Building an amazing website requires years of web design experience and in-depth knowledge of its inner workings— front and back-end development, SEO, content, and graphic design, just to name a few.
If you want your website to hit the ground running at launch and deliver the results you’re targeting, you need to plan ahead and understand some basic web design best practices. Taking care of these from the very beginning will ensure that you’ll have a solid foundation to build your website on and help it grow organically in a short amount of time.
Search engines put a lot of weight on page titles and headings. It’s important to have your primary keyword in the title to let search engines and people know exactly what the page is about. However, the title is not enough to determine how valuable the information on the page is.
Search engines also analyze headings to determine the major ideas being presented on the page. This helps search engines evaluate whether your page has any information that’s related to the user’s search query.
Headings also help site visitors quickly understand what’s going to be discussed on the page even if they’re just quickly scrolling past your page. When visitors spend more time on a page, your site becomes more valuable and click-worthy in the eyes of the search engine.
Getting to the top of search results is not an easy process. You can, however, take a few cues from the top sites that show up on the first page of the keyword you’re targeting.
Compare your content with your competitors’ pages and look for important keywords you might be missing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If their method works, there’s no reason yours shouldn’t as long as you’re providing content that delivers lots of value to the reader.
A brand new site will have difficulty ranking up because it won’t have enough authority or credibility in the eyes of search engines. However, you can speed up this process by getting other sites to link to your pages.
When search engines crawl an established site that already ranks pretty well and sees a link to your page, some of that credibility gets associated with your page. SEO professionals call this ascribed relevance and popularity as ‘link juice’. Basically, you’re trying to transfer some of that link juice over to your site.
To get some of this link juice, you need to reach out to other sites that are involved in the same industry or might be interested in the work that you do, and ask them if they can mention your site in some of their content.
When building a website, you should always be adding links to other pages on your site whenever it’s appropriate. This not only guides readers to other sections of your site, but it also helps search engines better understand what the page you are linking to is really about.
Anchor text refers to the words that contain the link. More often than not, the anchor text provides a very accurate description of the page it’s linking to. Search engines know this and will use the anchor text to help identify the context and main keyword of the page and how relevant it is to related search queries.
Search rankings for desktop users are not going to be the same for people who are on their mobile devices. The split between desktop and mobile users is pretty even, which makes optimizing for both types of users all the more important.
Some designers may optimize their site for mobile users as an afterthought. As long as the UI looks ok and the images aren’t all over the place, they think their job is done. This is actually just the tip of the iceberg. All your pages need to look good and effectively convey the same message no matter what device or browser your visitors are using.
You might have to rethink the entire layout of your site so that you can effectively present information to both types of users. Take into consideration the way your content is structured and make sure it’s appealing to read and easy to scroll through no matter how the user is accessing it.
These are just a couple of the things you can do to make sure your website takes off rapidly and give you the exposure you deserve. As mentioned earlier, ranking a site higher requires a multi-disciplined approach. It takes a great eye, intuition and technical know-how to make an amazing website that both users and search engines will appreciate.
There’s really no sure-fire way to ensure a high search rank, especially for a brand new site. Aside from a great design, SEO, and content strategy, you’ll need to find creative new ways to attract your target market and continually test their results to find out what works out for you.