The first thing to ask any developer you’re considering to build a new website for you is this: Are you going to build my website with search engines in mind? While Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing can help a website rank higher in the search engines, building a website that is search-engine friendly is just as important.
Why? Because bad design features including poor navigation, slow-loading pages, excess internal linking, unreadable URLs, unspiderable links and pages, will impede a site’s search engine performance. Design features can’t be fixed with search engine optimization, search engine marketing, pay per click campaigns or stellar social media campaigns.
After companies have paid good money to have their website designed and are ready to concentrate their efforts on SEO and SEM to bring more visitors to their site, it’s often too late. Companies are often shocked to find their sites must be re-developed in order to be search engine friendly.
Website architecture is vital when it comes to effective web marketing and is often one of the most overlooked elements when building a web presence. A good site architecture helps Google to identify your site’s most important pages quickly and easily, and if you don’t fix your site’s design issues, your ability to get top rankings will suffer. That’s because social media marketing, search engine optimization and search engine marketing may help to attract visitors to your site, but a faulty architecture may mean those visitors will bounce or disengage.
The buzz lately has been around how keywords don’t matter anymore, and while the importance of keyword optimization might not play as big of a role as it once did, it will most likely always play a role in building a worthwhile web presence.
When you think about keywords, keep this rule in mind: use the words and language that your visitors use. For example: If your customers are calling the exotic plant, phalaenopsis, “orchids” when they search, you’re not going to get too far with your ranking efforts if you decide to show off your horticulture knowledge by using the term “phalaenopsis.” Instead, when you write your text use the language your visitors use.
Even though search algorithms are getting better and figuring out that phalaenopsis and orchid mean the same thing, look at what Google’s Keyword Planner tool reports:
Orchid gets an average of 135,000 monthly searches and phalaenopsis orchid gets just 12,100 monthly searches. Keywords help us to create content that is good for ranking and good for visitors. Even if Google might recognize that phalaenopsis is a common type of orchid, the average searcher might not. If that turns out to be the case, that searcher will likely head back to the search results to find another site that does speak their language.
Social Media Marketing
In today’s economy, customers expect a certain amount of engagement and that’s were social media shines as a way for businesses to connect with consumers. Using social media as a way to promote your content is nearly as useful as using it to build relationships with customers. The more relationships you have, the more loyal customers you’ll have. And as a bonus, because social media is used in the search engine’s ranking algorithms, an active social media program means your website will rank higher in the search engines – especially if content goes viral. It builds those much sought after links that help with rankings.
When you keep architecture, keywords and social engagement in mind, you’ll find that not only will your visitors be happier but so will search engines, and that’s the way to do it!