Having a slick design and some dynamic functionality on your website can only be considered the beginning of a successful website. If the conversation with your client is only based around aesthetics and functionality, I urge you to keep on reading in order to grow your digital footprint and to increase your findability through search.
Take a look at this graphic that Response Mine Interactive created. It visually depicts what goes into a successful website outside of the design phase. Here’s a little bit of insight on why each of these areas are important to a successful website.
1. Keywords (Search terms)
What are keywords? Think of keywords as the search terms you would type into Google. The research, strategy and selection of keywords is an integral part of a sites ability to be found through search. Not having well researched keywords or a site that lacks keywords will cripple your sites potential at being found through search.
2. On-Site Factors (How your site is built and how keywords are implemented)
What this area really means is that anything on your website can and will influence your success. From how your site has been built, where it’s hosted and how the content has been written all will have an influence on your ability to be found. These all get lumped into “on-site” because all of these elements happen on site… Here’s a little more insight:
- Content: Assuming that proper research and selection of keywords has been completed, they now need to find their way into the site. Not just a sprinkling here and there but everywhere a search engine looks a keyword needs to be present. From urls, to content to page descriptions, they all need to be keyword rich. Just updating your H1 tags with keywords and doing nothing else might help with results but pales in comparison to what a full-on keyword rich site could do.
- Technical: Make sure that whomever is building your site knows what they are doing. You might pay a little more for a professional to build your site but at least you know that it’s getting done the right way. Your buddy’s cousin who “knows some web stuff” may not be the best option. A slow site will hinder rankings. Make sure old pages get redirected to new pages when a new site is launched. You don’t want to kill all of your link juice.
- Structure: The structure of your website should be based around your keywords. Content should be cross linked and easily accessible from every page. A poor structure and hard-to-use site will not sit well with users and search engines.
3. Off-Site Factors (Site promotion and links back to your site)
Consider this the promotion phase of your website. You should be participating in every small bubble shown here. Wherever a conversation occurs about your site’s subject matter you should be participating. Links back to your site are important and count for about 20 percent of your ranking in search. If you are already doing media outreach or getting coverage from other blogs make sure that these sites contain links back to your website.
4. Analytics (Know what’s going on)
Without having any sort of analytics, your site is wandering blindly on the web. Analytics are a key component because they provide insight into the who, what, where, when and how of a website. From what terms people are using to reach your site to how long they stay on the site all get monitored. The analytic world can get very in-depth very quickly and a ton of information can be provided.
Analytics aren’t just for reporting. The information provided from analytics should be deciphered and used to tweak the website experience for your visitors.
This was just a brief look at some of these components, implementing and abiding by what’s in the RMI graphic will make your website successful.