You like it, but does Google?
You needed a new website, but with all the DIY options out there, you didn’t think it was necessary to pony up the cost of a professional. You’re not a web designer, but hey, you wear a million hats while running your business, how hard could it be to wear one more?
You find a web builder that looks easy enough, pick your photos, enter your business info and pushed the button to go live. It’s not a Picasso, but it should get the job done.
But will it?
A lot goes on behind the curtain when trusting a professional with your website. Making sure the design resonates with your target customer, planning ahead to define the goals & objectives of the website, figuring out the best customer journey through the site…
If you’re going the DIY route, survey a few people before launch to find out:
- Does the imagery get your message across clearly?
- What about the colours and information, are they pleasing to potential customers? Or do they make your testers want to leave the site and run for the hills!
- And the most important piece to think about, how will the search engines pick up your site?
When designing a website, it’s imperative to account for SEO before you start, if the search engines don’t find it, how will your potential customers?
Yes, website builders make it easier than ever for a business owner to go the DIY route, but what they don’t provide is the tools and knowledge needed to make sure you build a marketing platform that will turn your viewers into paying customers. Having a good looking site doesn’t guarantee visitors, and having a site filled with content that isn’t visually pleasing could actually drive customers away.
Professionals might cost a bit more than going the DIY route, but they’ve also spent years becoming an expert in their field, so think of your website as a Porche, would you trust the maintenance of it with the guy that learned about engine repair from a YouTube DIY video? No!
When planning a website, an expert will be thinking about things such as the user experience, properly naming images for accessibility and search engines, choosing the right keywords for your page content to best reach your target market, optimizing all of the elements that go into your website to make sure it loads quickly and looks good on smart phones and finally, the best method to convert viewers into leads and sales.
In a perfect world, hiring a top tier agency to get your digital presence up and running would be a no brainer, unfortunately, the problem with running a small business is that sometimes cash might be tight and investing in your website may seem more like an expense. While you absolutely should be thinking of your website as a marketing investment that continues to bring in leads even while you sleep, we also understand that it might not be an option.
Here are a few key tips that you can adjust on your website right away to help out with SEO:
- Add descriptive alt tags to all of the images on your website
- Spend a bit of time researching the keywords you think people will search for to find you and then utilize these to create page titles and keywords for your website content.
- Your website content should be relevant, up to date and informative to your audience. If you haven’t updated your info in a while, what are you waiting for? There’s nothing worse than a website that hasn’t been updated since 1999!
Wondering if Google likes your website? You can do a quick search to see how your pages are showing up by typing site:yourwebsitename.com into Google and studying the results. Once you’ve had a look at how you show up in the search engine results, install a plugin such as Yoast or All In One SEO which will give you the ability to optimize your page titles and descriptions, allowing you to change how you show up in search and on facebook.
For some more great tips & tutorials on DIY websites and SEO, view the 10 min WordPress SEO Tutorial for Beginners video by Ahrefs below.