Introduction to Website Design and SEO

A very large subject that needs a very basic introduction, this is a fantastic place to start your learning.

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In fact, it’s so broad that there are entire books based around just a fraction of this subject matter. You could spend days learning about SEO, or about UX design and how to present your website in the best light. IT’S A BROAD TOPIC

With that in mind, we’re not going to try to go into every nuance and detail of this topic; we’d be crazy if we tried. Instead, we’re gearing this toward those who are just starting out with their business’s website and want to know the basics. Having a website for your business is more important than ever. It allows you to fully control your presence online, and how you present your business to others. If you rely just on Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform, you’re rolling the dice; the algorithm for these platforms can change overnight, leaving you in the lurch.

With a website, you can curate content, present your business in the best possible light, and make your online presence something memorable. You can generate meaningful information for your customers, and also present new announcements on a regular basis. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of setting up a website, what to keep in mind, and also how to optimize your website for SEO. We’ll also follow things up with a few resources that can help you expand your knowledge of websites further as you grow and expand your business.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



If you already have a website, then you probably can skip past most of this section. For those of you who are just thinking of building your website, then read on.

The first thing you need to consider is what platform you’d like to build your website on.

By “platform,” we mean web-building sites such as

Wordpress, Squarespace, and Wix. Each one has its own pros and cons, though all of them have tools to help with your SEO.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses








Wordpress is a great platform for your website. If you know how to use it, you can get some of the highest performance for your SEO. Plus, there are numerous plugins you can use to customize your site the way you want it. The downside is that if you don’t know what SEO is or if you’re not familiar with Wordpress, then it may be difficult for you to build your website on this platform.

If you’re new to website or web design, then you probably want to go with Squarespace. It’s user friendly and has a lot of integrated tools you can use to easily get your website up and going. The downside is that getting your SEO up higher will be more difficult in the long run, but it’s perfect for first-time website designers. Plus, there are also a lot of tutorials online.

Wix has a great user interface and does have SEO tools built in. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it does have limitations. Once you choose a template, you can’t switch it once you build your site. This means you may be limited when it comes to scaling your business over the long-term.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



Once you’ve decided which platform to build your site on, you’ll also want to consider your domain.

Your domain is a unique, easy-to-remember name used to access your website. You can purchase a domain through the platforms above, or can choose to purchase your domain through GoDaddy or another site.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


Once you own your domain, you can use it to direct people to your website by connecting the two.

For GoDaddy, as an example, you follow these steps:

Access your Domain Registrar Account


Find DNS Management or Name Server Settings


Find the Name Server Settings


Update the Name Servers to Your Hosting Provider’s Name Servers


Update Your Name Servers


Click Save and you’re done


Verify the Connection


When choosing a domain, make sure you choose something that’s easy to remember, easy to spell, and reflects your business. This will make it so customers can more easily find you online, and so that search engines are able to find you more easily, as well.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



When building a website, you need to keep something called “UX design” in mind.

This is the user experience a person has on your website. This means making your website visually appealing, informative, and easy-to navigate.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


Of course, these aren’t the only things you should consider.

As an example, if your primary customer base includes affluent women in their 30s to 50s , your website is going to look different than if your primary customer base covers student athletes between the ages of 18 and 26. When considering how to build your website, consider what information your customer may need. Do you regularly host events at your location? You may want to include an event calendar on your website, where customers can go and find information. Do you sell products online? Then you’ll want to include an online store. Are you a non-profit? Then you’ll want to include a page with instructions on how to donate. The other items you should always include on your website is a section that tells customers what your business is, a place for customers to contact you (phone, email, and physical address), and any other information and links that your customers may find helpful. You need to also remember who your audience is. With that in mind, creating customer profiles can be a huge help when developing and designing your site. You want to make sure that when your ideal customer visits your website, they’re immediately hooked.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



If you’re designing a website for a business, then you need to make sure that the website reflects your business’s brand.

