No matter what kind of business you own, you need a strong website.
This is a valuable marketing and branding tool for everyone from mom and pop grocery stores to worldwide corporations.
A website helps users find you, get to know you, and walks them through the buying cycle.
It allows you to better understand your audience as well.
But, to best reap the benefits of having an online space, you need to use custom web development.
Here are seven ways custom design sets you apart.
1. Use Your Keywords
The basic purpose of any website is to communicate with your audience.
Keywords help you say your message loud and clear.
These are phrases that are commonly used in your industry as search terms. They can be short and generic, or long-tail phrases, which are a bit more specific.
The more you add relevant terms to your website copy, the better your chances are of performing well in search engine results pages.
By the way, the goal is to get to the first page, also known as the top ten results. This is as far as most users go to get what they’re looking for.
If you’re on the second page or beyond, you’re missing out on a big chunk of your market.
2. Take Advantage of Titles and Meta Descriptions
Speaking of search engine results, each listing on a page will have a title and a meta description.
The title is the link users click on.
It has the name of your landing page and hints at what your content there is all about. As such, it should have a keyword somewhere in the copy.
The meta description is the summary of your page.
This has more characters than a title, allowing you to be more expressive. It is your chance to hook users and convince them to click on your site.
It’s another opportunity to place a keyword and boost your SEO efforts, too.
3. Link, Link, Link
Links aren’t just for the results page of a search, though.
You should be using them throughout your custom web development strategy. This is known as link building.
Link building can basically work in one of two ways.
The first is for internal navigation.
Say you want to guide users to a flash sale or new product. You can put a link to such items on your homepage. This guides users right where you want them to go.
Internal links can be used for much more than products. Add links to your pages to guide users to contact information, client reviews, and blog posts you’ve written.
In addition to internal links, don’t forget to add externals.
External links are a great point of reference. Use them when citing statistics and data, or to quote industry thought leaders. This builds your credibility among consumers.
But, be wary of linking to competitors, which might cause you to lose some potential sales.
4. Name Your URLs
As you’re working on your link strategy, you may come to notice something about the URLs.
Successful SEO sites will have custom-made URLs. Instead of jumbled numbers and letters, these will be clear terms and phrases.
They will be similar to titles – meant to help users understand what each landing page is about.
Follow this example and make unique URLs part of your custom web development strategy. Use keywords in this part of the process to best strengthen your SEO efforts.
5. Extend Your Landing Pages
If you only have a few URLs to name, you may want to consider adding more landing pages.
Beyond product pages and contact information, consider adding a blog.
Blogging creates many new opportunities for extra landing pages. The blog tab itself is like a home page for all of your posts. From there, each post is its own landing page.
As you write more content, you start to create a collection of relevant, optimized URLs.
Plus, each blog post is a custom web development canvas.
You can use all of the above tricks for every new post.
This means more chances to include keywords in your copy and more link building opportunities. It also means creating titles and meta descriptions for all your posts with SEO in mind, which will link to properly named URLs.
Also, you can make money blogging once you’ve built a successful strategy for it.
6. Speed Things Up
No matter how many landing pages you end up having, you need to make sure each one loads quickly.
Google has a standard for pages to load in two seconds or less. Anything that takes longer hurts your SEO efforts.
More importantly, it damages the user experience.
When pages take too long to load, they are less likely to retain someone’s interest.
In other words, slow pages can lead to higher bounce rates, which in turn decreases your traffic and sales numbers.
7. Make Your Custom Web Development Mobile-Friendly
Think your website is all set?
Do a double-check before you have it go live.
Then, check again, but from a smartphone or tablet. If you can’t understand what’s going on, you have a problem.
In the early days of SEO, companies used to fix this issue by making separate URLs for their landing pages. One URL would be for a desktop and another for a mobile device.
But, this can divide your rank efforts.
Now, the best custom web development approach is to create a responsive website. This is one that can adjust to fit any screen, from a large desktop to a standard-size phone.
Responsive design is a key element of custom web development and SEO ranking.
In fact, mobile search has surpassed that of standard computers in 10 countries. If you aren’t ready for these on-the-go users to visit your site, you could be losing a lot of your market.
Web Hosting for Your Custom Design
The final piece of the custom web development puzzle is finding the right hosting service.
A hosting service gives your landing pages the support they need. It keeps everything running as it should and notifies you if something goes wrong.
Click here to discover all of your host opportunities with Attracta.