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These are some ideas for getting your website ready for the search engines.
Why this is important: The domain name is part of the identity of your business. The URL chosen can have a significant impact on brand identity and to a lesser extent, keyword ranking performance.
However, how your site domain name and page URLs function can have significant impact on the crawlability of the site, visitor usability, and traffic performance.
These are some items to check off for your site domain name & site URLs:
Why this is important: The logo lends directly to brand identity and site identification.
It also creates a certain element of appeal and professionalism in the mind of the visitor. It holds an important role in visitor assurance and navigation.
Some other important things to consider for your logo:
Why this is important: The site design is essentially the first impression that someone gets when they land on your site. You may have all your usability and SEO elements in place, but if the design is lacking then your visitor’s impression of you will be lacking. A visually appealing site can not only bolster trust and credibility, but it can make you stand out among other less-appealing sites in your industry.
Some things to consider for your site:
Why this is important: Website architecture can make or break the performance of a website in the search engines. Poor architectural implementation can create numerous stumbling blocks, if not outright roadblocks, to the search engines as they attempt to crawl your website. On the other hand, a well-implemented foundation can assist both visitors and search engines as they navigate through your website, therefore increasing your site’s overall performance.
Make sure these items in place for your website:
Why this is important: A strong, user-friendly and search engine friendly navigation is essential in helping people and bots browse through your site. Your visitors need to find information quickly with minimal hunting and the search engines need to be able to follow the navigation to reach all site pages with the fewest number of jumps (clicks) necessary. If the navigation is broken or doesn’t get people (or search engines) where they need to go, the performance of your site will suffer.
Make sure your site navigation includes these elements:
Why this is important: Content is an essential part of the persuasion process. Pretty, image-based sites may be appealing to the eye, but it’s the content that appeals to the emotional and logical centers of the brain. The inclusion of content as well as the effectiveness of the writing are all crucially important to your sales process.
When adding new content to your site, make sure it follows these guidelines:
Why this is important: Great content can get lost if it’s not easy to read or thrown into an otherwise cluttered page. Ensuring that your content fits visually into the site is just as important as having good content to begin with. If you want the sales message to get across, your visitors will need to read it.
Consider these items when reviewing content or adding new content to your site:
Why this is important: Links and calls to action are a great way to allow visitors to navigate from page to page, finding the information they feel is important to helping them make the purchase decision. Without these calls to action many visitors will simply not know what they are expected to do next.
Review the buttons and links and ensure they follow these guidelines:
Why this is important: The home page is often the single largest entry-point. It is the page that gives the visitor the sense of who you are and what they can expect. Go wrong here and it can be all over before it begins.
Review your homepage for the following elements:
Why this is important: Studies have shown that conversion rates for visitors who have visited the About Us page increase measurably. Those who visit here are looking for a few extra elements of trust that will help them decide whether to continue on or move on. What they find can mean the difference in a conversion or the visitor leaving your site for a competitor’s.
Confirm your About Us page satisfies the following points:
Why this is important: Those who land on this page are showing clear intent in wanting to to get in touch with you. Providing only a few ways to contact you can alienate visitors who have a particular preference. Providing robust contact options and information ensures that you capture as many would-be clients as possible.
Your should consider the following points for your Contact Us page
Why this is important: The services page has a very singular focus. Its job is to provide the visitor with the information about the service they need to be convinced that it is exactly what they are looking for. If your service pages cannot convince visitors to call or contact you, then you’re simply dead in the water.
You should consider the following points for your Services pages:
Why this is important: If your customers are digging through your help and FAQ pages, chances are they are close to making a decision to sign on with your firm and they just need a little extra bump.
Remember these points on your Help & FAQ pages:
Why this is important: While most visitors won’t read your Privacy and Security pages, they do provide necessary assurances that visitors look for in terms of being able to trust you. However, when visitors do click onto these pages, certain information needs to be presented to them to ensure their needs are met.
Don’t forget the following points for your Privacy & Security pages:
Why this is important: Sitemaps provide a one-click path to any destination within the site and a way for the search engines to quickly find and index all site pages.
Ensuring that your sitemaps function properly is an important part of ensuring your visitors can find what they want quickly and all site pages are properly indexed.
Remember to the following for your site’s sitemaps: