Are you considering building a new website, or currently in the process? If so here are 7 critical considerations to maximize your SEO results.
1. What keywords do you want to be found for?
A keyword is what your customer types into a search engine, for example if you are a fancy dress shop in Brisbane one of your keywords could be “pink wigs Brisbane”.
Keywords are at the heart of an SEO campaign, and it’s really important to write down a list of 10-20 keywords you want your website to be found for. This will also help define the content which will go onto your new website.
2. Do you have content for those keywords?
Once you have defined your keywords, you have to make sure your site has information about those keywords. SEO is about connecting customers searching for information with websites that have that it. If your content doesn’t include that information you won’t be able to rank in search engines.
Having this content written beforehand will also help your web developer complete the website quicker, as they can design the site around the content.
3. Transferring SEO value from your old site
SEO is about building trust with search engines, this is often referred to as SEO Authority. Similar to trust in real world relationships, to maintain it you have to communicate what you’re going to do, before you do it. To maintain trust with search engines you have to let them know when you make changes to your website.
If you already have a website, search engines know where certain pieces of information are on your site. If this information is moved to a different page, search engine won’t know where is it is, as a result you’ll lose existing rankings and traffic.
To avoid this happening you have to implement a SEO migration plan. This basically tells search engines that content has moved from one page to another. This is achieved via implementing a specific type of redirect, known as a “301 redirect”. ICreate will ensure this is done for you. However if you don’t have an existing site, then you don’t need to worry.
4. Content area
To get the best SEO results you’ll need to add content to your site regularly. In SEO, content is defined as “useful information”. This doesn’t mean just describing your products and services. Using the example of the Brisbane fancy dress shop again, good SEO content would be “5 Fancy dress idea”. This type of information helps customers buy from you, rather than just selling to them.
However you’ll need an area on your site dedicated to adding this type of content. The most common way to do this is adding a blog. The blog should have a Content Management System (CMS), which allows anybody without technical knowledge to add content to the blog.
5. Tell your SEO company about the new site
If you already have a website and someone is doing SEO on it, tell them you’re planning on changing your site. If the new site launches without their help, a lot of hard work will be undone and you’ll lose rankings and traffic.
6. Can search engines access your content?
Search engines are now very complex, however they have difficulty reading certain types of websites. For example, if you have spent lots of time developing a really useful website but it is 100% Flash (The fancy animated websites), a search engine will have a hard time understanding the site, and SEO rankings will suffer.
A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t select the text with your mouse, it’s most likely search engines will struggle to access it to. You want to make things as easy for them as possible. To avoid this issue, make sure really important information isn’t contained in images or Flash files.
7. Keywords in web addresses
To get the best possible SEO results you need to give search engines as many signals as possible that your website has the information they are looking for. One way of doing this is including one of your pre-selected keywords in the website address, also known as the URL. For example Reload Media want to target the keyword “SEO Brisbane”, so we have built a page with the keyword in the URL http://www.reloadmedia.com.au/seo-brisbane and added content related to the subject.
When you’re in the website redesign phase this is really easy to do, however changing this at a later date can be very costly.
If you consider all of these 7 points your transition to a new site will be much easier, and you’ll not only retain the rankings and traffic you have now, but also improve them.
About the author
Iain Calvert is the Strategy Director at Reload Media (http://www.reloadmedia.com.au), where he helps clients small and large improve their SEO results.
Reload Media is a valued partner of ICreate and delivers incredible SEO results for many of our clients.