This is the second of a 6-part website design and development series covering creative web design, website SEO and marketing, user experience design, quality development, stellar performance, and regular website maintenance.
Are your customers and clients engaging with your website? Are they finding the information they are looking for? Are they taking the actions you want them to?
Website SEO is the process of improving your website to attain a higher ranking in search engines. Website marketing is implementing a strategy targeting customers and clients you want to engage with and achieve measurable business goals.
1. The importance of on-page SEO
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing a single page to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic through search engines. It helps search engines understand the content, identify if it is relevant to a search query, and show it in search results. As search engines become more sophisticated, websites need to improve their content and structure in order to show value and relevance for search terms.
The title, description, headings, links, and more are considered part of on-page SEO. The objective is to make it clear to your readers and search engines what the page is about. This will help your page appear in search results for the topic. Your title appears in the browser tab and search results page and should represent what your content is about. A brief description is what appears in search results under the page title. The description should clearly explain what the page is about.
When writing your page content, use headings correctly to make your content easier to understand for people and search engines. Your page should start with a title and description. Next there should be headings to break up the content and sub-headings if needed.
Internal page links are an important part of on-page website SEO. Use descriptive words to indicate where the link will go. Link to other pages on your website to make it easier to find all your website content. Website internal links help to show a connection between pages and the hierarchy of your website content.
2. Structured data communicates who you are to search engines
In the context of website SEO and marketing, structured data refers to schema. Schema is a shared vocabulary to talk to search engines to provide more refined results. Examples of schema structured data are a creative work, event, organization, person, place, or product. Each of these has properties that provide additional information. Schema markup is implemented in the HTML code of the website.
Businesses like attorneys, doctors, restaurants, insurance agencies, local shops and more can use schema markup to help search engines better understand the information on their website.
Schema benefits include search result enhancements and content-specific features. For example, the knowledge graph is what appears on the right side of the search result page. Your business can appear here with structured data such as business name, description, location, phone number, and business hours. Here is a link for more information about what Schema is.
3. Importance of NAP for local Website SEO and marketing
You may be wondering what is NAP? NAP stands for name, address, phone number. It is important to be exactly the same everywhere on the internet – even beyond your website. Consistent use of NAP helps to verify your business and prove that you are legitimate.
Adding your business NAP to the Better Business Bureau, Google My Business, your social media profiles, and other website directories and organizations will strengthen your online business presence in local search results and map results. Here is a link to additional information about NAP to answer your questions.
4. Keyword focus for website marketing results
Keywords refers to a phrase that is the topic of your web page or post. It is important to focus on a single keyword phrase per page or post and deliver the best quality information about it. This is an integral part of website SEO and marketing. A good outline of your website will show the overall objective. Keyword research will uncover phrases that best describe your content.
It helps to think about categorizing your business offerings. Keep each of the main categories separate, add additional pages under each category, and link between the categories as needed. This results in a nice site map that is easy to read and understand for people and search engines. Your website SEO and marketing results will improve with good content organization and keyword focus.
5. Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics (GA) and Google Search Console are tools to set up and track your website performance, visitor information, and business goals.
GA shows the number of visitors, where they are from, what pages they go to, and how long they stay on your website. It also shows how visitors move through your sales funnel, if they fill out your contact form, or click on a link or offer. Google Search Console shows if your website is working correctly. For example, if there are errors on pages, if all pages are appearing in search engines, and if there is a site map.
It is important for these two properties to be connected so that you can see search console reports in your GA account.
6. Website marketing to achieve business goals
Your website is a marketing tool for your business. Who do you want to visit your website and what do you want them to do? If you want them to call you, have your phone number easy to find at the top of your website and in the footer. Do you want them to fill out your contact form? Put an easy to use form on the contact page as well as other pages of your website.
Driving search engine traffic to your website is called in-bound marketing. Hubspot defines it as “a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.
7. Effective calls to action (CTAs)
Good CTAs encourage your website visitors to do something you want them to do. They are clear and concise words that result in an action. For example, filling out a contact form, calling a phone number, or signing up for an email list. A call to action makes it clear to potential customers which action to take next and helps remove friction in moving the user down the sales funnel. An effective call to action clearly communicates what the user can expect when they click on a button or take the next action.
Website SEO and marketing is an important part of website design and development. Knowing your business goals and target audience provides valuable information for website navigation, page location and content. Website SEO is often an ongoing effort after a website has launched, but it also is a very important part of building an effective website.