Website Design and SEO

Sections of this topic

    How to Achieve a Great Look and Search Engine Optimization

    Website design and SEO

    For the past few months, I’ve been working with a client on their website redesign. The first thing that the lead project Partner, Peter, told me was that he loved a clean, sleek look. One of his friends has a site that he admires, and Peter would like to achieve something similar:

    My client also liked the look of another site, closer to his industry: Both of these sites have a very large graphic that occupies the space closest to the upper right hand corner. Here’s the problem: search engines work by spidering a website, starting at the top left corner. These sites display graphics in that valuable space. What’s wrong with that? Let’s start with some basic SEO principles.

    Website SEO Basics

    Search engines all have an algorithm that determines what the site is about, and which words (keywords) describe that. Generally, Search Engines place emphasis on the first 200 words, Headings, Subheads, bolded, italicized, and underlined words.

    So, if you’ve placed a graphic in the top left spot, the search engine wades through HUNDREDS of lines of code before it even gets to the text. Search engines’ algorithms account for this, and the sites’ rankings are negatively affected. SOLUTION: You want to place your most important, keyword-laden text in that area of prime Home page real estate.

    Grab Attention with Headlines

    The Home page headline should really be about THEM – your potential customers’ needs and problems, and how you promise to solve their problems and/or meet their needs. It should not be about YOU – yet.

    • Headlines should grab the visitors’ attention within 2-4 seconds.
    • The next 3-5 seconds should affirm that they found what they’re looking for, and give them a reason to stay on the site.
    • These should promise a benefit to the visitor and incorporate the most important KEYWORDS.

    The best headlines should be:

    • Benefit-driven
    • How-To
    • Attention-grabbing
    • Offer-driven
    • Ask a question
    • Direct statement

    With these concepts in mind, you can boost your website rankings quite a bit by just re-arranging the graphic placement to a lower position on the page. For more tips, tricks, and SEO insights, check out CVG, Inc.

    Do you have other tips for Home page SEO and Headlines? Please share!


    For more resources, see our Library topics on Marketing and Social Networking.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book, The WebPowered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide will be available in May 2012. Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant, and social media consultant. She helps clients establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @