When designing a client’s website you must avoid the error of designing in a way that is inaccessible to search engines. An overreliance on graphics is the most common way of rendering your site invisible to Google or Bing.The majority of search engine robots can’t read text that is implanted in jpegs, gifs, and flash. We could talk forever and will get more in depth soon, but every web designers checklist should include the following:
1. CSS – Use it where possible and avoid having search engine worth text placed in graphics.
2. Metadata – Include Unique relevant title tags (and other metadata of course) on each page before launching the website. Proper title tags are extremely valuable for search engine placement, and potential click thru’s versus your competitors. If you are found in search engines next to your competitors and you have “Home Page” as your title tag and your competitor has “Get An Instant Quotation | Get a Free Mockup” which site do you think the potential lead is going to click on? Do not lose potential business because of improper Metadata, especially the most important Title Tag.
3. Fast Loading Pages – Make sure you optimize all your images, graphics, and site pages so that they load as quickly as possible. We have all been to a website and left because the load time was intolerable. People do not have much patience these days on the internet, optimize what you can to increase the speed of load times.
4. SiteMap – This is a useful tool to help guide the search engine spiders to make sure they get to all of your pages. What’s the point of having 10,000 pages on your website if search engines or your site visitors can’t find them?
5. On Page SEO – Do not Rely on blackhat techniques. This is an excellent way to get your site banned from search engines. Instead, take some time and write good copy that is relevant to your metadata, and useful to your readers.
Website Link Building Strategies
Once you have your website built, keywords finalized, and on page SEO implemented it is time to get serious about off page search engine optimization such as link building. Although older link building strategies such as directory submissions, press releases, and of course buying text links are not as effective as they once were; what has not changed is that a successful link-building campaign is a key to a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
There are a few tips Minnesota web design would like to share with you in order to help you get the most out of your link building campaign.
1) Submit to Niche Directories: Submitting a site to directories that focus on a specific industry can provide more value than general directory submissions. Not to mention that the majority of niche directories are more flexible allowing anchor text to be used. What does that mean? That means keyword phrase linkbacks! Very valuable.
2) Create Social Media Profiles: This one should be obvious in this social media-crazed internet world, but surprisingly there are still many companies unwilling to make the switch simply because it is out of their comfort zone. It is absolutely essential to build a profile on social media sites for your company name, brand and as an individual.
This will allow you to promote content to a large audience which can lead to many incoming links. Setup your profiles, and then use tools such as ping.fm, HootSuite, and TweetDeck to save valuable time updating all your social media profiles with ease.
3) SERP Link Building: This stage of link building takes some patience. Do a google search for your top keywords and see what websites are ranking in the top 50-100 positions. These are all potential link partners. Start with the top results and move down the list, because these links tend to have the highest Domain Authority.
To get them to link to you, see if the website has a resources section and request a link. Consider expanding to related sites and not focusing solely on competitors. Offer to guest blog or contribute an article and you will build a long time link partner.
4) Create a blog: Again this seems fairly obvious, but you would be surprised at how many people do not incorporate a blog into their website plans. Once you have the blog up and running submit it to the top blog directories to get syndicated.
Also, please check out my article written about SEO for Blogs to make sure your blog is very SEO friendly and getting indexed. If you don’t have time to write content for your blog, consider hiring freelance writers to write for you. Promote your blog posts on your social media profiles and watch the links increase over time.
5) Write Articles Targeting Social Media: This takes the most creativity and most work but should not be overlooked. In order to be successful, it helps to build up your social media profiles and have an active friend network. The key is to create content that appeals to a social media-centric audience. The result is many more links to your website. Do not expect every article to be a huge success, but keep trying new article topics and link baiting techniques.
They key to all this is repeating the process and if you can manage to master any of these forms of link building you will see your hard work come to life with higher rankings in SERP’s.