Quick guide to a new website

On Page SEO

Make sure to optimize every sub page on the site for a specific keyword by placing the keyword into the different elements. In the example below, I assume the web page is about ”Hotels in Paris”.

First, if you use WordPress, install an SEO WordPress Plugin like the All In One SEO or SEO by Yoast.

The page title – <title>, one of the single most important ingredients for on-page SEO. Try to keep it to a maximum of 60-65 characters, after that Google cuts it (though the words may have influence anyway). Start with the most important and relevant keyword. A good<title> tag for a page called / hotel-Paris can look like this:

Example: <title>Paris Hotel – Centrally Located | Hotel Booking Paris </title>

The main heading (H1) – There should only be one on each web page. Google also think that this is important to determine what the page is about. It doesn’t have to be short but you should stick to a few words.

Example: <h1> Charming hotels in Paris with central location and low prices </h1>

The subheadings (H2, H3, H4), also has a ranking factor on Google, but they are not as important as the H1 heading. H2 has some relevance, H3 a little less, and so on.

Body text (Put keywords in multiple locations in the large body of text) – Repeat the keyword in the body text of the page in 2-4% of the total content, and insert some synonyms of the word to avoid that Google sees the texts as spammy. Google knows synynoms pretty good now. Everything will of course be written with the purpose to be inviting, easy to read and attractive. A reader shouldn’t take notice of any SEO.

The filenames of the images – rename image files to relevant names and save the pictures as web (in photoshop for example) so they don’t become too heavy to load in the browser. You could for example rename one image to hotelparis.jpg and another to book-hotel-paris.jpg.

Give images alt tags that describe what you see in the picture: for example: alt=”A hotel in Paris owned by Paris Hotels.”

The meta description  = is not important for SEO itself, but important to get people to click on your result in the search results on Google. It’s the actual description of the page you see on Google – write it inviting and attractive.

URL – the web page address – is important for seo. A page about booking hotels in Paris can have the address parishotels.com/book-hotel-paris and a page about golf trips to Paris can have the URL parishotels.com/golftrip-paris.

 

User Experience and Design

First, ask yourself a question: Who´s supposed to use the web site?

It’s important to simplify as much as possible for the user and, if possible, shorten the path to the goal for the visitor. The goal shouldn’t be more than three clicks away.

Try to place the most important information in a diagonal as seen from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner. Try to place important info along this line as it’s a natural way for the human eye to scan a web page.

The design should be airy.

The most requested links in the menus should be placed in rank order from highest to lowest – from left to right or from top to the bottom.

Are the colors on the page pleasing to the eye and do they work well together? Do they fit for the message you want to convey?

Select the appropriate font and don’t mix too many fonts on the page, preferably not more than three. Use main headings, sub-headings and preambles. Split long texts into paragraphs.

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (Satisfaction) – think in that order as you build the page, for the visitor to stay and make a conversion. S is equal to satisfaction and to get visitors to return to the page.

Attention – You need to be quick and direct to grab people’s attention. Use powerful words, or a picture that will catch the reader’s eye and make them stop and read what you have to say next.

Interest – Try to engage with the visitors enough so that they’ll want to spend their time understanding your message in more detail Gaining the reader’s interest is a deeper process than grabbing their attention. They will give you a little more time to do it, but you must stay focused on their needs. Example: use bullets and subheadings, and break up the text to make your points stand out.

Desire – You also need to help them understand how what you’re offering can help them in a real way. The main way of doing this is by appealing to their personal needs and wants.

Action – Finally, be very clear about what action you want your readers to take, rather than just leaving people to work out what to do for themselves.

Test your site in different browsers and versions

Test the user experience in Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. Adjust so that it is perceived as equal as possible in all browsers and is as useful as possible.

For older browsers, it may be virtually impossible to get the modern looking and feel, but please remember first and foremost that the page should be usable for what it is meant for (if you can find your way to and make a hotel booking in the very old browser it’s still ok)

Test your the experience with lower resolution. How is the site experienced on a 800 × 600 screen, or on a mobile device? You will use a responsive wordpress theme so it should be no problem.

 

Website design and color psychology

Get the message across more powerfully.

By learning some basic color psychology, you can aim against a particular target audience and get the message across more powerfully. Here’s a brief introduction to color psychology and web design. Color Psychology in the article is based on a mostly European perspective; in other parts of the world, some colors have a completely different meaning for people.

Red exudes energy, increases heart rate and means that it’s urgent. Appropriate for example, final sales. Urgent, passionate, romance, danger, energy.

