If you had to choose one thing that makes a website most effective, what would it be?
Let’s work backward: there’s no doubt that an attractive website can spur engagement and pique interest. But what makes a website truly engaging is the fact that users can find the content they’re looking for. But before they can discover your epic content, they need to know your website exists. To do this, the majority of internet users will turn to search engines like Google to find products, services, and other content.
Using this logic, you can make a strong case that search engine optimization is the single most important element of any website. Google handles 75,000 search queries every second, with the average internet user making 3 to 4 Google searches every day. Search engines are still highly powerful tools in driving traffic to websites, and if you want your website to be among them, you’ll need to optimize your site (or use our on-site and technical SEO services) in a way that makes sense to search engine algorithms.
What is SEO, Anyway?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the combined art and science of making your website appealing to search engine algorithms. This article is more focused on SEO in relation to web design, aka seo web design, but to get a deeper understanding of SEO in a general sense be sure to read our in-depth guide.
On the surface, you’re designing your website for a human audience. But if you want your human audience to find your website, you must also cater to the elements that algorithms use to make sense of your content. The better a search engine can understand your website’s purpose, the better chance you have of showing up in relevant search results.
To complicate matters even further, Google is constantly updating its algorithm to ensure it’s delivering the highest quality results to its users. This means that SEO is an ever-evolving landscape that website owners must evolve alongside. What’s relevant in SEO one year may be outdated and ineffective the next.
For this reason alone, many companies opt to work with a professional SEO agency that stays in tune with the industry.
Benefits of SEO Web Design
SEO web design creates a ripple effect on your online presence that will help you get the most out of your business website. Here’s how:
SEO Boosts Organic Traffic
As we mentioned earlier, your website needs to be designed in a way that’s understood by search engines. The more a search engine algorithm knows about your content, the better chance you have of showing up in relevant search results.
Let’s say you have a website dedicated to the history of pizza. If a user types the word “pizza” into Google, Google might return a multitude of results, such as nearby pizza restaurants, pizza recipes, where to buy pizza toppings, or even how to ship a pizza in the mail.
For this search, your website may or may not appear in the rankings. But when a user is searching specifically for pizza history, then your website has a much better shot of ranking high in their search results if Google understands that your website is dedicated to pizza through the ages.
Remember, organic traffic refers to website clicks that occur naturally. You didn’t pay high-dollar advertising fees for these clicks, which is every website owner’s dream.
Higher Rankings Mean More Traffic
There’s a common saying among digital marketers that if you ever wanted to hide a dead body, just put it on Page 2 of Google’s search results. That’s because the first page of results gets nearly 90% of all clicks. Or to put another way, nine out of 10 searchers will not bother going to page 2.
In addition, studies show that the number one position on the search page gets one-third of all clicks, while the top 3 results share a collective 66%.
If you live in Rockford, you may think there’s only so much competition in your industry for search results. Well, think again. You’re not just competing against businesses of the same industry for search result pages, but against large, national companies such as directories, social media sites, and more.
Do you ever see results that say “Top 10 Restaurant in Illinois”, or something similar? Well, those are typically large directories such as Yelp and countless others. For instance, when searching “website design rockford il”, a number of directory listings show up as you’ll see below. Now you have the struggle of making sure your business is on those “top” lists as well as trying to outrank those directories and their massive domain authority. By the way, BrandDad Digital is on both of these lists and many others!
It’s no secret that the top-ranking spot is the most coveted of all digital marketers. The higher you rank on the search results page, the better chance you have of getting users to click through to your website. Sites that are better optimized for search engines will have a better chance to rank higher.
More Traffic Means More Exposure
The more traffic you drive to your website, the more exposure you earn, plain and simple. Customers can’t purchase your products and services if they’re not on your website. And to visit your website, they need to know your website exists — which they’ll discover when they find you via search after your website is SEO optimized.
How to Optimize Your Business Website for Search
There are a lot of moving parts to SEO, and businesses are usually better off hiring an SEO expert to orchestrate their strategy. To give you an idea of what’s involved, take a look at some of the most important elements of good SEO web design:
Everything from your web page names to link structure to content structure can impact your SEO. Search engines will favor websites that are easy to read and navigate because they’ll provide the best user experience, which is Google’s goal.
An XML sitemap is a document created specifically for search bots to map your website. Think of it as a digital roadmap that gives algorithms direct insight into your content.
Page load times can affect SEO and your bottom line. Slower load times increase bounce rate, and a high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for your rankings.
Google recently announced that it will favor sites that are optimized for mobile. This is especially critical now that more web browsing occurs via mobile device versus desktop. But don’t worry, as your trusted Rockford website design team, we specialize in mobile responsive website design as well.
Your copy should be optimized for search engines, too. Algorithms rely on text-based content to figure out the purpose and context of your website.
If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, you should make it a priority as soon as possible. Websites that can easily be found via Google or other search engines have a much better chance of earning more traffic, and the sales that come along with it.