When you’re building your website, you’re probably thinking about many things. How many pages should you include? Which colors should you use? What should your URL be? Chances are, however, that SEO isn’t a main concern. Unfortunately, building a website with SEO in mind can have a huge impact on the success of your online marketing down the road. Here’s are a few simple tips to ensure that your website is optimized for SEO from the beginning.
Research and Incorporate Keywords
Optimizing your website for keywords helps would-be customers find you more easily and can go a long way toward enhancing your sales and generating more leads for your company. The first step to using keywords on your site is to research which keywords you should be targeting. While this can be an extensive process, there are plenty of easy-to-use tools to help you get the job done.
Once you’ve determined which keywords you intend to use on your site, it’s time to start incorporating them into your different pages and content. As a general rule, there are five different places keywords should be used throughout your site.
- Titles: This includes page titles, blog post titles, and product titles (if applicable). Incorporating your keywords into the titles around your website will help customers link up more efficiently with your services or products and will ensure that the people who land on your page were actually searching for services like yours.
- Headings and Body Content: Whenever you write a piece of web content or blog content, it’s important to include keywords throughout the headings and sub-headings as well as the body content. This helps search engines index your content and makes your site easier for users to find.
- Descriptions: If there’s a business description on your website (and there should be), it’s wise to ensure that it includes target keywords. If you’re a small, local business, it should also include geographical keywords (“Coffee shop in New York City,” for example). This helps you appear in local search results and build your web presence quickly and efficiently.
- Site URLs: Your website’s URLs, including your page URL and individual post URLs should include your keywords wherever possible. A great example of a keyword-optimized URL is coltercoffeeNYC.com. In addition to being short, simple, and easy to spell, this URL targets the keywords that will help the business show up in local SERPs.
- Image Names: Including keywords in your image names helps Google locate your images easier and may even help you rank more prominently in SERPs. Ensure that your image titles and alt text are descriptive and include relevant keywords for the best possible SEO results.
Optimize Your Content
Optimizing your content is a broad process and it entails everything from looking for spelling and grammar mistakes to including metas with your blog posts. Here are a few must-do items during the content optimization process:
- Write meta tags. Including meta descriptions and title tags in your blog posts can help boost click-through rates and earn your site more traffic.
- Develop page titles. Every page on your site should have a keyword-focused page title. This will help enhance your site’s user experience.
- Create and submit sitemaps. Sitemaps help search engines find and index your site’s content quicker. As a general rule, you should create XML and HTML sitemaps and submit them to major search engines like Google and Bing.
- Audit your content. If your site has pre-existing content on it, now is the time to audit it all. You should check all of your content for grammar mistakes, factual inaccuracies, duplicate posts that could be combined, or pages with broken links. These things take a toll on user experience and, over time, can damage your site’s ranking and earn you Google penalties.
Evaluate URL Structure
Your site’s URLs are important both for navigational purposes and sharing. All URLs on your site should be short, simple, and descriptive and, once you’ve built a URL, you should do everything in your power to avoid changing it. Doing this results in broken links, 404 codes, and a negative user experience. Consider these best practices for SEO-optimized URLs:
- Use hyphens. URLs should feature hyphens to separate words and make them more readable. URLs should not use spaces, underscores, or any other characters.
- Keep it brief. According to Moz, URLs should be less than 2,048 characters. This enhances page load times and reduces the risk that a URL will be cut off accidentally.
Optimize for Other Channels
A large portion of good SEO is ensuring that you’re optimizing your web presence for multiple channels, including social media and email. This means that your keyword strategy should be consistent, that your brand’s logo, color scheme, language and offers should be consistent, and that you should have the same contact information across every channel you use, from Facebook to your personal website. This ensures you won’t fall subject to search engine penalties and helps your users find the information they need about your company more easily.
Additionally, companies that have a standardized presence across various channels are more able to draw customers, enhance the leverage of their content, and promote brand recognition. These things are imperative to successful online marketing and will help a company become successful in the long-run.
While building a website requires you to think about many different things – from design to functionality – companies that keep SEO in mind throughout the website building process will find that online marketing comes a whole lot easier. From helping you optimize your web presence for easy searchability to ensuring that you rank well in Google, implementing SEO on throughout your site will ensure that you provide a positive experience for your users and earn the traffic you deserve.
While SEO integration may seem difficult, it’s truly as simple as researching your keywords, optimizing your content, standardizing your URL structure, and optimizing your web presence for other channels. While it’s easy to let SEO fall by the wayside when building your website, this is one topic that’s too important to place on the chopping block.
Don’t struggle through SEO implementation alone, contact the experts at Strider SEO for help building your business’s SEO strategy.