Blue has a sense of security and safety. Blue is a common and appropriate color for banks and major companies on the web. Assertiveness, sincerity, integrity, security.

Green is associated with prosperity. Green is the color that requires the least of the eye, is ”most comfortable” in the eye. Use to create a calm atmosphere on the website. Prosperity, peace, growth, money.

Yellow is often regarded as optimistic and youthful. Yellow color can be used to entice people who are just looking and looking around the web to buy something spontanously.
Intellect, friendship, warmth, spontaneity, optimism.

Orange calls to action, such as to buy, subscribe or sell. It is often referred to as an aggressive color, but it also exudes resourcefulness and creativity. Innovation, creativity, prompts, ideas.

Pink is traditionally romantic and feminine. It’s very often used with success in marketing products to women and girls.

Black is powerful and elegant and is often a good choice when you are marketing luxury goods.
Power, elegance, sophistication, mystery, death.

Purple is often associated with beauty and royalty, as well as peace and recovery. Often seen in the online stores that sell beauty products.

Gray is neutral and is a good background color. When used in a good way, it may be associated with tradition, sobriety and authority; used it too much, it can, however, give an impression of gloom and a lack of energy. Authority, maturity, security, stability.

White is often associated with purity and innocence. White is also associated with simplicity, hope and goodness. Just like gray and black it’s often used as a background color and works well on news sites. Hope, simplicity, purity, goodness, innocence.

Other
Favicon – the little icon that appears in the tab at the top of the browser. A nice little thing to add to your site.

 

Blogging

Linking a blog to a corporate site can be a great way to get more visitors and increase bookings, but you need to know why to blog and about what. Here is a bulleted list of why you should have an active blog on your site.

A blog takes some time to maintain and you can use some finished articles, or as I think you do, have a lot of knowledge in the area so it is easy tricks together a post. Blog about your area and what have a passion for and it the posts will be interesting. In this case, about Paris in general and Hotels in Paris and more…

Start by writing at least one post a week, and aim to write at least one a day. Visitors and Google loves active blogger.

A blog can show that you are an expert in your field. Give tips and advice.

A blog drives more traffic to your site. Led blog readers to your regular site.

A blog is good for search engine optimization (SEO). Google loves WordPress blogs.

Posts that are well written can serve as link bait. More inbound links = more visitors and inbound links = SEO, ie Google Yum.

Posts can be great for visitors to share on social media.

You can connect Google Authorship to your blog .. which often leads to more visits.

You own your blog posts when you have a blog on your own site. For example, yo do own your facebook posts.

The blog shows that you are active and engaged in the hotel industry.

Some Useful WordPress Plugins (it’s a big chance that you use WordPress as a blogging platform).

Google XML sitemaps.
AddThis Social
All in one SEO pack, or SEO by Yoast.
Meteor slides – responsive slideshows.
Widget Logic – To display different widgets on different pages.

 

Overseas launch of the website

You probably know that there are many different strategies and tactics that can be used to generate more traffic to your site. There’s even more to think about if your business will be targeted toward an audience that is based in several countries.

You need to create a global SEO strategy for your web presence, but a global effort can perhaps be a daunting task and you may not know where to start. Here are some basic tips.

Let someone who knows the language (native speaker) translate the content. Don’t run all the content through Google Translate. Hire native speakers to translate your site. It will be a much nicer experience for the visitors and then there will be a chance that they will remain on the web site and do what you want them to do.

You can have multiple sites in the same language – without taking the risk that Google sees it as ”duplicate content”

Some may avoid the creation of a corresponding .co.uk. for his .com-site with fear that Google will see it as duplicate content, as it’s probably not a big difference in the language of the texts. Either way, Google now supports the linking element ”rel = canonical” between different domains. This means: if you may have similar content, for example on co.uk. and com-sites, you can with the canonical link indicate the exact URL of the domain that should be prioritized for indexing – which removes the duplicate-content problem.

Remember that the canonical link doesn’t have to be used for the same content with different language as Google doesn’t consider sites that have been translated to be duplicate content. Just remember that it’s something to consider when you’re planning to have several sites for different countries with the same language, eg, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Google Webmaster Settings

Many webmasters often use a single site map for all of their website, which is not very efficient to maintain and update. With Google Webmaster Tools you can submit multiple sitemaps, which means you can send one sitemap for each country or region you target. Note that this is only necessary if you use subdirectories for all your sites. Recommended is to register a domain for each country like .se, fi, no, instead of the site.com/se, site.com/.no etc. But you can keep it the way you do with your /se /de etc as they already received some pagerank. You could also consider to move them to their own country domains and redirect users with 301 in robots.txt.

