Set Your Website Up to be Search Engine Friendly
Why SEO Web Design is So Important
In this SEO Tutorial Video, Chris J. Everett discusses why businesses need to consider SEO before building a new website.
Hello and welcome to today's edition of SEO Educators. I'm Chris Everett. I'm an SEO consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. And today I'm going to be discussing a topic that's really reared its ugly head for me here recently which is I've had some clients that have come to me after building their websites who are interested in SEO services and we've run into some issues because of the way that their website was built.
So what I want to talk about today is why you need to consider SEO before you actually build and deploy your new website. So that really kind of stems here from... there's multiple things that we'll talk about from why you actually want to consider SEO before building your website which is the technologies that are used to actually build the site. The structure of the sitemap so that you can structure your content in a SEO friendly way. And, of course, migrating from your old site to the new site and doing that in a SEO friendly manner as well.
And the point here is we need to do things the right way the first time so we don't have to do it twice, which means, of course, extra dollars out of your pocket. So, the first thing I'll talk about is the technologies that are used in building an SEO friendly website. Certainly there are things that you may know that you need to avoid like Flash which really has no, little to no SEO value at all. As you're building your website out you want to avoid things like having text in an image.
You know, if you have a nice, big header image that it could be the prettiest image or the prettiest website out there but if you have your phone number or your address or, you know, text in an image, that has no SEO value at all. What you really need to do is focus on having spiderable, parsible text on your websites so that the search engines can crawl it and determine, you know, they can't crawl any text that's in an image. So you want to make sure that you have actual real text on your pages and limit this text in images.
The second thing that we want to discuss here is choosing an SEO friendly CMS that you can use to optimize your website with down the road. You know, SEO friendly CMSs there are several of them out there. CMSs like WordPress or Exponent CMS. WordPress requires a little customization as far as plugins that you can use. Whereas Exponent pretty much has everything built in that you need to control such as your search engine friendly URL structures meaning you can include your keyword targets in your URLs. You can have full control over your meta data – which would be your page titles, your description tags, as well as your content structure.
Typically when you're building a website in a CMS, you're going to have predetermined CSS style sheets that have nice structured H1 tags – header tags – H2 subheader tags – which are both important for SEO. I recently had a client who came on and they had a website that was built in straight HTML but it had, it used no header tags whatsoever, so. Which, of course, is not good for SEO. You know, the search engine spider wants to see that well structured content with your keyword inclusion in your header in your H1 tag which is basically the title of your page. You also want to have keyword inclusion throughout your website content, as well.
And SEO friendly CMSs give you the ability to continually update your website as well and keep your content fresh and keep your visitors coming back and that sort of thing. So, you really want to avoid the old, outdated stuff that's not search engine friendly and you want to get something – you want to build your website on a platform that's going to allow you to update content and do it in an SEO friendly manner. And these are things you want to ask your SEO consultant or whoever is going to be building your website – Is my website going to be built search engine friendly?
The second benefit that you're going to get from thinking about SEO prior to building your website is it's going to help you build out your sitemap. You know, we've all seen your top level sitemap, typically something like Home, About Us, Contact Us, Services, that sort of thing. But if you're thinking about SEO prior to actually building your site, you can build out a nice sitemap that covers, you know, any sort of products or services that you have. So that you can conduct keyword research and build some landing pages targeted for those keywords and really develop some keyword focused content that's going to benefit you down the road for SEO.
So it really plays a good role in helping you organize your site structure and, you know, make sure that you're targeting all the necessary pages that you can for keywords for your products and services.
And then, lastly, what I'm going to discuss here is the current state of indexation. So, as you migrate from one website to another, certainly if you – if it's a brand new website you don't necessarily have to worry about this – but if you have a website currently and you're just redesigning it you may have several pages that are actually indexed already by Google in the search results.
So if you've redesigned your website and – keeping in mind that you have full control now over your SEF URLs – if one of your URLs changes say from mydomain.com/services to mydomain.com/atlanta-seo-services.html. If someone finds that old URL in the search engine results and you haven't put forth any sort of redirect structure, so that you can tell the search engines that this URL is no longer in place, here's a 301 redirect to my new URL, you can really hinder yourself quite a bit if you don't put that in place. If someone finds it in the search results and they click on it, they're going to get this nasty 404 not found error that tells them well the page that their looking for, the content that they're looking for is not found and more often than not, they're going to bounce right off your website. You're going to lose potential traffic, you're going to lose a potential customer and, of course, that equals money.
So, you want to make sure that you're thinking about your current indexation and how that might impact your new website and your SEO value prior to actually launching and deploying a new website. So, these three things are three major reasons why you need to think about SEO even if you're not going to do a program right now and you might do a program in six months. You want to set yourself up for success at the beginning. Do it right, or do it twice and save yourself some money.
If you have any questions, contact me on my blog at www.chrisjeverett.com or you can visit my company's website Captivate Search Marketing which is captivateseo.com. Thanks for watching.