Bottom Line Web Design: Tips from an SEO Consultant Vancouver
Are you trying to attract more clients through Google? You’re not alone. SEO, an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, is a process where people try to make their websites more Google-friendly. To do this, entrepreneurs like you and me either have to roll up their sleeves or find an awesome SEO consultant in Vancouver.
What is SEO Web Design?
As someone who’s worked as an SEO Consultant for nearly 10 years, the best time for SEO is in the planning state of web design. Search engines like Google consider many factors before assigning a website rank. Structure, content, keywords, layout, blogging, and social media all play a part in SEO strategy. The problem is most people approach the process backwards; they build the website and then come looking for ways to optimize it. But good web design is the very foundation of SEO strategy, so working with an SEO consultant from the start can save you a lot of time and even more money.
SEO web design very simply means that design of the website is leveraged to maximize compatibility with search engines. An SEO-friendly website is one that allows search engines to explore and read the content from the website easily. In other words, it’s easy for the Google Gods to swing in, read the website, and then assign a rank based on the relevant search terms.
However, building an SEO-friendly website isn’t a task for the faint of heart. It requires careful planning and a meticulously structured approach. And you can’t compromise on the beauty and detail that will win over your customers, either.
Domains & naming conventions
The first step is the domain—is it going to be a .com, .ca, or something else? Google is big on localization, so keep that in mind. Since we’re a Canadian company, we opted for a .ca address. In addition, we built our business around copywriting and design, so our URL ultimately became ikcopywritinganddesign.ca, even though our company name is INKYKISS.
Of course, you may have other URLs, too. Ensuring that all variations and subdomains correctly point toward the main site and redirect to a single canonical version of that site is important. For example inkykiss.com (our old url) redirects to http://ikcopywritinganddesign.ca, so we don’t inadvertently lose any of our previous customers.
Some people feel having keywords in the URL is negligible or too minor to count. And while workarounds are always possible, as an SEO consultant in Vancouver, I’ve found that a lot of little details are what eventually leads to long-term success with Search Engine Optimization.
Repeat after us–cheaper is not better. Slow load times make for unhappy customers and equally unhappy search engines. Even if your website isn’t penalized, a site that loads faster than yours will be given the advantage if all other factors are equal. If you haven’t already chosen a hosting provider, here’s a third-party analysis from webhostingprofessor.com.
CMS stands for Content Management System. This is the platform on which the site is built—WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, etc. For years WordPress enjoyed the reputation as being the CMS of choice for compatibility with search engines, and it’s still one of the best working solutions today. Moreover, besides being highly optimizable, it’s user-friendly and easy to manage, providing entrepreneurs with greater control and usability, even without programming knowledge.
Site navigation refers to how the pages are laid out in the menu—it relates to the site structure, URLs and other components like XML sitemaps to help tell Google how the site is laid out and what each page is about. The navigation essentially functions like a roadmap for a website. It’s an important component for SEO and deserves due thought.
This became a big factor in 2019. Top ranking websites must be compatible with smartphones and tablets. You can check your website by clicking through to Google’s mobile-friendly test. This tool offers feedback on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed, and desktop speed. It also provides feedback in a handy little report that details what you can do to speed things up.
Usability is tricky because you’re not only considering search engines—the end users (your customers) also have to like what they see. Usability pulls together factors like page layout, load times, design, pictures, crosslinking, site navigation, and content—it’s essentially how everything comes together to create a beautiful, useable website.
Call to action
After you’ve displayed the content and pictures that show and tell why you’re the best—it’s time to invite potential customers to reach out. Every page of your website should have a comprehensive call to action—it could be a contact form, a newsletter sign-up, a phone number, a free consultation—but people should have something to do or somewhere to go when they reach the bottom of a page. Don’t leave customers dangling!
We briefly touched on page content under usability. If SEO was pie, then the written content is the delicious fruity filling. As the most important part of a page, it’s important to write naturally and incorporate keywords into strategic areas of the website—the page title, URL, headers, etc. Use a natural, flowing language and engage your readers. Keywords are important, but stuffing them in willy-nilly can be off-putting.
The takeaway from an SEO consultant in Vancouver
The process of search engine optimization is not a one-time deal; it requires maintenance, tuning, and continuous testing and monitoring. As a team of web designers and SEO consultants in Vancouver, we provide a leg-up to page one. Working with a team that understands SEO web design means getting it right the first time, so you can move forward and start working on off-page SEO requirements—blogging, social media, and backlinking.