It’s Beautiful – Will Anyone Ever Notice?

So, You Have a Website, Now What?

It’s Beautiful – Will Anyone Ever Notice?

For many business owners, getting a website and establishing an online presence is a set-it-and-forget-it sort of effort.   We’ve seen hundreds of beautiful websites that few ever visit (we’ve made more than a couple of those).  No matter how gorgeous, how perfectly laid out or how much attention was given to user experience and intuitive design, you won’t attract a single visitor who wasn’t already looking for your domain.  Sometimes, a website might serve as a business card or a resume, providing a well-organized and brand-appropriate online location for anyone looking into your brand.  In this case, driving traffic may not be your priority, but there are still some steps that should be taken to protect the site, its visitors and to maintain the brand image you intended to portray.  For everyone else, increasing site traffic directly affects all other goals for their online presence.

FLIP SIDE:

We’ve also seen hundreds, or even thousands of websites that every month attract tens of thousands of visitors or more, but are poorly laid out, unfriendly to read, and downright distracting in their efforts to break records on conversions and cater to the masses over the individual.  While these may be far more successful than their prettier counterparts, they too are missing the mark and little by little search engines are penalizing sites like that with lower page rankings.    If only a website could be made with both love for design and with geeky obsession for statistics.  Hmm, where to find a company like that, I wonder?

A website is a living entity that must be constantly maintained.

Super Evil Ogres

It’s Beautiful – Will Anyone Ever Notice?

SEO actually stands for Search Engine Optimization. You know it. You know you need it. You maybe forgot what it stands for.  A better name might be, Findable. The Search Engine part – and let’s face it that means Google – is the key. Think of SEO as Google Optimization. Proper use of SEO means that people searching for you, your brand or your product can more easily find you. More importantly, good SEO allows for people who don’t quite know what they are looking for, to find you. For example, you might provide the absolute best bra-fitting service in all of Iceland. A potential customer in your area might never find you, if she doesn’t realize her bras don’t fit right. Therefore, your SEO as well as your site content should include keywords and descriptions that attract that customer, in addition to the actual service name and location.

Everything you Need to Know About SEO

It’s Beautiful – Will Anyone Ever Notice?

The simple fact is, you already know everything you need to know: you need SEO. However, if you are like me, you don’t like buying something you don’t really understand. Without getting too carried away with the details, here are some of the broad strokes involved when someone performs SEO:

1

Heading Tags

You might have seen them before: <h1> These tags help search engines understand if a heading is of primary importance to the website, to the page or to the related content. They range from 1-6. Certain content on each page should be set up as headings. The various tags shouldn’t be used as styling tools. Often, SEO obsessed developers can damage carefully considered designs by shoehorning in heading tags. A considerate balance is recommended.

2

Titles and Alts

Inside of certain elements, there is a bit of information that can be stored as a title or as an alt. Image Alts display when the picture can’t,they serve to help a search engine categorize the image. Titles can be set on links and on images, sometimes showing up as tooltips which display when the user hovers over the element. The titles help a search engine understand if the page is organized well and if it contains content relevant to a given search. Description, caption and other meta tags can be added as well, further increasing the likelihood of a search engine selecting your element to display as a search result.

3

Keywords

Somewhat less important since their glory days, keywords still serve a function to help designate page content.  Now, the actual page content and the meta data is crawled by robots.  Keywords are lists of words or phrases that describe the website content, page content and related information. Including inaccurate or overly broad keywords to attract more traffic is probably more harmful than having no keywords. Accurate keywords and page descriptions can help search engine users find your content faster by listing it higher, potentially excluding other content altogether.  Keywords can be applied to both the site as a whole (i.e.: fashion, lingerie, intimate, feminine, sexy) and to individual pages (i.e.: camisole, babydoll, silk, nightgown, lace). Selecting the right keywords can be trickier than you might imagine. Consider that each keyword or keyword phrase may be highly in use by other site operators or simply an uncommon search term for potential customers.

4

Page Speed

Lately, page speed has begun to play an important role in improving page ranking. Search engines prefer results that are easy to use as well as accurate, therefore they want pages that are fast. There are dozens of techniques that can be used to speed up your site, including image compression, content delivery networks (CDN), leveraging browser caches (allowing users’ devices to store certain elements of a site or group of sites so repeat visits are faster), deferring scripts (arranging content so parts of the page load while others are viewed), and so on.

5

Consistent Publishing

Search engines want their users to find the latest, most up to date results for their searches.  Therefore, they look for and rank websites that provide new and consistently relevant material.  By posting new content on a regular schedule, you increase the likelihood of being ranked well and displayed in appropriate results.   A good posting schedule is about 3000 words per month, according to Google, and will earn you the best leveraging for your publishing efforts.  However, it’s better to set a schedule you can maintain, than to shoot for the moon and fall short.  Try to build up a cache of posts or other content before selecting a schedule and releasing your content. (now, I’m going to take my own advice and go write some blogs!)  Consistent publishing is more important than lots of content; always make sure you’re releasing great content that is relevant and valuable.

Feed Your Website

It’s Beautiful – Will Anyone Ever Notice?

A website is a living entity that must be constantly maintained to achieve the best results. No matter how much you spend on a photo shoot to generate enough material to populate your website, you should be cycling that content so it doesn’t become stale. If you or a firm you’ve hired is releasing social media posts for your brand, you should align that content with your landing pages. Maybe your website is solely a vessel to showcase your social media efforts, in that case, you should consider your social cards, open graph data and sharing tools. For many businesses and brands, a website is first and foremost a retail environment. If so, you should maintain your promotions, cross sells and up sells and keep cycling your transactional emails, featured items and offers.

If all of that seems overwhelming, remember: start small, think big, work in stages and be patient.  You can do it on your own, we can help or we can do it for you.  Good SEO can help you to make sure that your clients and prospective customers will see and be attracted by the results of your hard work.  Set a schedule and a strategy that you can maintain and keep it going.

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Rich

Rich

Rich has over 15 years of experience in the accessories, legwear and intimate apparel industries and is an artist, author, analyst and web developer with strong interests in technology and emerging market trends.
Rich

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