I have written a few blogs containing some information on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but with this blog, I am going to dive into why building your website search engine optimised is crucial
I will also show you how and why you should include SEO at the build stage of a new website. Some web designers sell very pretty websites but unfortunately, it may not be possible to get these sites to rank due to the way they are built.
SEO is a bit like baking a cake. It takes quality ingredients to bake a great cake and the more knowledgeable and experienced the baker is the better the cake will be.
It’s also kinda nothing like baking a cake but I get to use a yummy picture as the featured image if I talk about baking and cakes haha.
One of the big misconceptions I find is that SEO is often an afterthought. Having your website built to google guidelines makes life so much easier for everyone involved and for the business owner, it means faster ROI too 🙂
Google wants quality code
If you are doing a new website, it’s best to include SEO at the creation stage or you may be wasting your time and money.
If it’s a website rebuild you need a quality build + a migration plan to keep any google goodness you already have. I have seen clients’ rankings tank and not recover because their new website designer knew 0 about SEO.
One of the hardest parts for me with SEO is telling prospective clients that I need to recreate their websites if they want to rank no.1 on Google.
I once had someone tell me that I was trying to sell them a new site that they didn’t need but unfortunately it wasn’t. I was able to show the client why I recommended a new site. They were very upset that their new $3000 website that had taken 2 months to develop was junk.
Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely (near impossible) that a poorly developed WordPress site using cracked plugins or an old theme that is not supported by the most recent version of WordPress will be able to rank no 1.
SAAS Sites (Squarespace, Wix etc) can be quite difficult to rank for highly competitive keywords, but you can do OK with SAAS sites if you smash it with content marketing.
What is SEO?
You probably already know SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Nowadays you see the term SEO everywhere; my Facebook feed is full of how-to-guide offering guides to follow so that in 30 days your site will be on page 1 on google.
If only it was that easy! Luckily it’s not easy or I would be out of a job!
If the 30 days to page 1 guides worked I could stop be working long hours keeping up with daily SEO research, testing my theories or working on my client’s sites daily so they are going up the SERPs (search engine result pages) rather than dropping like stones to page 2 or worse.
Google organic search is a great way to get yourself and your brand noticed.
Paid ads can be great (even though somewhat expensive) but if you intend to be in business for a year or more, having a website that is search engine optimised (SEO) is a great way to get ahead and stay there.
Effective SEO is all about strategy, data & research
Thankfully the SEO community shares data & research and there are lots of great minds as well as loads of great youtube channels for SEO as well as tonnes of articles written every day. I have a nerd crush on Rand Fishkin & haven’t missed a whiteboard Friday in years lol.
As an SEO, I read SEO data every day and use my own personal sites to test theories & see what happens to my sites, if my sites gain then I apply these strategies to my client’s sites. Obviously, if they drop like stones then I don’t.
SEO in its most basic form comes in 3 main recognised parts
- On Page SEO (work done to a webpage to help google like it)
- Off Page SEO (work was done that is not on the webpage, things like Google Maps, social signals, link profile, guest blogs etc)
- Technical SEO (work done to the technical aspects of a website, things such as site speed, site performance, coding quality)
SEO is challenging for all businesses but the time, effort and money are worth it when you have that position 1 placement of your brand.
If you want to be at the front of the pack you need a website that’s optimised for search engines otherwise how will you get found?
This excellent article sums up SEO way better than I possibly could
So whilst SEO is about optimising websites for search engines; it’s so much more than that.
The aim of google search is to match searchers’ needs with the best possible page of content…
Not your website or your domain, google checks out all the pages on your website & ranks them individually. The SERPs allow 2 pages to be in one result so you could have both positions 1 & 2 for your website. That’s pretty nice SERP real estate 🙂
A pretty website you spent months of your time designing may get overlooked by Google as unfortunately, Google can’t see how pretty your site is.
Some research says google also just looks at the top bit of your site too; generally what is above the fold on your mobile site is the important bit (this is the area you see on mobile when you first see a website).
Your website lets people know who you are and what your business is about. When someone is on your website you can showcase your brand exactly as you wish but if you want google to love it, you want to use google best practices.
Google indexes mobile-first and I personally find with sites it’s around 80% or so of viewers are from mobile, 20% Desktop and 10% tablet.
So what does that mean?
Spend more time perfecting your mobile site rather than your desktop as google looks at your mobile site as do most of your viewers.
Research says your site should load in 3sec before you start losing people & it’s just 2 seconds once they are on your site to get someone’s attention before they leave. That isn’t a lot of time…
Google best practices are actually people’s best practises
For an SEO Optimised Website; site development & UX design are important. Not graphic design but UX design; UX is the synonym meaning User Experience.
