Although it’s possible to add search engine optimization improvements on a website at any time, it is more effective to begin this process when a site is first being built. By following SEO web design principles from the ground you can gain an SEO head start.
When developing your website, be aware that the following factors can affect your SEO ranking. So its worth considering these factors in the planning stage:
how many pages the site will have
the type of content to be included
how the pages will link to each other
visually appealing design
Do Your Keyword Research
This is an important point- conducting keyword research is vital in good SEO web design. You should be aware of the types of search terms your customers are using to find your product/service and make this match the content on your website. Keyword research should help you focus on producing good quality, informative, keyword rich content. It will also help you discover which keywords to include in the important meta tags within your website, which search engines play close attention to.
Check Competitor’s SEO Ranking
This ties in with the keyword research mentioned above. It can be a useful exercise to analyze your competitors’ SEO strategies before building your own SEO website. By creating a website that follows SEO principles, you are making it easier for search engines to index your site and building the foundations for an SEO campaign to increase your website ranking.
Add Keywords to the URL
Websites tend to rank much better for a particular keyword phrase if that phrase is present in the URL. It follows that when possible, you should add keywords in your URL. The placement of these keywords is also important- aim to add your main keywords at the start of the URL.
Include Keywords in Anchor Text
Keywords can be used as anchor text within website content to link to another page within the site. This is only effective when the linked content is mutually relevant, but when done properly it adds more prominence to the keywords when the site is being crawled by search engine spiders.
Plan Your Site Architecture
The planning stage previously discussed is an opportunity for website owners to formulate a site architecture, i.e. a strategy for interlinking the pages within their site. There must be a clear navigational structure to make the site as user friendly as possible- plus the fact that linking pages is also important in SEO web design.
Implementing SEO best practices on a new website is best done by the web developer, but they must understand the importance and implications of building a website that follows good SEO principles. Be proactive and ask your developer how their method of web design will later affect your website’s SEO. If you’re not convinced by their response you can seek the advice of an SEO company and either get them to implement the technical SEO aspects of your new website. You can even do this yourself if you are confident with HTML.
So remember, unless you’re building a secret website- try and follow good SEO principles at the planning stage to give your website a fighting chance of being ranked by the main search engines.
Rita Auta is the founder of PR Service UK a London marketing company helping small businesses. She has over 5 years experience working for some of London’s top marketing agencies and branched out on her own in 2011. Connect with her on Twitter @ritaauta.