This means including the same colors, font style, and logo that you use for your business.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


As an example, is your business more professional or more fun?

Whatever your business is, make sure that your website reflects your business and the way that you want to be seen by your customers. straightforward and sleek in design, while a business that’s more fun may play around with colors and patterns in their website design. A website that’s aimed toward professionals will likely be

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


SEO Now that we’ve gone over the basics of things to keep in mind when designing and building your website, we’re going to cover SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO pertains to increasing the visibility of your website, so it’s more likely to appear towards the top of a page on search engines, like Google.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


When creating your website, you can’t just keep user experience in mind.

Instead, you also need to keep search engines in mind. After all, you could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if no one can find it then it’s next to useless for your business. Below, we’ve outlined the steps to take when designing your website to make the most of search engine optimization.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



When designing your website, ensure that you have enough content on your site in the form of descriptions. If you don’t have enough words on your site, then search engines will flag your website as having “thin content.” This means that they will rank your website lower in the list. Not only that, but you also need to consider what words you’re using on your website. Make sure that you’re using appropriate keywords to describe your business and the services that you offer. As an example, if you’re making a website for your pizza restaurant, then you’ll want to include the phrase “pizza restaurant” throughout the descriptions on your site. Make sure to not go overboard, though. You still want your content to be appealing to people who visit your website.

Images and Alt Text

When adding images to your website, make sure that they’re sized appropriately. You may have some stunning images taken by a professional photographer, but odds are those images are massive in size. While they will often automatically size for your website, they will take longer to load. This will affect the load speed of your website for users, and lower your SEO. When adding images to your site, you also need to remember alt text. Alt text, or “alternative text,” is a descriptive attribute used in HTML code to provide a textual description of an image. Alt text is specifically designed for users who may have visual impairments or use screen readers to navigate your website. This means that you should always add alt text to describe what an image looks like when adding an image to your site. If you don’t add alt text, then you will have a drastically lower SEO score.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


One of the things that a search engine factors into your website SEO is your business’s presence on social media. This includes Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms. When creating your website, make sure to include links to your social media channels on your website. As your following on social media grows, the SEO on your page will improve. Social Media

One of major things factored into your website’s SEO is the loading speed of the site. Above, we briefly covered that aspect with images, but there are other items to consider. As an example, you need to consider what scripts are running on your page, plus if all of the code is up to date. Having a quick load speed is important for a high SEO score on your site. Load Speed

This is one part of SEO you won’t be able to immediately have when you create your website: backlinks. Backlinks are links to your website from other, reputable sites. Focus on creating exceptional content that naturally attracts backlinks, and consider guest posting on relevant websites to build your backlink profile. This means creating blog content or other items that others may want to link to. Backlinks More and more users are looking at websites on a mobile device. This means you need to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile. Some platforms do this automatically (like Squarespace), but other platforms need some extra work for this to happen. Always make sure to check your website on multiple different mobile devices, since how it appears on an Apple device may be different from how it appears on an Android. Usability

Website Design and SEO for Businesses



Having a website is crucial for any business, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t need custom code (in fact, we advise against getting a custom site built). Instead, you want to have a website that you can potentially manage yourself by watching a few YouTube videos.

Always make sure that you have access to the backend of your website. The best web development companies won’t prevent you from having the full run of your site. Instead, they’ll make sure that you can alter your website if you want to.

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


We also want to leave you with some further resources that go into web design and SEO more in depth.

The following books are a good starting point, but there are absolutely more resources out there for you to read that we haven’t listed:

Wordpress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer and Jessie Stricchiola

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design: Designing Great Web Sites is Not Rocket Science! By Jason Beard and James George

Website Design and SEO for Businesses


We understand that creating a website is time consuming.

While this booklet gives some pointers, it doesn’t cover everything; there may be things you run into down the road as you

continue to build out your site. If you ever need advice or extra

assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to give pointers, or schedule a full website build.

Tel: 203-639-2359


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