Your website is the core of your online marketing efforts, so it's important to design it with SEO in mind. While it's nice to have an appealing website, focusing on form over function is a mistake many small business owners make. A beautiful website is useless if no one can find it, so you need to start with a solid SEO foundation.
Why SEO Matters
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how new visitors find your website. When someone searches for a solution to a problem, you want your website to be the first one they see. After all, how often do you look beyond the first page of search results? If your website isn't on the first page, you're missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
Start with Keyword Research
To ensure high rankings in search results, you need to start the web design process with keyword research. Brainstorm the terms that people would search for to find your business, and use a tool like Google Search Console to identify the terms that are already driving users to your site. Once you have a list of keywords, narrow it down to 12-20 terms that represent your business and the specific intents that users might have when searching. These keywords will inform all of your website design choices from here on out.
Think Like a Search Engine
Consider Website Structure
When building your website structure, you need to think about both SEO and user experience. Create a site map to organize your content and flow, and make sure that it's easy for users to navigate between relevant pages. From an SEO perspective, you need to create a site with a crawlable link structure. This means that all of your pages should be linked together in a way that search engines can follow. There are a number of reasons why your links might not be crawlable, such as if they're for pages that are hidden behind submission forms or if there are hundreds of links on a given page.
Create Rich Content
Even if you have a well-designed website with a solid SEO foundation, it's all for naught if your content is subpar. Your content should be informative, engaging, and establish your business as a leading authority in your field. This will help you attract and convert prospects, and it will also give you something to share on social media and in your newsletter.
A website is nothing without a solid approach to SEO. Your website is the most important piece of your online marketing strategy, so it's worth investing the time, energy, and money to create a site that ticks all of the boxes for form and function.