Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to enhancing the visibility of a website by making it appear higher in ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). Statistics show that even appearing on page two is many times not good enough. Only 18-20% of online users look past page one.
We have been contacted, on more than a few occasions, by business owners who hired a web design firm to build their website only to find out AFTER implementation that their site was not indexed by the search engines. Why? Because the firm they chose only designed websites. They were not skilled in the science of SEO, which is a completely different specialty. This is a critical question that must be asked up front, before the website is designed, but the unfortunate truth is that many business owners don’t know enough to ask the question until it’s too late.
Custom built websites, while very effective, can be expensive. And if you’re a retail business with online shopping, a custom e-Commerce website can cost many thousands of dollars. Imagine paying that sort of money for a website that can’t be found. I have referred to this as like having a gourmet restaurant in the desert. It’s really nice but nobody knows you’re there. Not an enviable situation. The problem now is that the site is done and the bill has been paid. Retro-fitting SEO into an already designed website is more costly than planning for it during the design. Plus now you have to engage a separate firm for the SEO component thereby having two vendors involved instead of just one.
A firm that can design a great website and also optimize it for SEO has the following benefits:
- Cost Effective
Including SEO as a part of the website design, rather than after the fact, allows you to incorporate the critical components necessary for the highest placement possible. There are many factors that influence ranking performance. One important factor is On-Page SEO, where you incorporate keyword density into your web page content/copy and use appropriate Title Tags. Planning the content is much easier when done with SEO in mind from the start.
- Increased Traffic
Proper implementation of SEO, using tested tools and strategies, helps you increase traffic to your website. Web traffic to your site can continue to increase at a steady and stable rate by monitoring and tuning your SEO strategy. Thus, you can experience a constant improvement in your web traffic along with a boost in your sales.
Search results that top the list in Google and other search engines are often considered more credible than other results. Being on the top implies that you are an expert in the field. A website that is frequently listed at the top of the results page also gains better awareness among Internet users. Thus, instills brand credibility and awareness so your business can achieve greater success.
- Return On Investment (ROI)
SEO provides improved sale and business performance. With a small additional investment in the upfront website design cost, you are able to get maximum benefits and profits, resulting in a better ROI as compared to a site that does not show up high enough in the search engine rankings and is therefore not visited as frequently.
- Competitive Edge
Savvy businesses optimize their websites with SEO to improve sales. If you want to stay in business and compete with your rivals, you need to have a website that uses results oriented SEO techniques. If your website leads the search results, you can attract more customers and grow your business. To survive in today’s competitive online business world, you need to take every opportunity to get ahead, and stay ahead, of your competition
Some businesses choose to build and optimize their websites on their own, while others hire professional web designers for the job. No matter how you approach it, having a website that is designed with search engines in mind is critical to the success of your business.
If you don’t have the in-house expertise available to accomplish this mission-critical project, make sure you hire a firm that can not only design a great website but also one that can get it listed high enough in the search engines to actually provide new business leads and make your investment worthwhile.