When you start to plan how to design a website for your company, it’s easy to get swept up in the colors, branding, images, and fun add-ins.
Yes, those jazzy and snazzy bits are important for visitor engagement. But it won’t matter if people never find you or your services because you don’t show up in Google search results.
If you want to get organic search leads from your newly developed or relaunched site, SEO needs a seat at the planning table too.
Why SEO Is the Foundation of Your Website Development Work
You’re only ever 1 search away from connecting with a prospect. Well, 1 search assuming the custom website design services company you partnered with took an SEO-first approach.
Think of SEO like following a recipe for chocolate chip cookies
If the first step of the recipe is to cream together butter and sugar, you aren’t going to try to add flour or the chocolate chips to the bowl too.
You have to create the right base for your cookies. Otherwise, you end up with an unworkable mess. Even if you managed to bake them, anyone who tried one would not come back for seconds.
People who tackle SEO after launching end up redeveloping much of their website
Yes, it’s possible to optimize your site post-launch. But it will create extra work for you. In your attempt to layer in SEO best practices, it becomes increasingly likely that you accidentally break an element of the site as you:
- Change URLs
- Set up redirects
- Rewrite pages
- Improve user experience
- Update layouts
- Add new features
Already have a website? Optimize for SEO as you update pages
Existing websites can be optimized for SEO. The extent of changes required will depend on your:
- Current wireframe
- On-page content
- Website’s technical health
An SEO consultant at a digital marketing company will objectively evaluate your website and make recommendations to get you found online.
How To Design a Website That Attracts SEO Leads
Follow these 3 steps as you start the development process to design a website that attracts SEO leads.
Step 1: Find opportunities where you can win traffic
Done right, SEO increases visibility and drives traffic to your website. You then convert the visitors with strong calls to action and lead magnets.
How to isolate where you can win traffic
A keyword and competitor analysis compiles search data, website traffic, and real-time rankings. The end result is a report that tells you:
- What your competitors rank for
- How prospects search for your solutions
- Keywords that provide the best ROI
Review the findings with an expert to see what the best opportunities are for you to rank.
Without this research, businesses base their strategy on what they think people search for.
That’s a mistake.
Gut instinct will not get you far with SEO – and if you have deep subject matter expertise in your field, it could lead you down the wrong path.
Why SEO requires a data-driven approach
Deep expertise changes how you think of solutions. A seasoned UCaaS provider will think nothing of slipping PSTN or SIP trunking into a conversation.
Your typical business owner is thinking, and searching, at a more basic level: business phone systems.
If you don’t understand how people search and think about your solutions, you will target the wrong keywords and your target market will not find you online.
Step 2: Match keywords to your solutions and map out your website
Along with choosing keywords that resonate with your target market, you also have to use terms that drive meaningful traffic to your solution pages.
Choose impactful keywords
A keyword that only generates 10 searches a month isn’t going to help you bring in new business.
Equally unhelpful is a keyword that has a difficulty score of 100.
You’re looking for the terms with low-to-moderate difficulty and a healthy volume of searches per month.
Give every solution page a focus keyword
Your focus keyword goes in the:
- Page title
- Page content
- Meta description
So, if your keyword was digital marketing services, your URL would be your domain name, a slash, then digital-marketing-services. Like this: https://www.klagroup.com/digital-marketing-services/.
If you go to that page, you see that “Digital Marketing Services” is used in the title, subheading, and content. It’s in the meta description too, but that only shows up on the Google search page.
You only target one, unique keyword per solution page
If multiple pages have the same focus keyword, you dilute the potential of that keyword to bring in traffic because the pages compete against each other in search results.
Step 3: Create your content strategy
You’ve done the keyword research and strategically mapped out the structure for your pages.
Don’t let your efforts go to waste. Develop a content strategy that reinforces your hard work, keeps visitors engaged, and convinces them to give up their contact details.
How to keep visitors engaged
Low bounce rates (below 50%) send positive signals to Google. It shows you have quality content, and Google promotes your pages in search. Plus, the longer they stay on your site, the more they learn about you and your solutions.
1. Put internal links on every page.
2. Write engaging calls to action.
3. Don’t make all your content text-based.
4. Add video, images, chatbots, and interactive elements.
Remember, SEO only attracts visitors
It’s up to your content strategy to keep readers engaged and convince them to give up their contact information so sales can follow up with qualified leads.
The Design Process Ends, but Maintenance Is On-Going
You cannot “set and forget” your website and expect an endless stream of leads for years, even if you take an SEO-first approach.
Websites break. 404 errors pop up, hurting the health of your site. Content loses freshness. Trends change. Your prospects’ problems evolve as new concerns arise. If you “do SEO once,” you haven’t really done SEO.