When people build their first website, they’re often trying to find the fastest, cheapest way to do so. This generally has one of two results:
- You get no results because people either can’t find you or your website does nothing to convince them to convert into customers; or
- You need to replace it quickly because you realise it doesn’t have the functionality you need for your business to perform properly.
Here are five things to consider before you start:
- Search engine optimisation
This is probably the most important element because this is how you are found in the busy online environment. There is no point having a website if no one ever sees it.
For optimum results your website design must be mobile responsive; SEO facilities must be integrated into the backend of your website; ideally an SEO website copywriter implements best practice SEO across your website pages.
Because of how fast things move on the internet, you’ll need to maintain SEO. For this reason, it’s recommended that your website integrate a social media feed and a blog page to support continued search engine relevance.
- Quality content
Again, this is where an SEO copywriter can come in handy.
Google ranks results based on how relevant it deems your website in response to the search conducted. This means you have to integrate keywords into your copy, on the frontend and in the backend of the website. The tricky part is not going crazy and keyword cramming, which basically means Google will mark you as spam.
The other important thing to remember is that it is important not to sacrifice readability for SEO; SEO generates leads but it is the quality of your content that is going to determine if visitors become customers or just passers-by. If you are ranking well but your bounce rate is high, it could be that your copy needs to be re-written for people, not search engines.
- Easy navigation
Make your website a nice place to be. It should not feel cluttered or confusing. Keep the navigation simple and consider adding a site map at the bottom of your pages, just in case someone gets lost.
Consider if the information you’re sharing is absolutely essential – what you think is relevant to a potential customer may not be and, conversely, information you haven’t made available may be more relevant.
Again, this is another place an SEO website copywriter can help. They offer an outside perspective – that of a potential customer. Ask them what kind of information do they think you should cut or include?
If you want to maintain the website yourself for the most part, choose something user-friendly like WordPress. If you are considering having something built from scratch, consider first what happens should your designer disappear off the face of the Earth (or you wished they would). Where can you go for help?
There are so many WordPress specialists out there, you’ll never be alone and costs are generally reasonable because there’s competition – you’re not backed into a corner because only one person on Earth knows how to update your site, so you have to pay them what they ask or build a whole new website to escape their clutches.
Search engine optimisation is a key component of any online marketing strategy, but what else? Consider developing a content strategy that will cover your website, blog, social media, email marketing, media releases and more.
A good place to start is with a content calendar to ensure the materials you are developing and disseminating are timely. Take the time to (or invest the money in hiring someone else) create quality content that can be easily re-appropriated for use across all your communications channels. Not only does this save time and resources, it is the cornerstone of a cohesive campaign.
Written by Kirsty Jagger, principal SEO website copywriter for Jagged Edge Communications.