If your website is built with SEO in mind, your website will launch with the maximum chance of getting indexed and visited quickly by google. No more working endless hours on social media trying to get your brand noticed. Google has got you sorted!
By having a website that is SEO optimised from the outset you will be on your way to having organic search traffic, free website traffic, and bringing website visitors to your site because you are the right fit for them which means they are easier to convert into clients
You won’t rank for highly competitive keywords from day 1 but it will get you started.
Ranking higher on SERPs (search engine results page) takes effort and time – and gets even more challenging with trends that change without a moment’s notice.
There is research that says It takes approximately 35 weeks for a page to get its maximum SERP position.
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’
Google is an ever-changing search engine so even if you get to page 1 for the keywords you want keeping those positions is never guaranteed
Google does regular updates to the algorithms to close up any gaps that people may have found to rort the system
If you want to learn more about Google Search you can read how & why they do things on the Google Search Website
Google’s beginners’ guide to search is a good read too
What is SEO Website Design?
You can build the most beautiful website imaginable, that perfectly showcases your brand with beautiful images and maybe even some flashy animations.
If the website isn’t search engine optimised t’s not likely that many people will find it. The only way your site will be found is by telling people about it using paid ads, social media or maybe putting the URL in your shop window or on your business card.
If you don’t want free traffic from search then it’s economical to use a template site such as wix.com rather than take the time to learn about SEO or pay a business that specialises in SEO websites.
No matter how eye-catching your website design might be, nobody can appreciate it if they can’t see it.
If your website is built is optimised for search engines, with a sound digital marketing and SEO strategy from the start you will give yourself an immediate advantage over many of your competitors
Your competitors may already have websites up and running, some of them may have been online for years yet many of them will also not have been built with SEO in mind.
As everyone becomes more aware of SEO and its importance many SEO shonksters are trying to take advantage.
Companies selling SEO by packages of keywords is a sales technique, current SEO is not about ranking for 3 keywords of your choice, it’s about growing your business and increasing your brand.
SEO is a complex and challenging game and takes daily reading to keep up to date with the estimated 500+ changes google makes each year.
The bad news….
Unfortunately, to rank high on SERPS, some existing websites need to be rebuilt with current technology and best practices.
If you are creating a new brand and website, the advantage you will have with an optimised website, it will be ready for search engines from the moment it’s launched.
What does a Search Engine Optimised Site look like?
If you employ the services of a professional SEO design service or you do the site yourself some of the site characteristics you need are:
- Optimised for mobile
- Quality hosting with site speed under 3s
- Responsive (works with desktop, tablet & all sizes of mobile)
- Keyword optimised content; google doesn’t see pictures, google reads content & looks at code/tech issues
- A clean, minimal, easy to navigate site & site structure for both users and for Google to crawl
- Quality coding that ensures search engines can easily crawl & access all pages
- Topics and categories which each serve a specific purpose, quality over quantity
- Optimised for local
- Image optimised
- High-quality website content, which provides clear and concise information to your target market
It’s never too late to optimise your website
There is no time like the present to optimise your website or create a new site to take advantage of organic search traffic with an SEO website strategy.
It’s entirely possible to optimise an existing website at any point in time even though sometimes a site may need a significant amount of work to fix the SEO issues and often result in a rebuild.
Armed with sufficient knowledge you can work on your own SEO and website design yourself. Alternatively, you can invest and entrust your SEO to a professional partner such as Minx so you can be free to run your business
Lx2 Agency creates search engine optimised websites that you can update yourself. However, ongoing SEO strategy and work will help you to keep traffic heading your way, especially since search engines update their algorithms on a daily basis.
Before creating your own SEO website ask yourself some questions:
- Do I have the time to commit to keeping my website up to date and compliant with the ever-changing google criteria for high search engine rank?
- Do I enjoy technology, data and statistics enough to do my own SEO?
- Without SEO is it worth having a website?
- If I start learning SEO will I be able to learn enough and fast enough?
- Will I know when a white hat becomes a black hat technique?
- Can optimise my site myself and not get penalised by google? I do, do I know how to fix it?
If these questions concern you, outsourcing to Lx2 Agency can relieve you of these concerns and lets you get on with running your business. You don’t have to worry about adapting to changes in search engine ranking criteria, the agency keeps you compliant.
If you do decide to outsource, be aware that no SEO can predict the outcome or guarantee you to page 1 for the keyword that you want
Anyone who is selling position 1 for a specific keyword is a snake oil salesman.
An SEO strategy will increase your organic search visitors, your online brand visibility and leads but there is no infinite guarantee that google will index you as no.1 just because you want it to be there.
Until next time