Will the Small Business Website You Design Show up High in Google?
For the Skimmers
- We can’t guarantee as we don’t own Google (but we have a good track record!)
- We have smart people that focus on content marketing
- We take time to understand your goals so we can help you rank high for them
- We follow Google’s best practices to increase ranking opportunity
For Those Who Like to Read the Details
We think websites should be designed to fulfill a goal and many times that goal is to rank high in Google. Why? Because ranking higher in Google means increasing the number of times your website gets seen and increases the opportunity of more people visiting your website.
While there are no Google guarantees, we know that by studying the essentials of Google’s advice and designing with best practices in mind, websites that respect what Google considers to be important will rank higher, show up more frequently, and be more visible in search engines.
The Sutherland Weston team uses a seven step process and stage system for each of the websites we design.
- Goals – communication and collaboration between the project manager and the client to map out the features and functions of the website.
- Flowchart – mapping out the menu, its main pages, and supporting pages that will make up the navigation for website as a whole.
- Interface Design – the custom process of creating the look and feel of the website based on the business brand, the goals of the project, and the intended audience or audiences involved.
- SEO Worksheet – the keyword focused approach used to ensure individual pages within the website are constructed with the purpose of being found in Google.
- Content Management System (CMS) Integration – programming the custom graphics, features, functions, and page flowchart into the content management system.
- Content Review – thorough review of grammar and spelling of the pages in the website.
- Quality Assurance – includes testing to ensure all links work as they should, the website appears as it should across multiple browsers, that the overall functionality desired is operational, and that the site is ready to be published for the world to see.
Focus on the Writing
Writing to add value
When considering the development of a page within a website, copy should be written to add value to the reader and the page should be developed to be respected by Google.
While the website is being seen and used on a computer, the essence of building an effective website starts with understanding the people you’re targeting and their needs for your products and services. In other words we need to write copy that adds value and connects with people.
How do we add value?
Well think of your website as a tool for showing off your friendliness, your experience, and your willingness to answer questions as you would in person.
Make sure that your menus are easy to use and the content for your pages matches what your customers are looking for. Be careful not to use terms that are more recognized by your industry than the people seeking your products and services. Terms that will help you connect with customers and drive inquiries are called keyword phrases.
How do we know what to write about?
Get ideas from customers. The best indication of what folks are looking for comes from the folks you’ve already served. Think of the questions, the phone calls, the email inquiries, the service requests, and the sales you’ve made in the past. Think of the language that was used and the problems that were brought to your attention to help you shape the language and the keywords you want to focus on. For instance, you may sell new garage doors but many of your sales opportunities may in fact come from folks looking for garage door repairs. If so, be sure to focus on being found for repair searches on the web as much as new sales.
Get keywords from Google’s Keyword research tool. The Google Keyword research tool is an excellent way to find real information on phrases that are used regularly on the web, similar phrases that you may not be thinking of, the volume of those searches, and how much competition each of those phrases present to your business. This research lets you see what actual phrases are getting used in Google every day and which phrases may represent opportunity for you to find new business.
Focus on the Programming
While we are writing meaningful and valuable content, we also want to develop pages that will follow what Google respects in terms of structure.
With that in mind, we develop websites with the following Google respected elements:
1. Search Engine Friendly URL
The address for each of your pages is referred to as a URL.
2. Browser Titles
This is the title of the page that appears at the top of your internet browser.
3. Page Heading
The page heading is the headline of your page. It should be written for both the human and the computer so crafting is important. It is typically the biggest and boldest sentence on the page so the first impression matters. You want it to be easy to understand, relevant, and specific to the page focus.
4. First Sentence of Copy
Again, just as search engines put emphasis on the first few words of the browser title, so do they put emphasis on the first sentence of your page copy. Remember that you are writing for humans so this sentence should make sense, have value, and reinforce the focus of the page.
5. Page Description
The page description is the short summary for each page that appears below the page title in search engine results. Though the description field is not a primary focus of search engines, it does help support why the page being listed in the search results is the better option for folks seeking your products and services. This area should be written so as to showcase your expertise, value, and commitment to their needs.
6. Photo Alt Tags
Search engines do not see graphics or photos. They do see the code and descriptions behind the photo and graphics. When adding a photo to a webpage, an alt tag is the description assigned to the photo that helps search engines understand the imagery.