Every business owner wants their website to rank highly in the search engines in order to draw visitors and potential customers to their pages. There are some simple strategies and basic elements that web designers can incorporate to ensure the websites they create have the best possible chance of rising to the top of the listings and remaining there.
- ATTRACTING VISITORS
While a good looking website can be an instant draw card, aesthetics are not the only requirement of a successful website. In order for people to visit a site, they first need to be able to find it. The number one way to help this happen is through the use of keywords derived from relevant content.
- PAGE DESCRIPTIONS AND CONTENT SUMMARIES
Unique content is highly valued by all the major search engines and helps sites to rank accordingly. As well as delivering plenty of useful content, website design companies in Manchester and elsewhere need to make sure that each and every page contains descriptive titles that include relevant keywords that match well with the search terms their target audience is likely to use. Placing snippets of text in the form of mini content summaries on pages and in meta-descriptions will also make potential visitors much more likely to click such links when they appear in the search results.
- SITE LAYOUT AND MAPPING
Google’s search algorithm gives more weight to well-structured websites that have the kind of information visitors come to expect from legitimate operators. These typically include ‘Contact Us’, ‘About Us’ and ‘Privacy’ pages that indicate transparency and accountability. Website owners who genuinely want to engage with their visitors by encouraging contact and providing privacy assurances are seen as having more authority over sites that exclude such pages. The inclusion of a phone number also helps pages rank higher for similar reasons.
- USER EXPERIENCE IS KEY
Once people click on a selected website, they should be able to find their way around quickly, without obstacles or hindrances. Upon landing, unless there is a sense of fluid functionality with fast loading pages, substantial content, minimal distractions and a clear call to action the site will both rank and convert poorly. Slow load times and a clunky layout will only serve to frustrate users who will quickly leave the site to continue their search elsewhere.
- SIMPLICITY RULES
Often designers get caught up in wanting to add all the latest bells and whistles to make sure their site covers all bases and is breathtakingly beautiful to boot. Such sites can be overly complex and are not always closely tied to the needs of the end user or customer that the site is trying to reach and serve.
Many of the most popular websites are very plain looking but they are also simple to navigate. They focus on providing the value their users require and most of their genius and functionality consists of what goes on behind the scenes rather than up front and onscreen.
- RESPONSIVE ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
Recent updates from Google have given higher ranking preferences to websites that are optimised for mobile viewing on both tablets and smart phones. All websites should be tested across multiple platforms to ensure they display well on all types of browsers and devices; not only desktops and laptops.
Search Engine Optimisation remains the key ingredient in driving traffic to one’s website. Although there are increasingly complex strategies that can help a site rise in ranking, these easily implemented approaches should be incorporated by all competent web designers.