Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website attractive to search engines like Google. The optimisation process is intended to help your website appear higher in the rankings, thereby increasing the chances of customers clicking through and making a purchase.
But before your website even goes live, the SEO process has started. According to Google:
“Poor coding interrupts user experience, design, site speed and the ability for search engines to crawl your site.”
So the initial design and development of your site could have a major impact on how easily found it is. Webpages that are full of coding errors are slow to load, and hard for search engines to crawl and index. And the harder you make Google’s job, the lower it appears in search results.
When commissioning your new website, ensure that your web designer has a stringent testing process in place to identify and fix coding errors prior to go live. You should also ask them about the inclusion of ‘schema’, a special markup language that helps search engines identify the kind of content being displayed on your webpages.
Finally, make sure your web developer also implements a user testing strategy. This will help you check that people can find the information they need quickly and easily. Because if they can’t, they will visit one of your competitors who can. Their departure then contributes to the site’s bounce rate – the number of people who leave without interacting – which in turn negatively affects your search engine ranking.