I was recently asked to do a talk for a local group of garden designers. Feeling enthusiastic I wrote this ambitious title then I realised I had to deliver it. The basics are that it’s not just about winning Google over but it is about having a clear message that is going to win you, clients. Your business is a brand and your brand has a personality you need to make sure that the brand doesn’t have multiple personalities. Keep your message and style clear, constant and honest.
When thinking about a website it is import to remember there are 2 main areas; the copy and the visuals. Words help your audience to understand, whereas images and style give the client a feeling about you. Both are equally important but always remember CLARITY, TRANSPARENCY AND CONTINUITY in both words and visuals.
SEO for Google
Let’s get the Google SEO out of the way! There are many search engines but Google is still the most popular. One of the first things you need to look at is your keywords, the words that best describe you and the words people might use to search for you. For example, see below where I was searching “Chimney Sweep Brighton” and the words are highlighted and the search results have returned the most relevant.
In my understanding, Google looks at the text on your website from the top down and makes sure you really are talking about the same thing and not pretending to be something you are not.
- Domain name – this can be your company name or more descriptive e.g. www.posabilities.co.uk
- URL – which should be a short description of what each page is about, for example, http://posabilities.co.uk/email-do-you-know-your-pop-from-your-imap/ don’t just use numbers and letters that mean nothing.
- Page titles – are a short sentence about the page (max 70 characters).
- Page descriptions – can be taken from the text or written specifically for each page to describe its contents (156 characters).
- Headers on page and copy.
You will need different URLs, page titles and descriptions for each page on your site.
Note: Both page title and description are displayed in search engine results. If you do not embed your own page descriptions Google will generate its own from your copy.
Appeal to your client
Now that we have got that over with think about your clients as it is them you want to sell to not Google. It’s not just the words but it’s your brand. Branding is a series of elements that stick in your mind and become instantly recognisable in their own right.
Creating your own style makes your business more authentic and trustworthy, especially if you continue the same style through all aspects of the company. Colours, images and fonts need to match the style you chose for your business. Is your brand a serif font, san serif or slab? And do you know the difference? Read our previous article “Fonts, Types and Text – Whats the difference between Serif and San Serif?“.
Colours are also very important and there are loads of books and articles on the subject. A good example of colour is B&Qs website where they have used the brand orange for the buttons (orange being a call to action colour), then they have teamed it with a contrasting blue that complements the style well.
Waitrose is well known for using green as its brand colour and their subtle use complements the images of food on their website. Waitrose has also developed a strong image style that you recognise without even realising it, as have M&S. What B&Q and Waitrose never forget is that their choices of style have to appeal to their audience.
Finally, Social Media is a hot topic, in my opinion, choose social media that you are comfortable with. It goes back to the 3 brand ingredients CLARITY, TRANSPARENCY AND CONTINUITY if you can not keep to that don’t do it your clients will see straight through you!
SEO and Google are important to make sure your website can be found but Google is not your client. Always keep in mind what does my client want and stick to the brand ingredients, CLARITY, TRANSPARENCY AND CONTINUITY.
Just as an added note if you haven’t already done so, add your business to Google My Business you really should.