Anyone who has Googled him- or herself understands the power and mystique of search engine results. When you run an e-commerce business, where it lands in search rankings plays a critical role in how many people are exposed to your company and its services.

When businesses land near the top of the search results page for keywords related to their industries, users are much more likely to click on their pages, view their content, and learn about their products or services. The more visitors to the site, the more opportunities the company has to make sales and achieve high marketing ROI. 

To benefit from optimal search engine rankings (increased visibility, higher traffic, and improved sales), many effective tactics exist. If you incorporate these strategies into your websites as you build and maintain them, your business stands the best chance of SEO dominance over the competition.

Read on to learn how businesses use SEO to maximize their impact in their industries and boost the bottom line.

The best SEO optimization tactics for web design

Although companies can retroactively optimize their websites, DigiTech Web Design states "the most effective way to achieve high ranking is to build a site from scratch with SEO in mind." This enables the designer to incorporate a variety of techniques that will maximize the site's impact." Some of these techniques include:

1. URL structures. When creating URLs, make sure they adequately describe the subject matter of your content and contain keywords relevant to the topic. This gives search engines and visitors alike a clear idea of what the page will be about.

Also, keep URLs short and simple, using hyphens (not underscores) between words and keeping out unrelated characters or terms.
 
2. Responsive design. The most SEO-friendly sites are those that incorporate responsive design techniques to make them accessible for users of all types of devices. Building and maintaining separate mobile and desktop sites may present a complication with duplicate content, which e-commerce companies should avoid.

3. Descriptive navigation. Visitors should be able to navigate sites quickly and easily to find the information they need. With that in mind, web designers should not get too creative with the navigation bar location; place it across the top or along the left margin of the page.

Use flyout and dropdown menu bars with caution, because both robots and humans have more trouble navigating them. Text links are best, and sites should strive to use no more than 6 or 7 menu options on a page.

4. Image optimization. To make images SEO-friendly, edit them to the minimum size (often 20-100 kb) necessary for user visibility. Avoid using source code to shrink them; this has a negative impact on the length of time the page will take to load. Organic search rankings and user experience will suffer as a result.

When creating alt image text, make sure to use keywords in header images, logo images, graphics, and buttons on each page.

5. Page load times. Mobile users wait an average of 5 seconds for websites to load; desktop users only three. To keep pace with busy consumers, websites must load efficiently or risk losing businesses. 

To achieve faster page load times, companies can employ techniques such as enabling compression, browser caching, minimizing JavaScript and CSS, and sizing images correctly. Tools such as Google's PageSpeed Insights and WebPagetest can help you determine your website page load times.

6. Keyword research. Which keywords, phrases, and topics have potential customers researched with relation to your industry, product, or service? Google Keyword Planner helps businesses learn how their target market locates competitors, as well as identifying sub-categories that may apply to them.

Armed with valuable keyword data, companies can use this information to name and structure navigation bars - as well as product and category pages - for the most effective websites.

7. Sitemaps. XML sitemaps (for search engines) and HTML sitemaps (for website visitors) allow these entities to locate exactly what they need. It also allows Google to index your site thoroughly and efficiently.

How to use SEO techniques to maximize the impact of your content

Once companies have created the framework of their website, establishing and maintaining search engine-optimized content becomes a crucial activity. Content marketing techniques for SEO include:

1. Fixed content. Keyword-rich content, such as articles and blogs, should present high-quality writing and contain at least 400-500 words per article. The longer content remains on a site, the better ratings it receives from search engines.

2. Encourage linking. When businesses write compelling, unique, and useful content, readers are more likely to link to their articles from social media or blogs. Addressing misunderstandings or myths, discussing newsworthy topics, or raising questions for the public encourages engagement and sharing, and that will make your page show up more in search engine results.

3. Natural keyword use. When you use keywords in articles, blog posts, or page content, place them at the beginning of the content and not in nonsensical or repeating patterns throughout the page. Search engines will detect "keyword stuffing" that doesn't adhere to genuine language patterns.

4. Use built-in marketing messages. To ensure your company's contact information shows up on search engine indexes, replace links that read "Contact us" with ones that read "Contact [your company name]." This maximizes the number of times individuals will come in contact with your brand.

When it comes to search engine optimization, the companies that achieve the greatest success are those that combine technological know-how with content wordsmithing. If you pursue the above strategies, in a few steps your brand will be on its way to the top of the search engine rankings, not to mention the hearts and minds of your target audience!

How have you successfully leveraged SEO to achieve higher visibility and web traffic? 






Jayson DeMers is the founder of the American SEO firm, AudienceBloom. Founded in April 2010, AudienceBloom specializes in SEO link building and social media marketing.






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Search Engine Guide > Jayson DeMers > The Top 7 SEO Web Design Methods to Increase Visibility