There are so many myths of what makes a website do well on the search engines, and so many so called ‘tricks’ to make a website do better on the search engines, sometimes referred to as “white hat SEO techniques”. What are the qualities of a good website that will likely rank highly on the search engines, including Google?
What are the qualities of a good website? Well, when building a new website, there are a few simple things to consider if you want the site to do well on the search engines. The most important factor to consider is, “How easy is it to crawl the pages of the website?”. So many people don’t take time to consider whether or not their website can actually be crawled by a search engine spider at all. If your website is to stand any chance of getting top ranked results on Google, it’s critical that you make it as easy as possible for the site to be crawled. If your in any doubt about this, check your website with a text only browser. See if you can reach every page of your site in a text only browser, such as Lynx. If you can’t, then the search engine spider won’t be able to either. Therefore, think carefully about your site menus, and consider also a sitemap.
Next, you want to make sure you write good, interesting, unique content for your website. At the end of the day, it’s the copy that gets indexed and shows up in the search results. Make every effort to write quality copy for your pages, not just bullet lists of services or products. When writing your copy, try to use the same terminology as your target audience or target market. Use as many related terms and keywords on your pages as possible, but above all ensure that your copy is genuinely interesting, and unique.
Ensure that your website has some “hook”, something that differentiates it from related websites, and offers a reason to come back or link to it. That might be a blog, news articles, or maybe even tutorials on how to use products that you sell. Excellent examples of this is are websites that offer support forums, or video tutorials for software that you can buy from the same website. Some websites also syndicate their news articles, and tutorials which is great for getting those related backlinks. Try to come up with something that will set your site apart from the pack.
Key qualities of a good website that will perform well on Google and other search engines:
- Make sure your site can be fully crawled (most important)
- Write top quality interesting content that users will want to link to and bookmark
- Have a differentiator. A hook. Something that makes your site stand out, in order to encourage those repeat visits, backlinks, and bookmarks.
- Continually add new, genuinely unique and interesting content.
Lastly, you must promote your website. Make sure your target market know you have a website. Tell your customers, and potential customers about your website in whatever way is appropriate to you. Whether thats by creating press releases, email, telephone, or post; or even all three.
If you have a marketing budget, use it wisely to target the right audience.