There are a few critical components that make a website successful:
1. Knowing your audience and speaking to their needs (strategy)
2. Clearly describing what you are offering on your website (selling)
3. Designing it so it reflects your professionalism (branding)
4. Making sure it’s easy for prospects to find you when they search for your services. (SEO)
Let’s review a few basic things that your website needs to compete in Google search. Keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process, especially if there are other businesses that are competing with you online. Using a plugin like Yoast can help you to optimize new content so prospects can find your business.
If your website address does not include an “s” after HTTP, it’s important that you call your webmaster or website hosting company to get a security certificate in place. Otherwise, your visitors may see a foreboding message instead of your website.
Yes, content is still king. If you continually fill your site with educational and valuable content that your prospects appreciate, Google will keep sending traffic your way. Posting article using the WordPress blog feature is a great way to optimize your website for search. Longer articles are better: minimum 1000 words. Try to post an article at least once per month. Once per week would be ideal.
How do you know what to write about in your articles? One proven way is to answer the questions your perfect clients always ask. Next, do your keyword research to determine what people are actually searching for related to your services and the article you have in mind. You might be surprised to learn that the keywords you think are relevant have never been used in a Google search. SEMRush is a great resource for keyword research. Once you know the keyword phrase you are targeting, work it into the title and 1st paragraph of your article. Always write for people first, Google second.
Cross-linking pages on your website will help Google move through your pages more easily and improve your SEO. Also, make sure that you have solid page navigation on your website so that Google can move from page to page. A sitemap helps Google to index your site as well.
Does your website take more than 5 seconds to load? If so, you may be losing traffic, and Google penalizes sites with high bounce rates. Slow loading is often the result of cheap web hosting with overloaded servers. I’ve also fixed a few sites with too many WordPress plugins that were slowing the site down. Sometimes slow loads are the result of an over-designed website: too many big graphics, videos or other unnecessary “bling”. Effective web design is clean and simple. Good SEO requires fast load times so avoid any unnecessary elements that slow down your website.
With over 2.5 billion smartphone owners, we can no longer design web pages that are not phone-friendly. “Responsive” websites rearrange page content to display well across all devices: whether they are big monitors, tablets or phones. Make sure your “call to action” is easy to use on a phone or a computer so that your prospect can get in touch with you easily from any device.
Learning how to design a website that Google love takes skill and focus. Hopefully, this article will give you a head start to more prospects and more phone calls. If you could use some strategy or design help with your website, send us a note and we can talk about how to improve your website and grow your business.