Foundations of Building a Google Friendly Website
One of the biggest things that can affect your search rankings is the way in which your website is built.
Think of it as building a house, there are things you need and things you want.
Often people will only think about the things they want and forget about what their needs are, or might be in the future. Additional changes after-the-fact takes up time and budget - sometimes you’re stuck with it!
This is the same with a website build; often people will focus on creating a picture-perfect website that looks fantastic and represents their brand image perfectly, then only later think about how they’re actually going to get visitors to it.
Its no secret that one of the best ways to generate traffic is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
SEO practices involve getting your website ranking highly in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) of major search engines, such as Google. A sound SEO strategy is a critical component to online performance and success, and if you're going to invest in building a website then why not do it properly and get ahead of the game from the start?
Thinking about SEO before building your website is important because the structure of the site is one of the most determining factors in a successful SEO strategy. Once the structure of you website has been set it's difficult - if not impossible - to alter later on.
In this article we will take you through how building a website for SEO will save you time and money in the long run, how it works, and how it can future-proof your website for years to come.
Built-in Is More Effective Long term
It's common for people to seek SEO services after they've built their website. Web designers are not SEO experts though, and making changes to an existing website to optimise it for search engines can be much harder and time consuming than building it from the start. Once it is built it is typically very hard to change the layout and the design which both can affect how search engines crawl your website.
Designing and building a website for SEO involves the specific placement of things like heading tags and graphics. If your website was not designed by an SEO expert it is very likely that a lot of these factors will be missing. Yes some designers do know basic SEO and will include the bare minimum, but it is such a broad and constantly evolving field. Only a specialist in the industry who is up to date with the latest changes and industry guidelines can get the best results that will save you time, money and lost traffic in the long run.
Not only does it work out cheaper to get SEO right from the ground up, but it gives you the ability to get your website to the top to the search engines from the moment it goes live.
How does it work?
One of the most important things about building for SEO is the extensive research phase into online search trends. For example, say your website sells kids clothing. After doing some research you discover there is a lot of traffic for the search term 'kids Booties'. With this information, you now know to make 'kids Booties' a prominent menu item, rather than hiding it away as a sub-category that people would have otherwise struggled to find.
It sounds like such an obvious and critical step to take but nine times out of ten no thought goes into the research phase at all. When building a new website it's important to have a set of keywords developed in advance which are prioritised to support conversion data.
This level of research enables you to determine which groups of keywords, and thus which pages on your website, need to be more prominent than others. Let's go back to the kids clothing example. Following your research you have decided to target:
- Kids Clothing Melbourne
- Kids Booties -
- Designer kids clothing
- Kids Shoes
Knowing these contain the highest traffic, you then need to dedicate a web page to each of them making sure you integrate these words tastefully throughout - including in places like page titles, text links and headers.
It's also important to consider which content goes where and give prime positions to the keywords that are most popular. Other considerations include domain name and length, site plan and structure, graphic placements, usability, image file names - the list goes on.
SEO is one of the greatest ways to generate the right traffic, so planning your website with this kind of stuff in mind is easier and far more effective to do now rather than later.
At the end of the day you could have the biggest and best looking website on the block, but if your prospects can’t find it then what does it matter? Viewing your next website build from the perspective of an SEO rather than a designer will ensure your website will not only look that part, but be seen by an exponentially larger audience as well.