If you want to create a website that is strategically smart AND helps you get better search engine (Google) rankings, we have come up with 10 things you should do to make your website a success.
This list is a blend of overriding principles for site creation and best practices for SEO. Use it for a site refresh, or site creation.
In 2011 your site needs to:
- Have an objective. Of course, objectives can vary hugely, but in the business-to-business environment, the key objectives are normally to get leads and to help move people that are checking out your company from being prospects to being customers.
- Say what you do on the home page. Preferably in the first sentence, in simple language. Although this makes a lot of sense from a business point of view, it is a search related recommendation, as Google checks that first sentence.
- Say why you are better at what you do than the competition. Preferably on the home page. Not search related, but strongly related to engaging your audience and convincing them to find out more about you.
- Use the keywords your target group uses to search for companies like yours in your page names, your titles and your copy.
- Include navigation that is created from the user’s perspective. Do you sell to one industry or to several? If the answer is several, how does the user quickly find out whether you have the product or service they are looking for? What else might they come to your site for and how can you make it easy for them to find?
- Be more interesting (and have better content) than the competition. This will help you create better relationships with your customers and increase the number of links coming in to your site. Links are incredibly important for search.
- Be dynamic, changing. Include advice. Include a blog. Write articles. Post news items. Add information continuously. This is important for search and very important in terms of getting your customers and prospects to trust you to help them make the right purchase decision.
- Be in keeping with the rest of your marketing materials. Your brand should be recognizable whether it is your website, your brochures, a sales sheet or a proposal
- Include offers and other calls to action.
- Capture leads. Contact us, get a quote, free offers for white papers and other information with a form to be filled out first are all ways to get people to enter their information and become part of your leads base and your database. Whether they are buying now, or in the future, you now have a way of staying in contact with them so that they are thinking of you when the time comes for a quote.
Your site should go beyond beautiful. You are selling to professionals who want to get the job done working with trusted partners who can make their life easier. Your site needs to make them feel this way. Stay tuned, next blog post goes deeper into the “secrets” of SEO.