Most business owners assume they will have their website designed, then focus on SEO. This is all wrong! The fact is, you have to understand how search engine optimization is a form of marketing your website, and how it must be implemented during the design phase. Going about it backwards will only end in more work, and far more frustration than you’d like.
Whether you’re just building your first website or are redesigning an existing site, there are some very important considerations you need to keep in mind in order to reach your ultimate goal: a website that is found by search engines and your target market, and converts well.
Here are a few SEO tactics that are essential in the design of your website.
Keywords – a top priority. It is essential that you choose the right keywords for your website, before the design begins. Ultimately, the most effective keywords will be responsible for leading your target audience to your website. However, it’s also important that you avoid overuse or “spamming” with keywords. This could have a negative affect on your search results. Your copy should be original, offer value, and be clear and concise. Use a free tool like Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool to begin your research.
Linking structure. Links coming into your website from relevant, authority sites are important, but your internal linking strategy is important as well. Link to your blog posts, from your posts to your main pages, and be sure that every page on your website can be reached within 1 to 2 clicks. If you’re having your website redesigned, it is critical that your designer redirects any changed links. Why? Google’s “bots” won’t crawl your site if they reach a 404 error, which will prevent your website from ranking.
Pictures really are worth 1,000 words. On your website, pictures should be optimized with titles and alternate text similar to those keywords a potential customer would use in searching for your product/service.
All of these strategies can be implemented in the course of designing your website, and should be. Ultimately, if web design is done without considering SEO factors, it will result in additional stress and work that could have been avoided!