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Search Engine Optimization - SEO Articles

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December 18, 2019
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Introduction

In this free web design course, we’re going to take you through everything you need to do to design and publish a SEO ready website successfully.

We’ll cover:

  • Domain Name Application
  • Web Hosting
  • Web Design
  • Choosing the right Colours and Fonts
  • Creating good user experience
  • SEO Work
How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 1

Domain Name Application

First thing needed when registering a new company in your country is its name. This would be known as your company name.

First thing needed when starting a new website is also its name. This would be known as your Domain Name.

Registering for a new domain name is pretty straight forward. You just visit a domain registrar with your name in mind and see if it is available. Every website has its own domain name. If the one you had in mind s already taken, you have to modify it and try searching again. 

Domain Name Registration
Domain Name Registration

Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name

  1. Keep it short. The longer the name, the more likely it is for customers to make mistakes when typing it.
  2. Keep it relevant. Good idea to include keywords or trademarks here.
  3. Make it catchy. Come up with a catchy name that’s memorable, while staying relevant to your business.

How to Choose Your Top Level Domain (TLD)

Your top level domain (TLD) is the letters that follow the “dot” after your chosen website name. There are numerous options available — .com, .net, .org, and .co being some of the most common.

.com is the most common. It is used by most business. It stands for “Company”. However, because it’s the most popular TLD, it’s also often the least available with most common names already taken up. However some may be for sale and these can be found on Domain Name Market

Choosing Top Level Domain Name

If you’re doing business in a particular geographic location, a country-specific TLD can also work well (e.g. .ca, co.uk, .us, or .au). Country specific TLDs can only be registered in their respective countries. 

Setting Up Web Hosting

Next step would be to get a hosting account. This is like your office where all your clients come to when they want our products and services.

While you won’t have to look far to find somewhere to host your website, not all providers are created equal. Some are cheap while others cost a bomb. This article covers the difference between cheap hosting and managed hosting.

Cheap Web Hosting Services

Cheap hosting is usually shared between many other websites. Each site is allocated certain amount of resources. If the limit is reached, some hosts will inform the client while some might even shut down the site until an upgrade is done.

Cheap Web Hosting

If this is your first website and you are not particular about loading speed or downtime, you could start with Cheap Web Hosting first and from there upgrade if necessary.

Managed Web Hosting

Most cheap web hosts offer limited or no support. Some charge extra if support is required. It is often better to go with Managed Web Hosting Services. It is more expensive, but you get technical support when you need it.

Managed Hosting

Designing Your Website - Web Design

In the past, designing a website meant knowing HTML or using a website builder like FrontPage or DreamWeaver.

Now things are so much easier with Drag and Drop site builders like Squarespace. Basically anyone can now build a website using their services. The only downside to this is the lack of customization and the ongoing monthly charge.

Using WordPress Platform

If you are more technically inclined, you could consider using WordPress – a user friendly Blog Platform which can be used to create amazing websites through the use of Themes or Theme Builders.

WordPress

WordPress Themes

WordPress is just the platform. In order to build a website using it, we need a theme. Loads of free themes can be found in their repository It is also possible to design and build a theme from scratch using a theme builder like DIVI.

Choosing the right Colours and Fonts

Now that you have got the tools needed to design your website, you need to have the basics of making your design look pleasing to the eye. This is subtly done with the correct selection of colours and fonts.

Choosing Your Website Colors

The colors of your website should exist in harmony with the colors of your company colours or logo. According to VisualModo, a website should use only three colors: white and two of your brand colors. They have some good examples of colour combinations there.

Colours play a part in the design process. It sets the mood and reflects the nature of the website. Below are the main colours and what feelings they create.

Web Colour Chart

Having problems matching colours for your website? Try using a Colour Matching Generator or get a range of matching colours from the one you selected.

How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 2

Chosing the Right Fonts

Your website should have three fonts:

  • Primary: the most visible font, used in headers. This should be your most identifiable font.
  • Secondary: the most used font, featured in all body content (e.g. webpage paragraphs, blog posts, and descriptions).
  • Accent: used (sparingly) to draw the reader’s attention. This should stand out from other fonts and be used for specific purposes such as calls-to-action.  

Pairing fonts can be a headache if you are not sure how to do it, but FontPair takes the hassle out of it. 

Create a Good User Experience (UX)

Proven Layout Guides

People read websites in F-patterns, scanning across the page twice horizontally, before moving down in a vertical stripe. This is why your most important information should be at the top of the page. Use Large Headings to Grab Attention. Put Important Content on Top. Get your key message in. Menus can be on top or the left. Having a fixed top menu is recommended.

