When building a website, whether it’s an online portfolio, a landing page for a product launch, an ecommerce website, or a site that gives the potential new business insight into your company, you’ll need to keep in mind several key factors that’ll not only keep those eyes on your website but will help with the overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) bringing even more eyes to your lovely home on the world wide web.
I could write for days about SEO (and I might just do that one day), but in this post I’m going to focus on a number of more general things you should keep in mind when building your website. That being said, the world of SEO is an ever-changing one as Google regularly updates its algorithm which can often make certain factors redundant, so while I’ll do my best to keep these points as simple as possible, the tides could change meaning it’s always good to do your own research.
One final note before we jump into it, when talking SEO I’m going to be focusing on the factors that Google looks at rather than Bing or DuckDuckGo as Google arguably one of the biggest search engines on the market.
The user comes first
Google loves its users and for the past decade, it’s really been pushing for web developers to love its users too. One of the biggest updates coming to Google in the not so distant future is a focus on what they call “Core Web Vitals” and this essentially boils down to the user experience. Whether the site is easy to navigate, the site’s speed (which I’ll address more in detail a little further down), and how it performs on both desktop and mobile.
In fact, it’s been announced that Google is taking a mobile-first approach to SEO and favoring those with more mobile-friendly websites.
So what does that mean for you? When building or designing a website you want to think about how quick and easy it is for users to find the information they need. You also want to keep in mind how your site is viewed across all platforms, whether desktop, laptop, or mobile. Which brings me perfectly into the next point…
Keep it simple and get to the point
If your website is a portfolio, put your work first and foremost. If it’s a landing page for newsletter signups for a product launch, have the newsletter call to action right where a user will see it. A company website? Have a call to action to contact you either via a contact form or a mailto: link.
For SEO you want users to come from Google and stay there. As soon as they go back to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) this tells Google that the user didn’t find what they were looking for and take that factor into consideration when recommending your site in the future.
The need for speed
Site speed is a huge factor when it comes to SEO. It’s been said that over 50% of users abandon websites if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. Ideally, you want to keep your website within the 1-2 second loading window.
Having a lightweight website can definitely help, though you may be sacrificing functionality. Making sure images on your website aren’t too large and serving them in web-ready formats (like .webp) can also help a ton.
SEO and keywords can become an incredibly complex topic so I’m going to try my best to sum it up in as few words as possible. When building your website you want to keep in mind a number of keywords that relate to your business. Once you have those keywords you want to start creating your site’s content around those keywords making sure you place them in a natural and organic way. Google knows if you’re shoving your keywords everywhere (also known as Keyword Stuffing) and it can do way more harm than good.
For example, if you’re a design firm based in Miami, you could select keywords based on what type of design you do and create great, informative pages and content around each of those. Not only are you then creating valuable keyword-rich content but you’re also showing your authority in that particular sector and can help with SEO.
It’s all about Google
Once you have your website, great content, and call to action, you’ll want to monitor the activity on your website and two ways you can do this is with Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Google Analytics is a vital tool for helping you understand your audience as it’ll let you know their demographics as well as behavior on your website. This could reveal potential gaps in the market for your business or an audience or location you could be scoring new business and customers from.
Google Search Console will tell you less about your visitors and more about your website performance on Google itself. What search terms are you showing up in the SERPS for? Is your website mobile friendly? Are there any Core Web Vital errors? How many clicks are you getting from Google?
Both of these tools are free and super helpful for improving your website over time and are definitely worth checking on regularly.
Getting your website seen by the right people is a vital part of running a business in the twenty-first century. But if you’re unsure where to start, get in touch with us at Gallium Ventures and we’ll be more than happy to help!