What you will learn: How to make your website an SEO superstar.
Who should read this article: Marketing leadership.
Use This Checklist To Build a Well Optimized Website
One of the biggest Internet marketing mistakes a company can make is building a new lead generation website – and failing to optimize it. An SEO-unfriendly site:
- Reduces organic search engine visibility, thus reducing sales leads
- Frustrates mobile users, reducing sales leads
- Leads to marginally effective SEO campaigns, reducing sales leads and ROI
- Leads to massive and costly website redesigns
The cause of these SEO problems is that most Web design companies don’t conduct (or know how to conduct) keyword research and don’t create a keyword strategy. With no keyword research/strategy behind the sitemap, pages will not exist for all keyword targets. In addition, very few Web design companies write content, and the ones that do seldom optimize it (the same applies to title tags).
So before you hire a website design company to build your new website, make sure it can knock the ball out of the SEO park. Verify its capabilities in these areas:
Responsive website design. Responsive website design enables a website to automatically adjust for optimal display on desktop monitors, tablets and smartphones. Because the number of users accessing the Internet from mobile devices is exploding, websites must provide a great mobile-user experience. Just as important, Google rewards mobile-friendly websites with greater organic search visibility.
Title tags. Well-composed title tags based on solid keyword research continue to be a major ranking factor for Google and Bing.
High-quality, optimized content. Google is extremely adept at identifying and ranking content that is authoritative, relevant, useful and engaging. With the bar set high, content shortcuts and shortcomings are no longer permissible. In addition, content must be written around the specific keywords that have search volume in Google.
Internal linking structure. A well-optimized internal linking structure enables Google to determine which pages of a website are most important. Links to high-value SEO pages should appear more often, occupy valuable real estate on the page, and be prominent in the website’s overall navigation structure.
Page loading speed. For both human users and search engine crawlers, high-speed page loading is an enormous plus. Proper design and development techniques, along with the right hosting provider, ensure a company website loads like lightning.
Page-keyword alignment. A common optimization mistake is packing too many keyword phrases into one page of website content. To maximize lead generation, unique pages must be created for each primary-target keyword grouping. Otherwise, pages may be visible in organic search and even drive traffic, but they will not produce leads because the content lacks relevance.
Wait, There’s More!
The list above highlights the most critical elements for onsite optimization – and ones that tend to be poorly executed by website design firms lacking true SEO expertise.
But in addition to these items, a multitude of other optimization tasks must be undertaken, including –
- Composing effective Meta descriptions
- Creating an XML sitemap
- Fixing broken links
- Optimizing images
- Optimizing URLs and overall URL structure
- Setting up Google Analytics
- Setting up Google Webmaster tools
- Setting up page redirects
The bottom line: Select a website design firm that really knows SEO. If you don’t, your new website may look pretty, but it will just sit there, unable to generate the leads you thought you were paying for when you signed on to build it.
Contact Straight North, SEO experts and innovators, to discuss your new lead generation website project.
Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.