A company seeks to create a brand identity, both offline and online. So, a website is a strong online marketing channel that helps a company build its image and increase target audience awareness of its product/service. To create a recognizable online brand, the company’s website needs an authentic design and content. So, this article presents 12 On-Site SEO essential steps when building your website strategy to avoid making mistakes from the beginning and succeed online.
We say that a site is performing well when both traffic and conversions are generated. In vain there is an increased number of visitors if no sales are made. This may indicate that those who enter your site are not your target audience. Another hypothesis would be that the information on your site does not sustain the goal of your business. So, your users’expectations may not be satisfied. And in this case, your digital marketing strategy must be reviewed.
A site has to gain its notoriety through credibility. This is done through special attention to on-site SEO optimization using tools for posts’ title/description/content, how elements are arranged on the page – layout (navigation menu, sidebar, header, text area, footer etc.), site’s design and concept.
12 essential On-Site SEO practices to optimize your site structure from the start to achieve the best outcome:
1. Start by choosing a domain that represents your business. If you are planning to build an online brand, try to buy a domain that has the same name as your brand. A domain must be short, easy to remember and relevant to the site’s mission.
2. The CRM platform on which most websites are developed is WordPress. It turned out to be the best adherent to Google’s design practices.
3. The company’s logo is indispensable on each page, and when users click on it, they arrive on the Homepage. The company’s logo is located on top of the site for good visibility and to connect potential customers with the brand. See example below – the logo of B2B Community is positioned above the main menu, in the middle:
4. The main menu on each page help users find what they are looking for without the need to return to the homepage to access it. Thus, you provide your users with simple and easy navigation so they spend a larger amount of time on the site. Easy accessibility of the site may increase session duration and time on page.
5. Regardless of the page on which visitors stop, they must be able to access the company’s contact details without much effort. A Contact page needs to be always present in the menu so potential customers quickly get in touch with your company. Contact form in the footer (Homepage) is a great idea if you want your visitors to write to you immediately.
6. Promotions that do not capture the entire screen, won’t complicate access to content. These must be discreet, not annoying and not distracting users from living a memorable online experience.
7. Make sure the search button is positioned in a visible area of your site. It is usually found at the homepage, at the top right of the site, in the main menu area. The results that appear should contain user-friendly information that matches the keywords introduced in the search box. Otherwise, if the audience does not find what they are looking for, they will leave your site. In order to guide visitors in the right direction, it is good to have filters and even questions to make the internal search easier offering users meaningful answers.
8. Do not force users to sign up on your site in order to get their contact information. They want to explore and get to know your site until they get to trust and provide you with their personal information. In order to get their contact info, use contact forms on the services pages, so that potential customers can contact you and send their inquiry. Through these forms, users enter the most important details: name, email, and message. When forcing potential customers to complete extra data fields (phone, profession, company, address), they can get annoyed and leave your website. See example above at point 5.
9. Give your visitors the option to like your project and share the experience with others by adding like & share buttons (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest or e-mail). The social media like buttons have their place (top & bottom) on every page and post of your site. Also, share buttons are especially on blog posts. Thus, when visitors are happy with the article read, they are eager to tell others about it through a share.
10. The site must be loaded quickly when it is accessed because otherwise, the user loses its patience. Here at Page Speed Insights by Google, you can check all aspects of how fast the page loads, its speed. Depending on the results, contact the web specialist to adjust the inconsistencies if it is your case.
11. Each site must have a responsive and optimized mobile version because most people stay online on their phone. And Google takes this aspect into account when lists websites on the first page. At Mobile Friendly Webmaster Google, you can test whether the site is mobile responsive and responds to search engine rules. A mobile-friendly version helps visitors see the content of the site when surfing on mobile. The site has to be arranged according to the mobile space, at a resolution suitable for each device. Google puts a lot of emphasis on the experience users have. If this is not a good one, users choose another search engine. As you do not want to lose your customers, Google does not want users to lose interest and move to other search engines.
12. Companies that have a website, but their Blog – section dedicated to informative articles – is missing from the menu, lose more than sites that focus on publishing posts. The cause is the small amount of content that is usually about the company (About us, Mission, Vision, Our Values, Services, Contact), and ignores the importance of writing about topics of interest. Services provided promoted through articles on the blog, attract and turn visitors into engaged customers. As a basic rule, incorporating the blog into the site simply helps the brand to increase the number of clicks and sessions. Users will find the site useful if there are articles and solutions that make their complicated life simpler: provide answers to problems and present ideas (PRODUCT/SERVICE) on how these can be solved.
In addition, a well-built site offers its users:
- Concrete information about the benefits of products and services and how they should proceed to benefit from them;
- Option for the users to opt in or out to receive notifications about products/services/events;
- Access to various materials (brochures, reports, case studies) to provide the audience with content that’s educational and unique.
When you are done with the website, promotion strategy enters the scene which may involve a more or less consistent budget. It depends on the type and complexity of product/service you want to promote. You as an entrepreneur can choose to implement AdWords campaign at the same time with SEO practice. It is advisable to allocate a reasonable budget for the two activities at the beginning. Then with time and depending on the results, you increase your budget.
Create a website structure that is easy for your users to understand and lead them towards their purchase goals. A website structure is not fixed from the beginning and it is easy to improve along the way. You only need to gather some important data about your users’ journey on your site.
What are your recommendations when it comes to optimizing your site’s structure from an SEO point of view?