In Google Webmaster Tools, you can geographically target certain websites or parts of your site to some locations. You can find these settings by logging into your Webmaster Tools, look under ”Site Configuration” and change your sites geographic position on the ”Settings” tab.

Create different keyword lists for different countries

If you create a keyword list and assume that it will serve your SEO purposes in all of the countries you are targeting, you will definitely not reach your target audience in these countries effectively. Different keywords can cater to different audiences depending on location, and as an international marketer, you need to identify which keywords are most popular in the countries you are targeting, and optimize the pages for that country. Additionally, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a word or phrase may not be what people are actually using to search for a product or service locally.

To help you identify international keywords for your global SEO strategy, enable the advanced option in Google’s free keyword tool, and select keywords by country and /or language. Enter one of your keywords, select the language and/or country that you want to target, and Google will give you a list of keyword ideas and their search volume.

Make it easy for visitors to find their local site

Even if you take every possible measure to automatically send visitors to the correct domain or sub-section, for example, with automatic detection of their location and redirect to the correct web page, there will be people who are traveling or simply slip through the system and end up on your main .com or .se. So make sure that your various local sites are easy to find. If you have multiple versions of your site in different languages. then add clear visual flags/links that link to your multilingual pages. Add any links at or near the top navigation of the page. For example, you can use the flag icons to link to each country’s website. Please also feel free links to each country or language site in the footer.

Stick to one language per page

Generally speaking, you should not mix languages on the same page. One may think it is a good idea to display on the same page that is intended for the international market, but Google gets confused and it will make your page confusing for the visitor. If you don’t want to build sites for each language and would like to receive information in all languages on a website, then make a page for each language and use your site top navigation and footer to link to sections of your website that is addressed only to visitors from a country, or who speak a specific language.

Generating inbound links to all sites

To generate inbound links are one of the most important elements of SEO, no matter which countries you are targeting. The more inbound links you have from external sites (especially from relevant sites within your business area), the better your site will rank, and the more visibility it will get in the search engines. When you guest blog or ask for incoming links, make sure your .com or s.e-site not are the only sites that it’s linked to. You should strive to get incoming links to all your local sites from sites within the same country. In other words, from sites in Sweden to link to your .se-site and from Norway to link to your .no-site etc.

Have cultural differences in mind

When you are designing your website, you might think that the elegant white layout will have a positive connotation for visitors around the world. In most of Europe and America, white is associated with purity and marriage, but did you know that in Japan, China and parts of Africa are white traditional color of mourning? If your business targets customers in countries with cultures different from your own, learn about these different countries’ cultures in order to understand what appeals to them, compared with people in your country. Once again, hire someone who comes from the country, talks their native language and really understand the culture.

Don’t forget the local competitors in the country

If you are at your office at home in Karlstad, you know who your local competitors are. But when doing a global SEO research, don’t forget that the competitors in other regions may be different. Just because you are engaged in an international business does not mean that all companies abroad also are global. In other words, there may be some competition which you do not even know about yet. Take this into consideration when identifying keywords to target up to each country, so you can participate and compete with the local keywords ”Google-seekers” in each country can use to find the products and services your business offers.

 

An online shop should look like an offline shop

An online shop should be more like a brick and mortar business.
Don’t you think?

Everyone should know where it is and it should be easy to get there. Inside the store, it should be very easy to find the product you are looking for.
There should be clear pricing and a detailed table of contents/nutrition information on every product. If you need help, there must be staff available in each department.
To find your way from one department to another should be easy peasy. The signs should be very clear.
It should be quick and easy to get to the checkout and you should be able to pay quickly and easily with multiple payment methods. Just before you pay, there should be lots of extra useless stuff (like the candy next to the queue) that you find hard to resist.
There shall be no grumpy cashiers and no long queues!

What consumers should find when visiting an online shop
This is what consumers should find when visiting a webshop, according to the European Commission – Consumer Affairs Website

1. Full details needed to contact the trader, including name, address and e-mail
2. Clear information on your right to send the product back
3. Accurate information on your rights in case of a faulty product
4. Clear information on payment options
5. Clear information on delivery options
6. The price should include all taxes
7. Clear information from the start on all the extra delivery charges
8. A clear list of the main product features