Website Reading Pattern

After the top of the page, the most viewed section is the bottom. Make this where you place your call to action, contact information or enquiry form. 

Based on various insights, here are a few tips for creating a layout that benefits users.

Use Call-to-Action Frequently 

Create more interaction with CTA. Want them to read more? Use a CTA. Want them to buy something? Point them in the right direction with a CTA. Want them to sign up to your newsletter? Use a relevant CTA. Doing this is better than forcing visitors with long paragraphs of boring text that they will never read.

How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 3

Create Mobile Friendly Website

pays to create mobile friendly websites for 2 reasons.

More people use their smart phones or tablets to surf these days. Designing a site that is able to adjust itself dynamically to fit in the user’s screen enhances the user experience. 

Google pays emphasis on this and tends to rank mobile friendly websites higher.

Mobile Friendly

To check that your website is optimized for mobile, test it using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool and follow any recommended suggestions.

Get Your Website SEO Ready

There are two types of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services.

  1. On-Page SEO – This is where you optimize each page for a desired keyword
  2. Off-Page SEO – This is where you build back links to your web page and perform other SEO related tasks.
On-Page-and-Off-Page-SEO

We will only discuss about On-Page SEO here as that is done during the design process. The purpose of SEO is to appear in the top results, when a customer searches for your products or services online.

Research Keywords

Keywords are words that a person will use to search for your products and services. Ranking for the wrong keywords is a waste of time and effort and loss of potential income. Wrong keywords are very short and generic.

In an online world, your business is open to the world. You are competing with similar businesses around the world. It is better to be specific when choosing keywords to rank for as it attracts the correct customers.

The most common mistake people make when doing keyword research is to use industry standard terms. Many forget that industry standard terms are used by people in the industry. Customers are not in the industry and are not aware of technical names or terms used. Use simple layman  terms when selecting keywords. Think like a customer and not a manager.

How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 4

Ubersuggest is a good and free tool to use when doing keyword research. Here is a video on how to use Ubersuggest for keyword research.

On-Page SEO

Once you have got your list of keywords, on-page SEO is done by adding these keywords in:

  • Page titles and descriptions
  • Headers and subheaders
  • Body content
  • URLs
  • Links
  • Images
On Page Seo

It is recommended to target one or the most two keywords in each page. If you are using WordPress to design, I recommend using RankMath (a WordPress plugin) to assist in your On-Page SEO work. 

Create Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions is the information that appears under your listing in search results. This information is what makes users decide whether or not to click on your link and come to your webpage. Each tag and meta description should be unique to the page and include  your target keywords. 

How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 5

Add Alt Text to Photos

Search engines cannot see photos. So they just assume what the photo is about through the file name and more importantly, the Alt Text. Learn more about Alt Text.

Purpose Of a Sitemap

A sitemap is a list of all the WebPages that make up your website. The purpose of submitting a Sitemap to these two major search engines is to get your new website indexed and appearing in the Search results much faster.

If you are using WordPress and have an SEO plugin like Yoast or RankMath, these files would be created automatically. If not, you would have to create them manually and submit them to Google and Bing.

If you are not using WordPress, you can use a Sitemap Generator to get one created.

Submit Your Sitemap to Google and Bing

How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 6
How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 7

Improve Page Loading Speed

Page loading speed is how fast the contents of your web pages appear. Page speed is a factor used by search engines to rank websites. The faster your site loads, the better the user experience and the higher it will rank.

Page speed depends on 2 things:

  1. Type of Hosting Server
  2. Web Page file size and the number of external calls the page has to make
How to Design and Publish a SEO Ready Website. Tutorial for Beginners 8

In most cases, a website hosted on a shared server, will be slower than one hosted on a dedicated server. Reason is because of the number of websites sharing the same resources like RAM.

A HTML web page is generally smaller in size and will load faster than a database generated webpage which builds it on the fly.

Test Page Speed

Test the speed of your website using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and follow any suggestions to improve loading times. 

If you are on the WordPress platform, you can use a cache plugin to improve loading time. What this plugin does is to store your webpages im memory and loads a static version of the page instead of building it dynamically. You should also get an image optimization plugin. This plugin will optimize your images for faster downloads.

Conclusion

We have covered everything needed to get a website up and running. We have also touched on design elements and how to get your site SEO ready. Finally we covered on promoting your site to search engines.

If you are having difficulties in any of these steps, do Contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

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