Being involved with a business’ website design from the start is a massive benefit for a number of reasons. Not only does it mean we can get under the skin of what goals and achievements we need to make, but it means that we can be there to advise at every stage on best practice for search engine optimisation, and ensuring that the website does what we want it to do with the increase in traffic.
Here’s a few points to get you started:
Arguably one of the most crucial parts of an SEO campaign, your keyword strategy should be well researched, thought out and targeted to the pages that are going to best serve the searcher.
Once you have your keyword strategy in place, you can then create the best quality content for your landing pages. Keyword stuffing is an old hat technique now, but making sure your content answers the searchers question; provides the service; or sells the product that the searcher is looking for then great.
Your keyword strategy can then be rolled out to help design the website’s sitemap, to your marketing and communications team to help create their content calendar for the future, and is one of the main driving forces behind an SEO or PPC campaign.
The golden rule to have in mind when mapping out the pages on your new site is to enhance the user journey, and make it as easy as possible for both people and search engines to get exactly where they want to go.
Hiding pages deep down in the dark depths of your website, with poor navigation and minimal links will, obviously, give it less opportunity for crawlers to give it the authority that you might want it to have. If it’s easy for a user to miss a page, then Google could miss it too – and what if that page was the number one service that you wanted to promote?!
A good keyword strategy will help you to decide which pages to place where, and it could make you think about consolidating or even splitting out pages as you begin to think of the user first.
It’s great to have a demo link of your upcoming site so you can see how it will look and feel before you officially launch it. Making sure that these pages, or the site as whole, isn’t found in Google can be a great benefit especially if you are uploading your content to your demo site ready for the big push.
Duplicate content can be a very quick rankings killer, and if it is of your own-doing then it’s even more painful. Having a digital marketing campaign makes sure that you tick the boxes of best practice even before the launch day arrives.
Your keyword strategy is done, your pages are built and now you are uploading your content. But what if you have more than one page to talk about the same subject? Or related products that you want to promote? Careful internal linking helps your user move around from page to page.
Creating anchor text links in the content also helps to highlight keywords on the page that your content may be relevant for. Whilst this method should be used sparingly, internal links above the fold are a great signpost for search engines for your keywords.
Whether you’re looking at replacing your current website, or creating a brand new website altogether, make sure that you consider the new page addresses and redirecting old pages to them.
For existing sites, having old URLs sending users to a page that doesn’t exist anymore is bad form. Not only does this look like you haven’t maintained the site, but for SEO, it means that any authority that that page may have gained will be lost as the page doesn’t connect to any new content.
Whether you are building a brand new or replacement site, ensuring that your Robots.txt file is updated to allow search engines to access each and every page you want them to is also critical. Of course there might be pages in your site that you don’t want search engines to index so that they are found in their results, such as an intranet or internal profile pages. Using your Robots file properly can help you distinguish these road blocks for Google quickly and easily, but beware – any incorrect use of this coding can result in your page being omitted completely, meaning no one, including Google, can find you!
Always thinking mobile first, your website should look and work just as well, if not better on a mobile screen, as the site is displayed on a smaller screen. Considering these layouts straight away, including how your optimised content is going to display will help you to get the “Mobile Friendly” tag in Google, as well as encouraging higher search engine rankings.
Choosing between a responsive layout or a dedicated site is a topic within itself, however always asking ‘how will this look/work/interact on a mobile’ will ensure that you don’t fall down at the last hurdle.
At Ultimate we have in-house specialists to advise as and when you need it, or to hold your hand from inception through the launch and on-going. Give us a call today for a chat about how we can help you with your online venture.