. It is not a flip of a switch. Web Design Strategy needs to be implemented very early on in order to make SEO Strategy effective.
6 Things Your Website Must Have
•Content, Content, Content: Today’s search engines give a lot of credibility to sites that have good quality, relevant, and unique content about your subject matter. Identifying certain aspects and keywords of your industry and building in great content around those concepts will certainly help people find you, because Google will see this and will see your site as having more authority over competitors whose site design lacks robust content.
Another reason content is so important has to do with your web site’s audience. Many of today’s consumers want good information. They want it in a certain format and they expect to be able to find it easily. The vast majority of potential customers research companies online prior to purchase. Make sure you are providing great info on your web site.
•A Blog: You do not need to embrace your inner Ernest Hemingway and write the great American Novel. However, a blog is essential for a number of reasons. It helps you build content for your site (see above), it helps keep your consumers informed of changes with your organization, it helps lend credibility to your organization by acting as a thought leader in the industry, and it also provides great content to share through Social Media Marketing efforts. These pages will also be the best pages to attract inbound links (another critical SEO component)
•Proper on Page SEO – We’re not talking fancy SEO right now. Let’s look for a good base to incorporate into design. Even though content is king, it has to be formatted in a way that search engines want to see it. Here is an easy checklist to get you started: images need “alt tags”, Meta Titles are critical to telling the search engine what the page is about, a good Meta Description will get you more clicks, using your targeted keywords in the body is important (the same ones you used in the Meta Title), and using 1 header (H1) tag around your most important page concept in the body for each page will help
•Calls to Action – What do you want your visitors to do? Call you? Fill out a form? Join an e-mail list? Make a purchase? Make sure this critical aspect of the website design is clear and easily identifiable.
•A Form – It’s great to have a contact us page, but make sure that forms are readily accessible on most, if not all, pages
•Analytics – Using tools like Google Analytics will help you track your web page’s performance so that you can revise as necessary to adapt to how your users are responding to your web design. The best laid plans usually need revision. If you have no way to track usage statistics, you will be in the dark as to how to adapt your design.