Searching for a website designer can be frustrating – Maine web design is no exception. You’re probably not ecstatic to shell out cash and how can you know they have the right, cutting edge approach?
If you don’t have the time to research every new move in the web design industry, that’s okay. We’ve done the groundwork for you! There are 3 important things you should know before hiring a website designer and they are as follows.
1. Website designers should have an understanding of search engine optimization.
Maine web design is in some ways very much like opening a bricks and mortar store in Maine.
Imagine you’ve just opened a charming little ice cream shop. If you’re located on Main St. in Freeport or in the heart of the Old Port, visitors will see your shop and drop in. If instead your shop is on a back road in the woods, you’re unlikely to have any passerby drop-ins.
Even if you have a stunning web design, it will all be for naught if users don’t see you in search engine results.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, 70-80% of users ignore paid ads, & 75% never scroll past the 1st page. #SEO
Those make a very strong case for search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a process used to improve a website’s rank for specific search queries.
For those of you who are visual learners, here’s a video explaining the basics of search engine optimization:
What many people don’t realize, is that even though web design and SEO are separate services, they overlap in many areas.
Without the necessary precautions, your business risks losing most of your rankings and organic search traffic by redesigning a website or migrating to a new CMS. When your website designer has an understanding of SEO, the right steps will be taken from the beginning and built into the framework of your website.
2. Every Maine web design should be responsive.
“Responsive design” is by no means a new approach to web design. It’s been around for years and at this point, the majority of websites are on board. Still, we thought it deserved a mention since some Maine businesses (and even Maine web designers!) haven’t made the switch.
Responsive web design is an adaptable way of designing websites. The layout adjusts seamlessly to the screen size you view it on; desktop, mobile, tablet, etc. To see what we mean, simply take this very window and adjust it’s size with your cursor at the bottom right.
As you can see above, this website displays appropriately on all screen sizes. Not only is this important for user-experience, Google’s search engine algorithms are now favoring mobile-friendly websites – so it’s important for SEO too!
To check if your web design is mobile-friendly, enter your URL into Google’s website test.
3. Want local website traffic in Maine? You need a unique approach.
You already know that SEO is important to the success of your website, but did you know that there’s a different approach for ranking locally?
Perhaps you own a catering business, landscaping company, restaurant, or something else that has a limited physical reach. If your business focuses on the Maine area or a specific city, it’s important to optimize for local searches.
For this, take the following steps:
- Come up with a list of local keywords. Search queries like ‘scarborough maine sushi’ and ‘bar harbor maine hvac’ that relate to your business.
- Enter your keywords into Google Trends. This tool allows you to determine if anyone’s actually searching the keywords.
- Target the best keywords throughout your website’s content as well as social media.
- Moz Local will tell you if your website’s local listings are complete and consistent. If they aren’t, you can manually update them or elect to pay for their service.
- Get active in your community. Interacting with other Maine businesses and organizations will help search engines see that your business is where you claim to be located. Be sure to link back and post about these interactions on your website and social media.
With the right website designer, your online woes will end come launch day. Here’s to a Maine web design that reaches customers statewide and beyond!