It is not a given that just because you have a website your site is being found on the leading search engines. Verizon and hundreds of other companies out there are now offering free or next to free websites for their customers. Heck, you can even design a great looking one on your Mac. However, if you are a business and if the purpose of your website is to draw traffic to your site and increase your revenue, you are going to need to have a search engine optimized site that will be ranked prominently on the major search engines, not an online business card.
Studies have shown that only 1 out of 5 people will click to page 2 of a search engine to find what they are looking for. 80% will not leave page one. Forget page 6. So how do you ensure ranking high in what is known as the “organic” or FREE middle section of a search engine page?
Make sure your website is well optimized and designed with time tested SEO practices to ensure high ranking in the major search engines, Google, Yahoo, MSN and BING. There is a delicate balance between a search engine optimized site which the search engine crawlers will find, and a well designed site that is pleasing to the eye and not so busy as to be more of a distraction than anything else. A good web designer that is capable of encompassing both elements is hard to come by but they are out there. If your site is so keyword rich that the flow is awkward, the navigation confusing and the readability is difficult, customers will be turned off and lose interest. On the other hand, a beautifully designed site with un-tagged graphics and/or flash media, barely any keywords or meta tagging, no titles or descriptors, and lacking in inbound links will be ranked low on the search engines, and all of that money spent on design will have gone down the tubes.
The key to a functional site that will draw traffic and encourage click throughs is to have a well designed, easy on the eye, easy to navigate site that also contains smart SEO practices.
Make sure your Search Engine Optimization methods include both on site and off site methods, and that at the very
least, internally your site is:
- Keyword rich
- Using meta-tags and descriptors
- Using internal, outbound and inbound links
- Regularly being updated (the search engines look for this)
- Geographically targeted
- Set up with an analytic tool to know where the traffic is coming from
- Submitted to all the appropriate and emerging search engines and directories
SEO is an ever -evolving science. A quality website designer will make sure your site is kept current to keep up with the emergence of new techniques, keywords and tools. It may not be free, but the value will be there and before long you will see ROI. You don’t want your website to be just another pretty face, you want it to bring in business.