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As your digital shop front and most powerful digital asset, your website needs to work hard for your business and showcase your brand in the best possible light.
It goes without saying that you should always view your website as an investment. Paying for a unique, intuitive and personalised design will help you to set your business apart from your competitors and deliver the high-quality user experience that your audience expects.
But is there anything else that you also need to consider?
Yes: search engine optimisation (SEO).
In addition to ensuring that your creative team is designing a website that accurately represents your brand on a visual level, you must also think carefully about your approach to SEO. This should be fully integrated into the build process to deliver the most powerful results over both the short and long term.
Before we get too carried away here, let’s start with the basics…
What is SEO?
Many businesses and brands recognise, or at least think they recognise, the importance of developing and implementing a considered SEO strategy and that this is critical to success in the digital age.
But do you know why SEO is so important?
Yes, SEO strategies certainly do have the power to boost the visibility and searchability of your website but do you know what value they have beyond this?
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why thinking carefully about both your SEO & UX in unison will help you to up your game and take your business to the next level over the coming days, weeks and months.
Organic Search and Website Traffic
The chances are that a significant percentage of traffic to your website is coming from organic search.
OK, so organic search is kind of a big deal. Why? Well…
In addition to contributing significantly to your site’s overall performance, organic search is also a key element of the purchasing funnel, prompting users to engage and to complete a conversion.
In the realm of organic search, it should come as no surprise to learn that you need to impress Google to maximise the benefits of this crucial traffic stream.
This is because…
As Google owns a significant section of the search market, following its best practices and guidelines will help you to enhance your search visibility and secure additional high quality, convertible traffic. Importantly, Google only wants to recommend the best sites for each search query, so ensuring that your content and SEO strategies are of the highest calibre is critical.
Establish Credibility and Build Trust
Experienced SEO professionals use their skills to establish strong foundations for a powerful, discoverable website. It is the job of the UX designer to ensure that the site delivers an effective and intuitive user experience to every visitor. A critical component of doing this well is establishing credibility and building trust.
Why? Well, let’s return to Google for a moment.
Search engines want to provide their users with easy access to the highest quality websites. If Google can see that you are an authoritative voice within your industry and your website contains valuable information that people find interesting and helpful, they are going to want to continue to recommend your website moving forwards.
How do you build authority?
Well, it is accrued over time through a variety of strategic measures including:
- Optimised content and on-page elements
- Building high-quality backlink profiles
- Demonstrated positive user behaviour
This is where a considered SEO strategy becomes essential. As credibility and trust are earned and cannot be installed overnight, a measured approach and a pinch of patience alongside the provision of a high-quality service or product are key to establishing your position as a leading brand within your sector.
SEO & UX
At a time when marketplaces are hyper competitive and businesses are constantly battling for more traffic and additional clicks, ensuring maximum visibility for your website is essential.
But did you know that optimising your user experience (UX) is a critical part of boosting your visibility? It’s alright if you didn’t; most businesses don’t!
As search engine algorithms have developed, Google in particular has learned how to assume and evaluate the quality of the experience that individual websites are delivering to their audience.
If you have taken this to mean that UX is now a core component of the overall success of a website, you are absolutely right. It is critical to remember that digitally aware audiences know exactly what they want and if they can’t find it easily (and with just a few clicks) on your site, your business is going to suffer.
Boost Engagement, Traffic and Conversions with Local SEO
With the proliferation of smartphones and other portable devices, mobile traffic is on the increase. As such, local search now plays a more integral role in the success of both small and medium sized businesses than ever before.
But, what exactly is local SEO?
Local SEO aims to optimise your digital properties for a particular area. This means that people can find you more efficiently, ensuring that your business is ready to capitalise on the additional conversions this can deliver.
Local optimisations can be targeted towards both larger county-sized areas right down to specific cities and towns. From here, your messaging can be focused to appeal to a very particular audience, which will boost a variety of key metrics in the process.
Both social media and Google My Business listings are critical to the success of a local SEO strategy, but optimising your website to incorporate local content, listings, citations and backlinks is also essential.
SEO and the Purchasing Cycle
If there’s one thing to learn from modern consumer behaviour, it’s that customers always do their research before making key purchasing decisions.
And, think about it, why wouldn’t they?
After all, they have easy access to more information than ever before. This can be used to help them to ensure that they don’t make poor purchasing decisions that can take significant amounts of time to correct.
Using SEO tactics to your advantage here is key. You need to communicate how your products and/or services will be game changing for your audience, include sufficient promotion for any deals that you are offering and showcase precisely why your audience should perceive your brand as trustworthy and dependable.
When you get this element of your approach to SEO right, it will positively impact your purchasing and conversion metrics.
How does SEO make this possible?
Well, because you will always be in the right place at the right time to forge connections with potential customers looking for the answers that you can provide.
The Consistent Evolution of Best Practices
Building SEO into your website gives you a greater level of control and puts you in the best position to stay on top of the constant developments that emerge over time.
Dedicating yourself to prioritising SEO from the outset will encourage you to monitor changes to search algorithms and ensure that you don’t ever get left behind.
Remember, in the world of SEO, if you fall too far behind your competition, you might struggle to catch up.
SEO is Quantifiable
Access to the right analytics data can tell you a great deal about the effectiveness of your strategies and whether any changes are required in order to strengthen your digital presence.
Is your return on investment (ROI) from SEO as easy to calculate as paid search? No. But does this mean it isn’t worth doing? Also no.
It is always worth trying to understand precisely how each action you take is affecting your performance and growth. This information will help you to make more informed decisions moving forwards because, after all, the data doesn’t lie.
If you aren’t on the first page of search results, you are not maximising the enormous potential that lies within organic search. Developing and implementing a strong SEO strategy and integrating key elements into the build of your site will help you to maximise your marketing efforts and forge important connections with the right people at the right times.
Effective SEO is critical to success in today’s digital age. Don’t let your competition out-perform you. Your business deserves the best!
Need some help figuring out your SEO strategy? Our free SEO audit can be a good start. Contact us and we can help.