Building a website is like building a house. There are lots of moving parts and considerations to make. Will it be functional? And it has to look good, of course. Some extra work and planning during the construction process can prevent headaches down the road.
Take search engine optimization (SEO) for example.
So you’ve built an amazing new website and after all of that hard work, you’ve reaped the reward of taking it live. You go to Google and do a search for your business, but you can’t find the beautiful website you are so eager to show the world. [Sigh.]
A common misconception is that once your website launches you’ll automatically be able to be found in search engine results, like Google or Bing. The fact is that you either need to tell search engines to find your content and index it so it can be found in search results or just wait for it to happen automatically (this can take days or weeks). But once that happens, will your website garner the results you are after?
Here are 5 tips for building a website that’s set up for SEO success:
Use relevant keywordsSearch engines rank and index your site based on keywords. For example, if you run a hot yoga studio in Miami, FL, your customers might search for “hot yoga in Miami.” Consider what words that your customers may be using to find you. Make a list of words and terms and be sure to include them in your on page copy. Use them as often as possible in headings, body copy and alt text on your website’s images!
- Page names and descriptions matter
Choose page names and descriptions that tell search engines and users what the page is about. Page descriptions are the short blurbs that you see in search results that describe the page.
- Page titles also matter
Be sure that each of your website’s pages include a relevant page title that’s set as an H1 (heading1). Heading 1 is the most important piece of copy on your page and there should only be one instance of an H1 on each page. Your page title tells search engines what the page is about and is an important ranking factor!
- Submit your website to search engines and get to know Webmasters tools (if you want to)
Once your site is launched, you should submit it to search engines. Doing so sends them a request to crawl your website’s information and signals them that there’s new content on the internet for them to find. You can submit your site to Google here. Google Webmasters tools can give you valuable insight into what pages your customers are visiting, what times of the day they visit and how long they spend on your website. And that’s just for starters.
- Use your location to your advantage
If your business has a physical location, you want to attract customers there, right? Search engines can help with that too! Be sure that your address and phone number appears on every page of your site. This helps search engines connect the dots and associate your business with a locale. You can also submit your website to online listing sites like Yelp!, Google My Business and the like to help boost your search ranking and results.
You might be telling yourself… “this all sounds great, but I have no idea what I’m doing!” That’s OK. Keep educating yourself and take it one step at a time and remember that every little bit really does help in promoting your website.
Remember that LiveEdit also offers one-on-one SEO consultations! Our SEO team will review your website with you and give you guidance on the the steps you should be taking with your site specifically.