Lead Blogger, Harford Digital
3 Ways Your Website Design Can Help Customers Find Your Business
Updated: Mar 20
There's no question that having a website can help your business. But did you know that the design and structure of your website may be hurting your ability to be found online?
Did you know that search engines like Google and Bing have dozens of criteria that they use to decide if your website is the result they want to serve to customers searching for your products and services? Many businesses don't realize that Google prefers websites that are responsive on mobile devices, have security (SSL) certificates, etc.
Let's take a look at some of the ways your website can help (or hurt) your ability to get found by potential customers.
1. Through Your Website Keywords
Perhaps the most important thing about your website is the content! Both the amount of content you have (recommended amount is 300 words per page, minimum) and the words/phrases you use to describe your products and services are important to telling Google whether you are a result they should return to a search user.
The words you use on your site are important. Aside from the volume on each page, the words you use will largely determine where you rank in search engine results. Keywords can be often competitive and difficult to rank for, so it's usually not enough to choose the typical names of your products and or services and may require some research. Services like Moz and SEMrush are used by marketing agencies to build keyword strategies that are attainable for a business, but can quickly get overwhelming for small business owners.
The truth is, true search engine optimization of your site is a long term plan, but there are still some things that can help set you up for success when it comes to placement of keywords.
Strategy Tip: Give Each Page of Your Website a "Focus Keyword"
Each page on your website should have a unique keyword focus. Assign each page a keyword that is the most relevant to the purpose of that page. For instance, your business name may be the keyword focus for the About Page or Contact Page.
Once you have a keyword strategy for each page, make sure that focus keyword is found within the Page Title and Meta-description of the page. But be careful not to over-optimize - Google is smart and inserting the keyword too many times in your content can actually be a bad thing. One way to avoid this is to find a few keywords similar to each focus that you can pepper in for some variety.
It is important to note that multiple pages with related keywords is a part of the strategy. While a one page website can have a keyword focus, it will struggle to compete when it comes to search engine ranking. Which brings us to another way that search engines will read your website.
2. Through Website Design & Content Structure
Your website is your online real estate, so the more pages you have, the more search engines see you as an authority on the keywords within your site's pages. But it's not enough to have a lot of pages. Search engines look for DEPTH of websites as well.
How to Optimize the Structure of Your Website
If you have multiple services for instance, having a page for each individual service under a general "service" page, is a way of adding depth to your website. So for example if you were a handyman, your domain's .com/handyman-services page would include a list of services, and the individual services would then be listed as .com/handyman-services/appliance-repair, .com/handyman-services/painting, etc.
Search Engines read, or "crawl", your website to understand what information you can provide so you want to show them you have a lot to provide the user, and they prioritize websites whose design think about content organization.
(For more on this topic, check out this Reliablesoft article on SEO & web structure optimization)
How to Optimize the Page Content
Pages are made up of several components of website content. These include Titles, Headers (Often labeled H1, H2, H3, etc.), paragraph content Images, Links, etc. We've already covered that keyword placement is important in some of these places, but additionally, the structure of your content can help search engines determine if your site content is easy to navigate.
Every page should have only one H1 title, and the subsequent titles (h2, h3, h4) can be thought of as an outline. A good web page will follow a logical outline progression. Take for example, this blog post:
H1: How Website Design can Help Customers Find Your Business
H2: By Your Website Keywords
H3: How to Build Your Keyword Focus
H2: Through Website Design and Content Structure
H3: How to Optimize Website Structure
H3: How to Optimize Page Content
H2: Through Mobile Responsiveness & Security
(Here’s a recommended guide for anyone lookking for more on on-page SEO optimization).
3. Through Mobile Responsiveness & Security
Up to 80% of people use mobile devices to access the internet and search engines can tell if your website does not have a mobile responsive design. This has been an increasing factor for search engine ranking in recent years. Make sure your website design is optimized for mobile viewing, and search engines will thank you.
Another important factor that search engines care about is the SSL (security) certificate. Make sure your https:// domain is working so you can avoid the dreaded "not secure" warning that can severely hurt your rankings!
In conclusion, there are many more factors within the design (and planning) of your website that can impact your ability to rank in search engines and for customers to connect to your business. These three are important, but continue to improve your site by learning more about other factors, such as link building, user experience, and page load speed/times.
Looking for more on Optimizing your website for search engines? Check out our mini SEO Guide for Small Businesses!