SEO Website Development
The SEO Web Design Process
Are you designing or redesigning a business website to sell your company's name, products or services? There is a lot to consider. Your planning and preparation can be critical to the website's profitability and ultimate success. So, whether you are designing a new website for search marketing or optimizing an existing website, the advice you get can be the key to your success on the Web.
Our six-step process for successful SEO Web Design or Optimized Website Redesign has a proven track record and it is easy to follow.
6-Step Process for SEO Website Design or Optimized Website Redesign
Phase 1: Planning to Compete in Search Engine Marketing
Below are questions for you to consider during the planning phases and some topics to discuss with your staff.
- What are the collective goals for your company's website?
- Who is your target audience online? How does that differ from your existing audience?
- For a user to search for your company on the web, what would they likely know about the features or benefits for your products and services?
- Will your website require specialized sections like a shopping cart or a database link? Do you need a portal for membership activities? Have you considered adding a media center for Universal Search?
- Has your company chosen a domain name and does that name contain any of your SEO keywords?
- What are your projections for increased revenues gained from your investment in search marketing?
- What are your timelines for web design and "Go Live"? What is your SEO budget?
Phase 2: Selecting Your Website's SEO Content
SEO Keywords:Strategically select words that you want your website to rank for on the major search engines. Then, pick the 10 keyword phrases considered best for the search engines to use in leading new visitors to your company's website. Remember, picking highly ranked keywords for a new domain can be risky and your competition may already be well ranked. It is recommended that you consult a Search Engine Marketing professional to review your keywords. A trained SEO engineer can analyze a keyword's search volume and calculate percentages for keyword share, keyword engagement and keyword effectiveness for same and similar search phrases.
SEO Domain Name: You should consider selecting a domain name for your website that contains: 1) your company's keywords or keyword phrases; or 2) a name that seems brandable for your company's marketing efforts.
SEO Web Copy: The copy for each of your web pages has to be written, proofread and spell checked. If you do not have an experienced web copywriter on staff, you should consider using someone who can edit your company's information to optimize its effectiveness for search engine marketing. Most importantly, your web copy should effectively establish your site's "theme" and lead both the search engine algorithms and your human users to important pages.
SEO Graphics: All photos, illustrations and graphics for each of your web pages should be gathered and submitted on schedule. When used correctly, graphics can evoke the emotional response and personal involvement you need to interest your online visitor. Spiders on the other hand cannot see images but by using "white hat" SEO techniques you can feed the spiders all of your content including your Social Media links.
SEO Store & SEO Product Inventories:In general, the more you have for the sale, the more time that will need to be allocated for this step. But, this is where your website has the opportunity to convert clicks into conversions. All the inventory items with descriptions and pricing for all sizes, colors, categories, etc. will need to be selected, photographed, written about and organized. If your company's online sales need to be interfaced to database links, then you need to gather all the necessary software and technical data.
Phase 3: Optimized Website Design or Redesign
- Good SEO design starts at your website's Home Page and utilizes subsequent pages to develop your site's theme, present your products or services, educate your visitor and move the human user towards a conversion for either a purchase or completion of a contact form or maybe an immediate phone conversation.
- If you do not have a technically competent SEO person on staff, you will need to find Web Design firm that is both experienced in SEO web development and one that stays on top of the changes to search engine algorithms. This can be tricky since spiders are constantly evolving to improve search results by establishing new Rules for Search Relevancy. So be aware, an older website with a high page rank would probably loose rank if it was taken live today. Typically, the search engines grandfather existing sites, after all they were created prior to changes in the today's rules for search engine optimization.
- For a new website, the website architecture of your company's Home Page will be important as this is the entry point for the vast majority of your site's visitors. All the technical SEO goodies will be installed as the code is built for each web page.
- For an optimized website redesign, the SEO firm may suggest the use of Landing Pages to facilitate multiple entry points based on your site's previous performance and/or your company's current marketing efforts.
- Your participation in the next step is important. It's time to review the initial website design and to discuss possible changes. Be patient, getting the pages right may take several cycles of adjustments. NOTE: The opinions of your next door neighbor are really only valid if that person falls in the target market of your consumer. Always keep in mind the user the website is intended to reach. After all, your neighbor may not be an online shopper.
- The SEO content (copy, images, illustrations, product info, etc.) that you've gathered or contracted to be done will be installed and the internal linking strategy will be implemented to maximize your website for both the spiders and humans.
Phase 4: SEO Website Hosting
SEO Website Hosting Your company will need to select a web hosting service for your new SEO website. Choose a web hosting provider that has a positive track record. For a search marketing website, their servers should be up and running 99% of the time. Don't forget, when you're marketing online, your website is open for business 24/7.
- It's time to Go Live. Now that your SEO website is up and running, all components and features will be tested to ensure that all is functioning as planned - i.e. the pages appear correctly in the major browsers, the links go to the right places.
- When your website's files are transferred to the selected server, the final SEO issues will be cared for and certain folders will be copied to the root file to reduce Code Bloat.
Phase 5: SEO Maintenance Contract? or In-house Site Maintenance?
- Putting your website on the internet is just the beginning. In order to maximize the return on your investment, your website will need periodic maintenance to stay SEO current.
- Now is the time to execute your external linking strategies with other relevant and trusted websites. You can save yourself a tremendous amount of time if you focus on building authoritative links versus a large quantity of unrelated links. If you do not have a strong working knowledge of external linking, you may want to consider paying an experienced SEO professional as this task can be crucial to your success in obtaining the needed page rank.
- Your website's content should be updated routinely to keep visitors returning to the site. Search engines also look favorably upon websites with strategies that continue to produce fresh content.
- If you selected a Search Engine Optimization plan, your site will be continually monitored and adjusted to improve its ranking in the major search engines.
- If you have chosen to maintain your SEO website in-house, you need to appoint someone who keeps their ear to the wind to stay on top of the rapid changes associated with search engine marketing.
Phase 6: SEO Marketing with New Website
- Once your website is launched, promotion can begin. In the realm of search engine optimization, the site will be submitted to various search engines and web directories.
- It can take up to 3 months for your site to show up in the major search engines. During this time, it is recommended that you take additional steps towards promoting your new site.
- Other forms of web promotion include putting the domain url on all print materials, press releases and advertisements. This would include announcing the web address on radio or television advertising associated with your company's marketing efforts.
- Whether you produce your analytics in-house or use an SEO professional to create routine reports, once the search engines find you, maximize your success by taking time to study all the available data. This may seem somewhat overwhelming at first but you will quickly see how important and sophisticated search engine marketing has become.
Now that your company has become a major player in the world of search engine marketing, there are really no limits. Try to think outside the box, always play by the rules, use only white hat techniques and invite your SEM professional to your company's next marketing meeting.