Your business isn’t relevant without a well-designed website. 97% of consumers shop online. And, a great website is critical for connecting with your customers. A website is an extension of your business and brand. You won’t stand-out with a boring page or an over-used template. Invest time in a custom website to set your business apart from the competition. A custom website will wed a thoughtful design with an attractive layout to help you reach your audience. Before you get started you should make a few strategic SEO decisions. SEO is vital to your online marketing efforts — incorporate SEO into your design from the start. Planning ahead can save you time and money on sites that lose functionality. Keep your site up to date with the latest SEO strategies and improve your rankings. Keep reading to learn which SEO decisions you need to make before you get started. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) increases your visibility to search engines like Google. Customers can find you more easily if you rank higher in their searches. An SEO friendly-site is designed with search-engine preferences in mind. SEO designs make it easy for search-engine ‘crawlers’ to navigate and retrieve information SEO site building requires careful planning and consideration. Inform all SEO efforts with your digital marketing campaign. Before you begin your company should have a clear marketing plan and brand identity.
Keep reading for our list of 5 SEO web-design considerations.
1. Know Your Competition
Competition research is essential to your marketing campaign. Identify who is ranking for your keywords and evaluate their sites.
Evaluate your competition based on the following:
- How well do they do what they do?
- Do they have a strong brand image?
- How well do they use links? What does their link profile look like?
- Are they doing anything innovative with their site’s architecture and layout?
- How big is your competition and how well are they doing?
Researching your competition should inform your site’s design, structure, and content. It’s important to pay attention to your competitors to learn from and innovate on their successes.
2. Content-driven Design and Structured Data
What kind of content do you plan to feature on your site? Have you thought about what content would best reach your customer base?
Content is critical to your online marketing strategy. Improve your site’s accessibility with a well-defined content strategy.
Avoid these issues by using structured data. Structured data means coding a website with a text description of your multimedia content. Having a text description makes it easier for crawlers to make sense of your page.
3. Technical Decisions
One of the first design decisions you have to make is choosing between HTTP and HTTPs protocols for your site’s coding. However, HTTPs is the best choice for coding an SEO custom site.
Users are guaranteed a secure connection to your site when you use an HTTPs protocol. Because HTTPs is a secure protocol, you can take payments on your site. And, HTTPs protocols also improve your Google search results.
Google changes its ranking criteria often. Make sure it is easy to update your site to keep your site relevant.
There are a lot of platforms available for designing your own custom website. Whether you choose a free or premium site-building service, make sure it’s easy to update and navigate.
4. Site Navigation, Domain Names, and URLs
Well-designed site architecture makes it easy for web crawlers and customers to navigate your site. An easy-to-navigate site will do better in rankings because information can be quickly accessed.
You need to make sure your URL structure is clearly defined. Google’s bots need to be able to read the site quickly.
Group your pages with the user’s interface in mind. And, focus on designing a flat site structure by keeping all pages a maximum of four clicks from the homepage. All variations of your domain and sub-domains must redirect to a canonical version of the site.
Also, make sure your domain name fits your business and is easy to understand. Having a clear domain name is important to your site’s search-ability.
5. User-Friendly Design
Your user interface is crucial to your website’s success. You want to create an enjoyable and simple to use experience for your customers.
Before you begin you should understand your customer segments. Knowing your audience will come in handy when designing an interface to suit their needs.
People don’t wait for slow sites — if your site takes too long to load, you’re losing business. Your site should be responsive and have short loading times.
Every page of your site must be mobile friendly. Mobile devices are no longer considered separate from other platforms. Users expect to be able to seamlessly transition between devices.
If you plan to do business abroad you need to structure your site for multi-lingual compatibility. Establish a separate domain for each language and region to prevent duplicate content in google searches.
Should You DIY Your Company’s Custom Website?
Do-it-yourself web design has become very popular in recent years. Inexpensive and free services have enabled people with minimal knowledge to create their own sites. But, should you DIY your custom website?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have the time to invest in coding and designing your own site?
- Do you want your site to have any special functionalities?
- Will you need to do research first?
- Do you have any knowledge about SEO or web-marking?
- How well do you write?
Unless you moonlight as a professional web designer, you should hire someone to make your site. Professional web-design teams will save you time and money, in the long run.
Experienced web-designers can quickly provide quality results. Clients also benefit from technical support for a trial period, which can be extended.
Your website integral to your business’ success. Make sure you do it right — hire a professional web-design team.