As a digital marketing agency in Cheshire, we spend our days immersed in the world of SEO and web design, but we understand that not every business has the same grasp of it as we do.

For example, as a small business owner, you may be thinking about launching your first website and be wondering about how to make it search engine friendly and visually attractive.

This is where we come in! Lots of small businesses have used us as their web consultant, so we know what you need to consider. In this blog we share our top five tips:

Responsiveness is Key

Responsive web design is the buzz word in the world of web design companies at the moment, and this is really important for small businesses to get right.

  • Research has shown that 50% of consumers who perform a local search on their mobile device actually visit the store within a day of their search, and 78% of these searches lead to offline purchases.

Therefore, for a local small business to be successful, you really need to have a website that performs well on mobile devices, and therefore performs well in mobile search results – and the easiest way to do this is with a responsive design. All responsive design means is that the customer will get a similar online service on whatever device they decide to use – be it a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The responsive web template will automatically reshape the page to fit onto the device it is being viewed on making it more accessible for mobile/tablets users.

Text is Also Important

Although search engines have obviously moved with the times and are now able to search most media, the text is still the most important area to concentrate on when thinking about search engine optimisation. This is why there is such an emphasis on content marketing – as each web page you have needs to contain written content, which should be refreshed regularly.

Having text on every page of your website might sound like a mammoth task, but it doesn’t mean that every page has to be an essay – customers will more than likely be turned off by this!

Top tip: If your site is an e-commerce site, just adding a 150-word product description to a page is better than nothing, and if you have a page which contains a video or audio file, make sure you post the transcript of this as well.

The text also relates to the SEO title of each page – which is usually 50 to 60 characters – and the meta description – usually 150 to 160 characters. Make sure you use your keywords in these two elements as well!

Image text:

One thing that many small businesses fail to recognise is that the search engines don’t recognise any text placed within an image. However, this is easy to correct. Just take the text out of the images or make sure they are also somewhere else on the site in text so that it can be seen.

Optimise Your Images

Whilst search engines do not recognise text in images, you can still utilise your images for better search visibility and to give your photo the chance to appear in the Google Image Search results. There are a few ways you can optimise your images with text, and Zool Digital, a complete Digital Marketing Agency based in Cheshire, can help you with this. Consider:

  • Renaming the filename of your image to include specific keywords.
  • Using the HTML code attributes to insert the image on a page.
  • Creating a caption beneath the picture that explains what it is.

Have a Clear Navigation Structure

Google themselves clearly state that a website should have a clear hierarchy and web links with each page being reachable from at least one static text link. This is clear advice as to how your website should be organised, so make sure that your web consultant plans your link structure with this in mind.

Research has shown that the optimum structure for customer experience is no more than three levels deep – customers don’t want to have to go from the home page to a category page, then a sub-category page and then another sub-category page. The easier the navigation is for users (and the search engine crawlers) the more successful the website will be.

Don’t Forget To Redirect

If you already have a website and are redesigning it, then it is really important to remember to not lose any of your old pages as if customers try to visit the old page that is deleted they will get a “404 error” telling them that the page does not exist. This can be catastrophic for business as if the search engine crawlers see that the page does not exist they will remove it from search results. You will lose all the good organic search traffic results connected to it. To get around this you need to use a “301 redirect” to tell the search engines that your old web page is now a new web page – and this will ensure that you keep the SEO value of your old web page safe.

So, there you have it. This is just a brief overview of the importance of SEO friendly web design which hopefully, shows the importance of it for small businesses for search engines and for customers.

For more information about Zool Digital, and the services we offer please contact us at info@zooldigital.co.uk or call us on 01625 238 770.

Why You Should Ensure Your Website Is SEO Friendly

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As a digital marketing agency in Cheshire, we spend our days immersed in the world of SEO and web design, but we understand that not every business has the same grasp of it as we do.

For example, as a small business owner, you may be thinking about launching your first website and be wondering about how to make it search engine friendly and visually attractive.

This is where we come in! Lots of small businesses have used us as their web consultant, so we know what you need to consider. In this blog we share our top five tips:

Responsiveness is Key

Responsive web design is the buzz word in the world of web design companies at the moment, and this is really important for small businesses to get right.

  • Research has shown that 50% of consumers who perform a local search on their mobile device actually visit the store within a day of their search, and 78% of these searches lead to offline purchases.

Therefore, for a local small business to be successful, you really need to have a website that performs well on mobile devices, and therefore performs well in mobile search results – and the easiest way to do this is with a responsive design. All responsive design means is that the customer will get a similar online service on whatever device they decide to use – be it a desktop, tablet or smartphone. The responsive web template will automatically reshape the page to fit onto the device it is being viewed on making it more accessible for mobile/tablets users.

Text is Also Important

Although search engines have obviously moved with the times and are now able to search most media, the text is still the most important area to concentrate on when thinking about search engine optimisation. This is why there is such an emphasis on content marketing – as each web page you have needs to contain written content, which should be refreshed regularly.

Having text on every page of your website might sound like a mammoth task, but it doesn’t mean that every page has to be an essay – customers will more than likely be turned off by this!

Top tip: If your site is an e-commerce site, just adding a 150-word product description to a page is better than nothing, and if you have a page which contains a video or audio file, make sure you post the transcript of this as well.

The text also relates to the SEO title of each page – which is usually 50 to 60 characters – and the meta description – usually 150 to 160 characters. Make sure you use your keywords in these two elements as well!

Image text:

One thing that many small businesses fail to recognise is that the search engines don’t recognise any text placed within an image. However, this is easy to correct. Just take the text out of the images or make sure they are also somewhere else on the site in text so that it can be seen.

Optimise Your Images

Whilst search engines do not recognise text in images, you can still utilise your images for better search visibility and to give your photo the chance to appear in the Google Image Search results. There are a few ways you can optimise your images with text, and Zool Digital, a complete Digital Marketing Agency based in Cheshire, can help you with this. Consider:

  • Renaming the filename of your image to include specific keywords.
  • Using the HTML code attributes to insert the image on a page.
  • Creating a caption beneath the picture that explains what it is.

Have a Clear Navigation Structure

Google themselves clearly state that a website should have a clear hierarchy and web links with each page being reachable from at least one static text link. This is clear advice as to how your website should be organised, so make sure that your web consultant plans your link structure with this in mind.

Research has shown that the optimum structure for customer experience is no more than three levels deep – customers don’t want to have to go from the home page to a category page, then a sub-category page and then another sub-category page. The easier the navigation is for users (and the search engine crawlers) the more successful the website will be.

Don’t Forget To Redirect

If you already have a website and are redesigning it, then it is really important to remember to not lose any of your old pages as if customers try to visit the old page that is deleted they will get a “404 error” telling them that the page does not exist. This can be catastrophic for business as if the search engine crawlers see that the page does not exist they will remove it from search results. You will lose all the good organic search traffic results connected to it. To get around this you need to use a “301 redirect” to tell the search engines that your old web page is now a new web page – and this will ensure that you keep the SEO value of your old web page safe.

So, there you have it. This is just a brief overview of the importance of SEO friendly web design which hopefully, shows the importance of it for small businesses for search engines and for customers.

For more information about Zool Digital, and the services we offer please contact us at info@zooldigital.co.uk or call us on 01625 238 770.