As an SEO consultant for the last eleven years, I consistently let my clients know that our goals are a joint effort between getting traffic and converting traffic. Often you’ll hear me saying that a website is useless if nobody can find it. That statement basically confirms the need for search engine optimization because your positions and your online marketing efforts are what will put your website in front of the searchers. On the flip side of that statement, is let’s not send traffic to a poorly functioning website. Today’s blog will concentrate on basic website elements that folks have come to expect and trust.
- Logo – Make sure your logo is professionally designed and utilized throughout your marketing materials. Typically on a website, the logo is located in the upper left hand corner of EVERY page. Additionally, make sure to link your logo back to the home page of your website. This is standard practice.
- Font – Make sure your font is consistent throughout the website. Utilizing a bold tag or an italic tag is acceptable, but spattering the website with different fonts or vastly different sizes is not recommended. Your page design actually begins with the font you choose. Choose a professional font that is simple, readable and browser safe. Serif fonts (ie: Times New Roman Book Antiqua) are the best for large quantities of text as they are the easiest to read. Sans Serif fonts (ie: Arial, Helvetica and Verdana) are good for headlines and commonly used for entire websites. A very common code to ensure that a searcher will see your text with the font you intend is: <font face=Georgia, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica>. This says that if you have Georgia, you will see Georgia. If you don’t, you will see Verdana. If you don’t have either, you will see Arial, etc.In regards to font size, we recommend not going any smaller than 10 points for your body text and using 12 point or bigger for your headlines.
- Design – Consistent site design goes a long way toward making your site pleasing and usable. Be sure to keep your design consistent throughout the pages of the site. If you vary your design throughout sections of the site, make sure to keep it logical. For example, I work with a Nanny Agency that services several states. The design of the site is completely the same except for the color. We designated different colors for different states. Other than that, the logo is the same, the style is the same, which makes it very clear that this is the same company.
- Bottom Text Navigation – Bottom text navigation is essential for every website. Make sure that your main pages are listed clearly, in text at the bottom of every page. Navigation is the tool that enables searchers and search engines to find the different pages within your site. Try to make the “path” that you want your searchers to follow as easy and clear as possible. We don’t want anybody getting frustrated because they can’t find what they are looking for.
- Contact Info – Contact information is expected at the bottom of each page, underneath your footer. Included should be your Company Name, Address, Phone Number, Fax, and Email. An optional addition could be Hours of Operation.
If these elements are not in place when you begin a SEO Campaign, it will be the first thing your Specialist will address. Once the website basics are in place, we can move onto basic SEO elements. First things first!