In any informed discussion about website design, it’s not long before someone will refer to the importance of the Google™ algorithm in determining your website’s ranking. Algorithms are the rules that search engines use to rank online content.
Although Google does not publish the many variables that its algorithm uses to rank your website, it does promote the most important elements in designing a website that are friendly to search engines. Being search engine friendly gives your site the best chance to achieve good ranking and beat your competitors.
Write Good Copy
Good website design starts with good copy or content. Google and other search engines look at your site and evaluate whether what you say is worthwhile and then “reward” the best written sites with a good ranking.
Think about conversations you have with potential clients and elaborate on what they ask you or your sales team about your business:
- What do you offer?
- Why are you better than your competition?
- What is your customer service about?
Think of your website as a 24/7 salesperson who is “selling” your business to potential new customers. Equip that virtual “salesperson” with as much good and factual information about your business that you can because the new visitor is most likely comparing your offering to your competitors’ websites and will be making a decision based on what they read.
Your competition may not be as good or as inexpensive or offer as many products as you, BUT if they have better and more compelling content on their website, guess who that customer is going to call?
Update your content a couple of times a year. Keep it fresh and current.
Select Appropriate Keywords
Hand in glove with the content is the selection of keywords that people will type in search engines. Think of the keywords as 2–3 word descriptions or categories of what you offer. You want to ensure those keywords are written into the content and that it makes sense to a potential customer. Use both general and specific keywords (e.g., automotive repair, Cadillac brakes) to accurately describe your business.
Write Effective Page Titles
The last component is the title of the page. It may not sound important, but search engines place strong emphasis on the title of each page. The title is what appears in the search engine results page. A well-written title will attract more people to your Web page.
A good website design will have a unique title for each page on the website. Keep the title within 65 characters and work in the most important keywords for that page. If you are a local business, include the city and state. Here are a couple sample titles:
- “Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Music Lessons | Muncie, IN”
- “Hot Water Heaters, Plumbing Fixtures, Spa Repair | Orlando, FL”
Avoid putting your company name in the title. Since you only have 65 characters, you will see better results and more traffic by writing a keyword in that title. People usually look for your offerings and not your company name. Remember, the keywords that appear in the title MUST appear on that page as well.
Has altering your website content noticeably changed the volume of traffic to your website? If so, was it for better or worse?