10 secrets of building a SEO-optimized website

The e-commerce industry in the USA has rocketed to a whopping 37% growth in the latter half of 2020 and the numbers are showing a consistent upward graph. The current pandemic has brought a paradigm shift in shopping behaviours and in how people do business, creating an urgent need for almost every type of business to establish their website online. But with almost every other business lining up to make their presence felt online, the present web commerce scene poses a cut-throat competition. In other words, having a website is not enough today- you have to make it SEO-optimized to have it on top of search results.

Here goes a brief on the major pointers to remember while developing and designing a converting website.

Understand your tribe

The first step is to locate your target niche. Your understanding of your customer/client persona would play a defining role in developing your targeting efforts and designing the overall website. From your website layout to website contents- every single thing you incorporate into your site should be relatable for your target audience. For example, an online fashion store catering to young fashionistas will certainly have a different layout compared to a website designed for an academic institution.

Chalk out branding strategy

The next step is to establish the brand identity of your business or website to build up a strong connection with the target niche. You have to chalk out a clear-cut branding strategy here that will provide direction to highlight your business’s brand identity in the contemporary competitive market. Contrary to popular belief, the very essence of “brand” isn’t strictly limited to the singular concept of the logo- and there’s more to it. Here is a brief on the key components that actively contribute to the concept of brand and should be a part of brand strategy:

  • Purpose of the brand
  • Positioning of the brand
  • Brand’s promise
  • Ethos upheld by the brand
  • Brand’s personality

Map up the site plan

A website is an elaborate affair – from pages to images to content- there is always too much stuff to take care of to present a fully functioning and result-driven website. Such a wholesome project makes it mandatory to proceed with a map or blueprint before you actually get down to work on the actual site. Put simply, you have to draft a well-calculated site map here that will provide a clear outline of how to proceed with the project from the start to the finish step. It would define the very hierarchy of your web pages, the page structure of each page, the keywords to be used and so on.

The map would keep you organized in the process and make sure you don’t get lost somewhere mid-way due to a lack of direction.

Lock the keywords

The keywords, or more precisely SEO-optimized keywords, are the lifeblood of your website content. These are those search terms that your potential customers type into search engines while looking for your business. Thus, you have to place these keywords into your content so that search engines can bring up your site on top of SERPs whenever your potential niche would search for your business online. Here are some pointers to remember while making a list of ideal keywords for your website content.

  • Keywords should be absolutely pertinent to your industry and business
  • Tap into keywords that command a minimum of 200 searches as well as lesser than 2,000 searches every month
  • Don’t go for overtly competitive keywords
  • Look for keywords with CPC (Cost-Per-Click) quotient. Check out competitors’ keywords (that are earning good leads consistently) for reference
  • If possible, use long keywords as well since online users are increasingly inclined to voice-search these days

Have the keywords handy beforehand so that you know how to arrange your site content when you would sit to work on it later.

Touch on mobile responsivity

“Responsive” has been the keyword for SEO-optimized websites for quite some time now. A responsive website is one which can easily adapt to any kind of screen size, regardless of the size of the browsing device. Cut to 2021, the focus is more on a “mobile-responsive website” and not just a responsive website. A mobile-responsive website is a site which is developed with a primary focus on mobile screens and then other screen sizes.

It’s needless to mention the number of mobile phone users is increasing by leaps and bounds with each passing month. It eventually leverages the proportion of people surfing the web world increasingly from mobile phones rather than desktops or laptops. If you want numbers, well, mobile devices generated around 50.81 per cent of website traffic (globally) in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Mobile devices today offer almost all the functions you get in a laptop/desktop – and the on-the-go browsing ease is certainly an added bonus. Put simply, a large share of your visitors is likely to browse your site primarily from mobile screens which makes it absolutely mandatory to make your site mobile-responsive.

But then, make sure your website runs equally smooth on other browsing devices as well.

Nail the domain game

No matter how amazing your website is, it would be hard to locate (especially for new visitors) if it does not carry a suggestive domain name. In other words, the domain name you choose should be able to represent your business and industry.

Here are some tips to remember while setting the website domain name-

  • Should be relevant to your business
  • Short and crisp
  • Don’t use embellished words
  • Use main keyword, if possible
  • Convenient to type and remember
  • Avoid hyphens and numbers
  • Mention geographic area if it’s a local business
  • Use appropriate domain extension

Pin on breezy browsing

Browsing ease sits at the crux of the popularity potential of a website. Your website might be one of the most enriched ones in the market but you would soon lose out on traffic if it does now allow visitors to browse conveniently. The two major factors to take note of here are- speed and navigation.

In regard to speed, make sure your website enjoys a minimum of 99% uptime. The concentration span of humans has reduced to that of a goldfish which is no more than 5 seconds. So, if your pages take more than 8 seconds to load, you would soon lose your potential visitors to your competitors. You would need to sign up with a premier hosting company here that can professionally guarantee superior uptime and the least risk of downtime. Besides, don’t use too large images or lengthy videos as that might affect the speed factor big time. Also, make sure to update software deployed regularly to chuck out the bugs and retain a strong pace.

In regard to easy navigation, here are some quick tips to follow-

  • Limit top-level navigation to 5 properly labelled tabs
  • It must be easy to reach to home page from any web page
  • Every page should have a search bar
  • Contact information must be on every page
  • If it’s an e-commerce site, the cart link should be on every page

Quality content is the king

Mere content is not enough- it should be appropriate, substantial, relevant to your business, appealing, professional and SEO-optimized. Here are some tips to remember regarding your site content.

  • Incorporate the researched keywords into your website content
  • Maintain a fine balance with keyword density- don’t overcrowd the content with keywords
  • Incorporate meta title into each page and it should contain relevant keyword
  • Use bullet points in textual content where possible
  • Language should be formal or semi-formal (depending on your specific business industry and audience)
  • Maintain an easy flow throughout the content
  • Divide content into brief paragraphs to ensure easy readability
  • Enrich on-page content with images, videos and infographics, where appropriate

Chuck the clutter out

Your website should be enriched with content but not “laden” by it. Too much data is always overwhelming and can even push your visitors away from your site. The bottom line is- to keep only what’s actually needed and relevant for your visitors and stay away from unnecessary stuff. For example, say you might be planning to embed the Twitter widget into your on-page site content. But, before you integrate it, ask yourself whether your visitors would actually need it. If the said widget is not really that significant for your visitors, you can do away with it.

Maintain a compact, substantial and streamlined layout with your content- ensure a fine balance between graphics and text across all the web pages.

Bank on the Analytics game

Your task doesn’t end up with setting up your website. In fact, the actual game starts just after that. The main reason behind setting up your site is to attract your online audience and convert them into potential customers as much as possible. For that, you need to have a fair idea of how each of the pages is performing and what your visitors are doing after reaching your site. Sign up with Google Analytics as well as set up “Google Tag Manager” for easy tracking of activities happening on your site. The metrics will offer a clarified understanding of the strengths, and weaknesses as well as areas of improvement on your website. That way, you would be able to improvise your website accordingly which would take you a step further to your primary goal- more sales and higher ROI.

Final words

Last but not the least, do not forget to check and test your website to gather a fair understanding of its potential and performance in the web commerce zone. You can go for the A/B testing method and count on the Analytics data to compare the performance of both versions. The version that attains a better score would be your trump card.

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