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Why does your business need a search-engine-friendly website, and how do you get one?

Search Engine Friendly Website

At the most basic level, a search engine-friendly website allows Google, Bing, and the other search engines to explore, read, and index the pages across the site.

 

So, as a business owner or leader, why should I care?

 

Well, if you use the web to market and promote your business, a search engine-friendly site is essential if you want to be found by visitors and potential customers. When it is not optimized to be friendly, it is sort of like opening a restaurant or coffee shop and not putting up a sign while keeping the blinds shut and doors locked all day.

 

Last year I approached a small business owner in my community to discuss rebuilding their business website. They had some concerns about the performance. After several years in business, they were not getting the traffic they would have expected and the sales that should have come from it. They had content on the site, well over 100 pages; they had a presence but no volume.

 

After reviewing the site and looking at their Google Analytics data, I understood the problem. While appealing and stocked with content, the website was not designed to get the attention of either the business’s core group of customers or the search engine bots from Google and Bing. Therefore, it was not creating very much organic traffic.

 

Whatever the other reasons are that a business launches a website, the most important one should be to promote its primary cause or reason for being.

 

Keep this in mind whether it is the sales of products, such as bicycles or Aunt Madge’s carrot cake. Professional services like legal advice or insurance or donations. Or fundraising programs to support the local school or hunger relief program. Making your website “search engine friendly” should be a focal point for your online business promotion and marketing.

 

So, back to the opening statement above.

 

At the most basic level, a search engine-friendly website allows Google, Bing, and the other search engines to explore, read, and index the pages across the site.

 

To be visible, to be seen, to acquire more prospects, to sell more goods and services, potential visitors must see your website when they search. Making it easy for the search engines to crawl and understand your content goes a long way towards making your website visible on the results pages. A search-engine-friendly site helps to acquire more traffic and, more importantly, gets the right traffic to your business.

 

While scoring high in search engine results is more difficult today because millions of websites are shooting for the top spot, it is still possible to rank well and win eyeballs. However, not optimizing the site’s pages, opting not to make pages search engine friendly will almost guarantee that you won’t have one of the top spots, that it won’t get the visibility you need, and you won’t have a shot at one of the top rungs of the search ladder.

 

How can you give your website a fighting chance at being friendly and gaining a top spot?

 

Design:

  • If you are still in the design and development phase, start focusing on getting the on-page SEO right.
  • Use title tags, header tags, image alt tags, and meta description tags that inform the search engines.
  • Use alt text for images so that the Google bots can identify and index them correctly. And don’t forget to optimize those images so they load quickly and give the user a better experience.
  • Create navigation and an internal link structure that allows search engines to be effective and efficient when they crawl the site.
  • Build a mobile responsive site; in other words, it looks good on any size screen, mobile phone to a desktop computer.
  • And while the challenge is twofold, the design and the content must meet the users’ and visitors’ needs and check the right boxes for the search engine bots that will index the website.
 

Content:

  • Optimize your article headlines for search.
    Create unique, high-quality content for each page of the website, content that is going to be relevant to the business you are in, the viewers searching for that information, and the search engines.
  • Be clear and accurate and use words (keywords) that users may use to search for your site. Vary your content, using images, videos, and lists in addition to text.
    Limit the # of pages on your website. Small is relative, but SEO industry research has shown that smaller sites are easier to work with, have fewer issues like outdated content or duplicate content, and are more search engine friendly.
 

 

Linking: 

  • Stick to developing “natural links as you grow your site content and business.” A naturally occurring link is one that happens organically as part of the nature of the web. It exists as a reference to a piece of content, a website, or an expert source. Search engines find new content through links – and it’s also how they judge the quality of that content.
  • Good links are like a recommendation. They tell the search engine your content is worthwhile. Google algorithms can distinguish natural links from those that aren’t (link farming, buying links, etc.). It will take longer but build your links naturally.
 

Now a word of caution. These steps only scratch the surface of a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program, but they will get your website on the road to being more search-friendly and more visible.

 

So… why do you need a search engine friendly website?

 

Because, like the business owner above, you realize that a well-performing, search engine friendly site will get you more leads, sales, donations, and ultimately more dollars for your business. And really, at the end of the day, that’s an important part of keeping your business alive and healthy.

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