Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Create the perfect SEO and user friendly website for your business

When building an online store from scratch, the layout of your store is everything, not just to appeal to visiting customers, but to also make your website SEO friendly, bringing more customers to your website through search engine rankings. Generally, when people look to set up an online store, they are eager to set it up as quickly as possibly in order to begin selling straight away. While getting your website up and running as soon as possible is important, it should be done in conjunction with ensuring your site is well designed rather than in sacrifice of.

As most people are now aware of, the most important part of on page SEO for your website comes in placing keywords that relate to your business throughout your site while still making sure all of the content is readable. If you are unfamiliar with keywords and how they can significantly help your website move up the rankings, check out my previous article on basic SEO for everything you need to know. (New Businesses Guide to SEO Success)

However, while SEO on your website is of vital importance, you need to make sure that the aesthetics of your website are as appealing to visiting customers as your keywords are to Google. It's no good having great SEO which moves your site high up search engine rankings, bringing a number of new customers to your site, only for those new customers to then be put off by the layout. When a customer first visits your site, they spend just under three seconds quickly scanning the whole page from top to bottom. This means that they spend around 180 milliseconds on one area of your site before moving on to the next. This emphasises the importance of making a good impression right from the get go or else they may leave your site and never return.  

Generally, people tend to read a screen the same way they would read text, moving from left to right. Therefore, you may want to have your business's logo placed in the top left corner of the page, meaning when customers visit your site, the logo is the first thing they see. This instantly creates a brand identity for your business as customers will become familiar with your logo. 

Although you want to have as much information as you possibly can on your pages to keep your customers informed, you simply do not want to flood your page with text. You may think "if I have a lot of text, it means I can put a load of keywords in there for SEO making it a good idea, right?" If you look at all major brand websites, their layout tends to be clean and uncluttered, meaning they have only the most necessary information on a page. As a person spends 2.6 seconds scanning a website before focussing on a particular area of interest, having huge chunks of text through the page is going to be rather off putting as they don't want to have to read through reams of text pick out the information that is of interest to them. 

As the only saying goes  "A picture paints a thousand words" and this is never truer when creating a website for your online store. If you run an ecommerce business that sells products such as clothing, electronics and other goods, images of your products and promotional animations are going to be much more appealing than text, as they instantly tell customers information that may have taken you a couple of paragraphs to relay through text. 

What most websites tend to do is have one focal image at the top of the page, underneath the navigation bar. This works as an appealing image to draw the viewers eye, encouraging them to work their way down through the page.

This idea of making your website as easy to navigate as possible should also be taken into account when displaying images of your products for customers to purchase. While it would be easier to just lay out your items all on one page and have customers choose from them, in terms of navigation, it can make it rather difficult to find the item they want. Breakdown your products into different categories in terms of what you sell with a separate page for each category and links to those various categories placed on either the top of side of each page.

First IMPRESSIONS of your website

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