When I talk about web design, I can go on and on and on, going off on tangents which people may or may not particularly care to listen about. But, the one thing about web design is that every component of the website building process is interconnected.
Your website design affects your web visitor retention rate. Your website design affects your page ranking on the major search engines. Lastly, your web content is key in providing web visitors with the information they need, as well as being keyword “rich” to enhance your SEO.
So, I thought I would go ahead and answer the top 3 questions I get asked on a regular basis about websites in order to help you in either making a decision about investing in a website, or changing the one your currently have.
Question 1. Can I get a guarantee that my website will be ranked on the first page of a search?
Answer: No. If someone tells you that they can guarantee you that, they are lying to you. Search engines are constantly updating criteria on what makes a great page ranking. And, the answer to great page ranking is just not one thing that a small business owner needs to do. Unless you’d like to pay several thousand dollars a month for Analysis services, there are a few things, (out of many), that a Web Designer (and you), can do to help your page ranking:
- Get a blog. Every web page has the potential to rank well and draw traffic from other sources, like social media sites and Blogs. Now, this depends on whether the blog can draw enough traffic and if the web visitor finds it useful, interesting, or just down right funny). One word of advice on blogs: if you get a blog, post frequently (at least once a week), and get your own domain name. Do NOT use the free domain names that Blogspot or WordPress will provide you since search engines will have no way of connecting your blog to your website.
- Metadata, Headings and Images. All of these are for your Web Designer to worry about and they had better be in your source code. Images with alt tags are important from an accessibility standpoint and the metadata and headings help search engines hone in on the keywords people type in when they are searching for something.
- The biggest factor is having your webpage linked on other websites. Having “call to action” links within your own website is great and you should use them regularly. However, from a statistical standpoint, your website isn’t found by someone googling your website name. It’s often found thru the “back door” (i.e. Your website link found on someone else’s website). So, if you have someone within your business circle that compliments the business that you are in, perhaps asking them to post your website link on their website and you do the same for them, would strike a win/win situation for the both of you.
Answer. You need someone who is good at writing web content (like me!). Web content is much different than stuff you read in a magazine or a book. You have to keep in mind a few things:
- You have about 5 – 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention. How are
you going to do that? Compelling titles and subtitles as well as the layout of the site determines whether or not your web visitor will stay or go. Web Designers are taught how to design a website to make it as effective as possible given the content they need to put on each page.
- Keep your most important information “above the fold” and avoid the scroll factor.
- What do you want people to know immediately? What’s the most important product or service of your business that you’re trying to sell?
- Too many words will lose your web visitor. They are there to find information quickly. Make it easy for them.
Question 3. Do I really need a Social Media outlet? I don’t want all my private stuff out “there”.
Answer. Yes, you need a social media outlet, but you don’t have to sacrifice your private life in order to do this. As an example, Facebook makes it fairly simple to allow you to make a Fan Page for your business, and it’s free. Of course, you can always advertise with Facebook (not free), and enhance your Fan Page with these additional services.
Social media like, Digg, Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter is what spreads tenacles for your business. You can share your latest blog post, newsletters, and latest news about your company like a big award or an upcoming event. By sharing with your friends your business’ latest success, they can share it with their friends, etc. By going “social” you’ll expand your network base by the thousands.
Hope this information helps! Have a great week!