When planning your new website, it is best to keep the layout and design simple. I have over 25 years of experience building and coding new business websites for Connecticut companies. It’s my job to think about website layout and the information your visitors may be looking for. The number one advantage of a strong presence on major search engines is to start with a WordPress content management website.
Start with a Clean Layout and Compose for Search Engine Success
1. Code your website’s title, meta description, keywords, and internal pages for a strong ranking in local search. Ranking high for a specific service and location on Google or Bing search is contingent upon relevant page content. WordPress blogs can bolster your appearance in a specific service area using different title text and keywords your visitors would use to find you in a search request.
Stick to the Basics
2. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Back in the last century, we had a book called The Yellow Pages under the wall telephone in the kitchen. You went to a category page, and then looked for ads telling you what those listed companies offer, their location, phone number, and business hours.
If you’re a restaurant and I’m curious about your fare, I’m probably not driving in to find out what kind of cuisine you serve. Menu specialties should be easy to locate. Do you offer online ordering and delivery? Have a prominent ORDER NOW button in the main navigation menu or on your home page featured slides.
Keep your home page clean! When I visit a website and get bombarded by popup ads for newsletter subscriptions, coupons, and expired specials, I leave. For myself, there are two typical kinds of websites: one type stuffs all kinds of animated crap into the home page to distract you from your motive for looking them up. The other type forgets to prominently post business hours, does not provide a map of its physical location, and has not updated the software or content for ten years. Try not to drive people away with distracting or overwhelming content. Your home page should be welcoming, neat, and uncluttered. Imagine visiting an Open House for the first time. An uncluttered, tastefully staged living room allows you to breathe and truly appreciate the space.
Your homepage should say as much about your business in as few words as possible. If I can’t figure out what it is your business does within the first five seconds, I’m probably not going to stick around to try and figure it out.
Introduce services on your home page while linking to dedicated internal pages.
If you want to talk about your business, then your website is the place to do it, but nobody wants to look at a giant wall of text. If you have more to say, add an About page or maybe even a blog (which is a great idea I’ll talk about a bit later). The fact is, the more words you have in one place, the less likely people are going to pay attention to it.
I don’t want to wait around for an animation to load, or hear music coming out of nowhere or videos set to autoplay. Popup advertisements are better at driving people away than generating leads. FYI: popups block search robots from reading the coding on your page. If bots don’t see your code, you will not appear in an organic search result.
And if you expect mobile visitors to your website (and you should → roughly 40% of today’s internet traffic is from mobile devices) then this is doubly true. The smaller screen real estate makes things get annoying a lot faster.
Use Link Exchanges that make sense
Build authority with inbound/outbound links
If you have partners, invite them to do link exchanges. Search engines love this. When they crawl a website, they check every link they find to see where it takes them. If a popular website links to you, then search engine logic dictates that you must be popular too. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Even backlinking to your website from something you’ve posted on FaceBook or YouTube helps.
Keep your content up to date and informative
At this point, if you’ve done all of the above, then not only is Google keeping track of your website, but so are your potential customers. They’re visiting once in a while to see if anything is new. Give them what they want.
This is where blogs come into play.
If your content is being updated regularly – whether it’s a blog post, a new product listing, or maybe just an updated staff bio, Google will see that and remember that the site is still being maintained (also, you don’t want anyone to see “copyright 2009” at the bottom of your pages).
If you’re keeping that content relevant – then your customers will appreciate it too. These days Google searches are mostly organic → that is, they pick out websites based on how relevant they think the subject matter is to the search request. If you’re a plumber in East Hartford and you post a case study on repairing frozen pipes, and someone from East Hartford is searching Google for someone to fix their frozen pipes, guess who they’re going to find.