Depending on your business, your website may be more important than the physical location of your company’s building.
If you sell things online, then a website allows for 24/7 sales. If you don’t, a website builds credibility and makes you trustworthy.
But, a website for SEO and marketing is vital because SEO is how your site gets found, and marketing is how your site behaves to achieve your business goals.
Typically though, while website development people may be good at designing pretty websites, too many sites are not optimized for SEO or conversions, leaving them vulnerable to their competitors.
Why Are Search Engines Important?
With all that digital information, search engines play a vital role in making sense of all the websites online and determining which ones are the best to display for each search a user makes.
Since most people don’t generally venture past the first 5 pages of search results, search engines are obviously achieving their purpose of matching the right information to the user’s query.
Now, let’s flip the coin: as a business owner, you want search engines to recommend your website on those first few pages- because the more they do, the more visitors will arrive on your site and the more you will achieve your website’s goals. The closer you get to that first page, the better the results will be for your website because most people find what they’re looking for on that very first search results page.
But your website will never make it if it doesn’t contain certain elements that indicate to search engines the quality of your website instead of that of your competitors.
We’ll get into that soon, but first, let’s discuss the science of search engines.
How Do Search Engines Work?
It is key to understand what search engines want so that your website can give them what’s important to them. This makes a lot more sense than to keep scrambling after every latest algorithm update.
So, what’s important to Google?
In a nutshell, the holy grail of Google is to match the best websites to user searches. They aim to give their users what they are looking for.
The big question is: what makes your website superior to that of your competitors?
Why should Google display the pages of your website to people performing searches?
Google search works with three basic actions:
- Crawling: This is how the search engines find new pages.
- Indexing: The process search engines use to understand what the content is about.
- Ranking: The process of understanding how relevant the information is to the search.
You may want to familiarize yourself with the search quality guidelines that Google uses to determine the quality of your site.
What do you need to be ranked as a worthy website?
Now, we come to the crux of the matter: anyone can build a website that will cost just about nothing. But most web developers are not even familiar with SEO or the other elements that help a website rank well.
It isn’t easy to find a web developer that has all the following necessary skills:
- On-page SEO. This is everything that pertains to the content on the website. It is of paramount importance to use a quality copywriter who understands SEO. Most web developers upload the content their clients provide them with (and most of their clients do not even know how to write content that gets results).
- Off-page SEO. This is the only area most web developers have an understanding of, but not all. Those who design cheap sites usually do not know off-page SEO, which is the technical element.
- Marketing. To achieve the purpose of a website, marketing skills need to be employed. For instance, when a person lands on a website, they usually hang around for less than 8 seconds, then dash off again. If your site does not make it clear immediately about how you can help your visitor, it’s toast. In addition to that, you don’t just want people visiting your site, getting the information they are searching for, and then exiting. In other words, you need to give reasons to your visitors, which compels them to provide their email address, enabling you to develop an email marketing strategy that will, in time, produce sales.
- Design. The look and feel of your website say a lot about your company. It either detracts from your brand or adds to it. It tells potential customers whether you are the right fit for them or not, and the design can make visitors either do what you want them to do or put them off any interaction with your business. Navigation, color, shapes, images, and space tell stories that are not spoken.
- Customer journey. Successful website development, SEO, and marketing depend on an intimate understanding of your audience, i.e., those you want to attract to make more sales. In addition, the customer journey involves your snippets, content, reviews, testimonials, case studies, and online reputation.
What to look out for when choosing a web developer
You can now see that there are many elements to making a website work to achieve your company’s business goals. Not only does it require website development, but SEO and marketing know-how.
But, success in finding a person with the kind of skill set needed is rare. Usually, a person gravitates either towards a technical mindset or a creative one. We would, therefore, recommend that you find a company of specialists, like Blue Ocean Global Technology, who has a staff complement of pros for every area to address:
- Online reputation management
- Website development
- SEO (both off-page and on-page)
- Website graphics
- Maintenance & security
So, when you look for a website developer, be aware of the following:
The website development company needs to display an understanding of building a website based on your target audience. Therefore, they would need to ask you questions related to your audience.
The site design needs to center around all the elements that will make your website rank higher in search rankings.
Suppose they promise to give you a website that will be on the first page of Google search results – RUN! There is no way they can promise that. In addition, your website would need to be updated regularly with high-quality content to rank.
The website developer must work with a copywriter who can provide actionable, high-quality content so that visitors take the actions you want them to take.
You must use customized images instead of stock photos.
The developer must work with a marketer who understands conversion principles.
Must understand mobile optimization.
Many web developers have a perception of what SEO is but are often incorrect. This is why they will tell you that they can develop an SEO-friendly website for you, but in reality, it only includes certain SEO aspects. They are not trying to deceive you; they believe they understand SEO but don’t really. However, you will be the one to pay for this little error.
Sameer Somal is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology. He is an internationally recognized speaker and a subject matter expert witness. His passion for learning and sharing information underpins how he helps people make more informed decisions.