There will be many local website designers ready to create and build your new website. But how do you choose? The price you will be quoted can vary greatly and so will what they offer. A website can range from a simple 3 page site with some text and a few images to a full e-commerce site. The skills of the designers will also vary greatly from someone who can cobble together a simple site, to a skilled developer who can build a website with all the bells and whistles. Before deciding who you should contract to build your website you should decide your maximum budget and then speak to a few developers. Things to consider include:
Are they listening to you or just telling you what they want to do?
Request to look at their portfolio to see what they are capable of. Do their websites look good? Do they run fast? Can you use them easily?
Do you understand the answers to your questions or do they just baffle you with technical jargon?
Do you like their ideas for your website design?
Will they do small changes and fixes for you after the build is complete e.g. add a new page for a new service. How much will that cost?
A good website will be updated and changed regularly, therefore you want to build a good relationship with your developer.
What is SEO?
We’ve discussed this in a previous post but SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and covers the processes required to make search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo show your website in their search results. If search engines don’t know about your website, haven’t found it, or don’t understand it, then it will never be displayed on search results. Part of your website budget must include SEO and a good developer will be happy to work with your SEO consultant. If you haven’t considered SEO they should be able to recommend a few good SEO companies.
Why is SEO so Important?
At Alba SEO Services we find that when most people get a new website they don’t consider SEO at all. So it comes as a shock a few months after their website is live that they are getting little or no traffic. All their budget, time and effort has gone into creating a stunning new website so why is there no traffic.
The answer is almost always that the website has not been optimised for search engines (SEO), therefore your beautiful new and expensive website does not show up in search results.
If on-site SEO is done at the time of development it will be cheaper in the long run than working on it after the website has been published as further development or re-design may be required if issues are found during an SEO audit.
The top 5 problems the analysts at Alba SEO Services have found with new websites:
The home page does not state explicitly to search engines or even potential clients what the website does or sells. If you are a locksmith in Edinburgh or a locksmith in Newcastle and the purpose of your website is to promote your services then you must state on the home page that you are a locksmith with the location either Edinburgh or Newcastle. Your SEO consultant will ensure that the words that are most often keyed into a search engine like Google, are on your home page and is clear to both potential clients and the search engines.
The website does not have clear and easy-to-find contact details. If a potential client cannot easily find your contact details they will go elsewhere. Also, they will trust a company more that provides full contact details ie a name, address and telephone number. The search engines are more likely to show the website on local search results if this information is provided.
The website is not mobile-friendly. This should not happen nowadays but unfortunately, it still does. If your website does not work well on mobile devices such as phone and tablets you are missing out on a very large percentage of traffic and Google may penalise you by lowering your keyword rankings.
The website runs slowly. Website users no longer have the patience to hang around waiting for a website to load. They just move on to the next website. The search engines may also penalise you for having a slow-running website.
The html <title> of every page is your company name. If your name is something like ABC Ltd, this does not help the search engines know what you do or sell. Every page should be unique with a title that describes the page accurately. In most cases, companies have a webpage for each service they offer so when potential customers keys that service into a search engine there is a chance that your webpage will be found.
OnGoing SEO Services– ON-SITE & OFF-SITE
Launching a new, fully optimised website will gain you some traffic and business, however to increase traffic over time does take more effort.
Almost all businesses have competition so although Google may now show your website on the search results, many of your competitors may be ranking higher. The purpose of ongoing SEO is to help websites climb the rankings.
If the on-site optimisation was completed during development, you now need to concentrate on off-site SEO. In effect this is marketing and promotion for websites. If you open a shop on the high street you can have a big launch, but then you have to find ways to get customers to visit it regularly and to grow your customer base.
Your SEO company will carry out many tasks such as:
Link building i.e. getting other websites to link to yours
Creating promotional videos
Writing articles about your services or products
All these tasks, of which only a few are mentioned here, will help increase your search engine keyword rankings. In time you will start to show in the search engine results in a higher position than your competitors which should result in increased traffic.
To find out more about building a new website or SEO, please get in touch. One of our experienced SEO consultants will be able to help you. We also have a great resource on SEO FAQS for you to get more familiar with the whole world of SEO.
Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.
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