SEO Site Ranking
One of the biggest challenges that online businesses face today is maintaining relevance in the eyes of the search engines, especially Google. While Google controls more than 90% of the search traffic in the US alone, it’s not surprising that the goal of any web-based marketing strategy is to be number one on Google.
It’s a well-established rule that On Site SEO is one of the most basic building blocks every business needs to have as they start on the road to search engine optimization. Therefore it makes sense to add another string to your own marketing strategy as a web designer and implement SEO strategies into every web design you deliver.
Here are few ways to improve the SEO strength of every website you design.
Adding a blog to any site gives your clients the opportunity to add fresh content easily and regularly. Search engines love fresh content and if you encourage your client to update the blog on at least a weekly basis, or hopefully even more regularly, you will be giving them a distinct SEO advantage. You should explain to your client that blogs by nature attract search engine traffic and they can take advantage of this by not only adding content at a minimum of once a week, but by also allowing visitors to ask questions or leave comments.
The interactivity of the blog also adds value to the site and can also increase the likelihood of potential customers social bookmarking it and sharing it on their social networks, but remember to look out for spam comments and to remove anything that looks like duplicate content.
Blogs can also increase the size of the website over time and this can provide a major SEO benefit in the form of an increase in website authority and a higher number of pages to leverage with internal links.
As you are no doubt aware, Google Analytics is a free analytics software package that can provide your client with a range of critical data about their site and how it is performing in the search engines.
By using such features as Goal Tracking, Event Tracking, Bounce Rates and Intelligence you can show your client which keywords, search engines and traffic sources are producing sales or leads for their business. You can also use this data as a way of showing them how they can improve their site over time with your help through ongoing split testing.
Another tool you should use is to sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, which has a wealth of information that you can use to learn more about your keywords and web pages.
Remember that excessive code not only slows the page’s loading time, but it also increases the possibility of coding errors that may have no direct impact on the site’s SEO, however it may still cause difficulty for the search engine spiders.
Google ranks the relevance of each website according to the content it contains, and is always seeking relevant content not contained anywhere else on the Internet. This means that the content of every page needs to be completely different, not just from any other site on the Web, but also any other page on the same site. This raises the issue of duplicate content, the dread of all site owners.
Remember, if you publish any content that appears somewhere else on the Internet, you run the risk of being ignored by search engines because the algorithm will be looking for content that sets your site apart.
Unique content removes any such impediments from your site and your design standards will support your clients’ SEO. It should also be pointed out that wherever you include pieces of information contained on other pages within the site to tempt the visitor to follow the link, you run the risk of being penalized for duplicate content.
So be careful of the wording used in those pieces so that it provides a summary without repeating any of the words actually used.
<meta> description tags are what appear in the search engine results pages and they give the web surfer an overview of what the site is about. Try implementing your marketing skills and write a meta description that convinces visitors to click on the result. This is your site’s first opportunity to attract visitors, so it’s very important that you give your client the best chance of standing out from the other results.
Remember, Google also uses meta description tags to differentiate web pages although not as much as title tags ‘so you also need to be careful to describe each page as differently as possible to avoid any duplicate content issues. Including free offers, guarantees or a phone number which can improve the click through rate on your clients’ SEO ranking.
Make sure to limit the
<meta> description tags to 160 characters in length, including spaces.
The best way for a website to rank for a particular keyword phrase is to create a web page targeted to that phrase with the keywords in the
<meta> description tags,
<h1>, body copy and URL.
This means that it is critically important to create a separate web page for each product or service that the client sells, as well as category pages if they are needed. A dedicated page for each product or service will also ensure a good user experience as they will land directly on this page from the search engine results, making it much easier for them to buy online or submit a form for more information.
<title> tags appear in the title bar of the browser and are one of the factors used by search engines to determine the content of your page. Rather than including the company name in the
<title>tag, use the keywords that your client wants to specifically rank for.
This will give your client a big advantage for ranking in the search engines. Make sure to limit the
<title> tags to 60 characters in length, including spaces, so that the full text of the title tags appears in the search engine rankings and doesn’t get cut-off by Google.
By implementing all of the above suggestions into each of your website design projects, you will give your clients the optimal chance of generating sales from their search engine rankings.