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5 Website Must-Haves for Better Search Engine Optimization

Creating a New Website?

Whether you're saying goodbye to your old website or you're starting from scratch, you probably want to build a website that's beautiful, responsive and visible. Creating a site that gives you everything you need is a labour of love, but it's much easier to get it right from the beginning than to have to fix your mistakes down the road. If you're about to embark on the time-consuming, frustrating, yet exciting task of building a new site, here are some SEO must-haves.

#1: The URL

Think of choosing a URL like a ceremony in which you announce to the world the name you have sired your precious child. Like naming a baby, you don't want to make life complicated for anyone by assigning it something obscure that no one will know how to spell, pronounce or remember. Unless you're a celebrity, in which case it's apparently okay to ruin your child's life. But if your name is simple and easy to spell, people are more likely to remember. The rule of thumb is, keep it simple. Be descriptive and avoid special characters and deviating from the basic url.com structure. Choose wisely! Renaming your URL after the fact is a stroke-provoking nightmare.  [caption id="attachment_1021" align="aligncenter" width="540"]"what's my name?" You don't want this website whoopsie.[/caption]

#2: Responsive Design

These days, there should be no excuse for websites that don't consider their layout for mobile devices. If your website isn't mobile friendly, Google and other search engines will penalize you. New websites need responsive design across all platforms, otherwise, your SERP results will suffer and nobody will find your site, despite all the hard work you put into. Ever since Mobilegeddon last year, Google has started pushing unresponsive websites down and bringing mobile-friendly websites up. It's an unforgiving algorithm, so you might as well swim with the current on this one. [caption id="attachment_1027" align="aligncenter" width="480"]CPR with plunger You don't want your site to be this poor guy[/caption]

#3: Using Keywords Correctly

We don't mean stuffing your website with the same keywords or phrases over and over again. These days, readers have a very good spam radar and a low tolerance for bad writing or nonsense. We can tell very quickly when your content is only there to support your keywords. Always remember that search engines favour websites that provide a stellar user experience. You will be penalized for keyword stuffing, so don't even try sticking to old SEO trends. Don't stick with one keyword. Think how you search for something on Google and come up with a broader spectrum of words and phrases that people might use to find your website.   [caption id="attachment_1023" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Get out of the car, meow Meows can see through your Meow Meowing[/caption]

#4: Content that Gives the Reader Everything They Want

If you're building a new website, please, oh please, spend some time creating well-written content. Without content, your website has no substance. It's your content that boosts SERP results. Be descriptive and clear and map out the content of your website properly so that your user (and Google) has to do zero guesswork. Think of your website like a shark that should always be moving. Don't settle for static webpages. Reinvigorate your content with frequent updates. Show that someone is taking care of it. What does quality content boil down to? Since we all love acronyms, just remember E-A-T: Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness.
  • Expertise: Whether you're an expert through your education or experience, nobody is going bother with you if you don't illustrate that you have earned your right to talk about a subject.
  • Authority: When it comes to ranking, Google takes into consideration the age, size and number of links to your website from other trustworthy sites.
  • Trustworthiness: It's easy for a website to look shady. Eyebrows will raise if your Christmas promotion hasn't been replaced by Easter. Make sure your content is up-to-date, true, consistent, and won't bombard your user with annoying pop ups and malware.
[caption id="attachment_1025" align="aligncenter" width="355"]Give it to me! Don't let your website play hard to get (unless you want it to be hard to find)[/caption]

#5: Give Your Images Something For Google to Read

We are visual creatures in need of constant stimuli in order to maintain our interest. While it's crucial to make sure your most important content is in HTML text format, you can't win users over with content alone. Eye-catching images and video are essential when building attractive websites that keep readers from going elsewhere. However, the more pictures we put on our pages, the less room there is for web crawlers to find us. Since Google can't see images and videos,  describe them as clearly as possible with alt attributions, titles and transcripts. Without going through this important but easy step, Google won't see the pretty pictures, they'll just see an abyss where quality indexable content could be. [caption id="attachment_1026" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Bob Ross Give your pretty pictures a voice![/caption]   Ready to Start Building Your Website? Sites are precious ecosystems that require a difficult balance of important factors. Building a new website can be rewarding, but difficult and frustrating if not done properly. If you're looking for a properly optimized and visually stunning website that attracts the flow of traffic you've always dreamt of, you might want to consider hiring a web design firm with an impressive track record. Still not sure about hiring a web designer? Check out 5 Compelling Reasons to Hire a Web Designer. If you're already excited to work with a dedicated team of design nerds and website perfectionists, contact us today.  
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