Thanks to use of smartphones, social media and semantic search, the internet has evolved into a multi-device experience. People are now seeking for information in diverse ways. With the way users now use the internet, the internet experience revolution is stressing an increasing need for SEO to intersect with web design.
If you are launching your first business website, here’s the basics of what you need to know to ensure a successful online hub for your business.
SEO and user experience
Remember this – users come first. In design and in SEO tactics, you must keep the user experience in mind in how they find information and what they do once they have it. Social media platforms have created a funnel for users to share their opinions, facts, and feelings about what they find. It has trained businesses to consider the user first in both search engine results and the business website.
The effects of such user interfaces are being felt far and wide, and with every algorithm update, SEO shifts from technical to experience. Now the metrics that matter most are bounce rate, engagement, and speed rather than relying only on keywords or links.
The measure of success for any website today is the terms of metrics. (For example: how many visitors have come to your site?) However, user friendliness of the interface is equally important to how well your website does. A site that performs well is one that gives the visitors exactly what they need easily and clearly.
This is where there is an intersection between SEO and web design. Everyone is demanding that sites be created for them. They also ask that the sites match their intentions and are mobile friendly, but this might not go so well if the user is not put first.
What search engines want
For you to be successful in SEO, you should know what features your site should have. For you to rank higher on search engine results pages(SERPs), there are four things that your site must satisfy namely:
Are you giving the users the information that they are looking for?
Is the website's loading speed optimized? Is there any issues with it loading?
Would other websites use your site services or content as a reference or a resource?
- User experience
Does the website have an attractive design? Can users easily navigate it?
Hosting your website
It’s time to find your site a permanent home on the web and to do that, you need to choose your web host. You can choose from several different options depending on your needs and your budget.
Internet Service Providers
If you have a small website with only a few pages, and you do not necessarily want to attract large traffic, your best option would be internet service providers. However, these services come with certain restrictions and they don’t have a lot of features. If you have a personal web page than this could also work for you.
Free Web Hosting
If you have an internet service provider, but the lack of options troubles you, you might try free web hosting. There are many of them out there and they are supported primarily from advertising. This is also a good option for personal sites or if you run a very small business. However, you should see this as a pre-testing ground because the advertising distracts from your content.
Standard Paid Hosting
When it comes to paid hosting, you will have to pay a certain fee every month for the space and services on the hosting site. Prices can be between one dollar to several dollars per month. The fee charged is dependent on the kind of services that you want. Some of the services are ASP, ecommerce, extra bandwidth, database support, extra space just to mention a few.
If you conduct your business mostly on the web then the standard paid option is best. Simply go through the options available from the server so that you actually get what suits you. Do not be led by the price because you might have to change hosting services due to quality issues and that particular process is quite expensive.
Collocation refers to putting your web server in a machine room of a company that is larger than yours. The advantage of this is that you will connect to the company’s high internet speeds. The process can be managed or unmanaged.
This is another good option for small or medium sized firms that want to have more control over their web hosting. When collocation is managed then it’s almost like having a department dealing with IT no matter how small your business is.
Direct Internet Access
If you want to host your site yourself then direct internet access is what you need. You will have to get a server computer and software plus very high internet speeds with an IP address dedicated to you.
With self-hosting, you have a lot of control over your web server. If your company deals with large data centers or you simply want to control every tiny aspect of the internet and web access then you should look into this kind of hosting. You will simply have to contact your internet service provider to set up a direct connection on the ISP connection for consumers.
Testing is important
Before you launch, ensure that you already a have a site designed, it meets all the SEO requirements, and you have gotten it hosted. Now the only thing that remains is to test your site to see if it is ready to go live on the World Wide Web.
You should test the site’s usability. This you can do yourself or ask your friends to help you in order to ensure that there are no more than the necessary steps. You must check to see if the site is friendly to use.
The next thing to check on is the speed. Speed is another factor that improves page rankings and therefore you should make sure that the loadings are improved. Make use of Google’s Page speed insights tool. If your site’s speed is less than ninety, then you will have to make changes.
A good website is one that is accessible via all devices. For now, almost everyone globally uses smartphones to access the web thus the need to ensure that your site is mobile friendly. Even Google has taken this matter seriously whereby they introduced a mobile friendly algorithm. Therefore, if you want to move up the ranks, being mobile friendly is a must.
Lalit Sharma is an SEO consultant who runs a SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal site.