The entire purpose of this article is to locate and pinpoint the important SEO aspects of a website before sending it to designing and developing team.
The article would also include a SWOT analysis and have informative pricing models. But, by all means it shouldn’t be considered as a must have pre-launch checklist because the idea is to only show the SEO importance, something that will be really difficult to change once the website is up and running.
Most of the times, clients are unable to identify true reasons why their website is lacking behind in rankings. In such a situation, a technical audit must be conducted followed by a market analysis and conversion funnel review before the client is informed about the reasons. The reasons can indicate the next course of action such as completely changing the website design to reevaluating the whole business model. Either way, clients must be given a proper feedback.
Such problems only arise when search engine optimization (SEO) is truly looked upon after the business and its website are already on the go. Such mistakes are even made by renowned and well-run companies. But, it is not surprising at all because even among the best universities' marketing mix course, there is no mentioning of SEO and the science behind it.
- Focus on strategic areas as per SEO
- Problem areas before website design
- Problem areas before website build
The following questions must be answered to determine the strategic areas.
1. How should the mission statement be displayed online?
Once the company needs to identify and write their value proposition then the next step is towards displaying it online. It is essential to note that the value proposition must resolve the customer issues. It should contain the right text and terms that would help in matching the customer needs and the offerings of the company. This would also help the company to determine whether they want to evolve or diversify along the lines of their original offering because the internet is filled with similar products or services. Search engine results would inform the reader about it.
2. Does the business completely understand and covers customer needs?
Before any move is made, it is important to distinguish certain facts about the offered products, services and its market. Firstly, are the customers of the product or/and service growing? If yes, then the demographics of those customers should be determined and lastly, the interaction points of the customers with the product, both online and offline. Once these points are gauged, the company can then properly project their offerings on their website.
3. The online competition, its performance levels and size?
It is vital that the company knows about their online competition, its performance and size. The way the competitor has projected itself and its website would help the business learn a lot about themselves and their website. The product, its objective and the way it is being offered, everything can help in informing you as to exactly where you stand.
The technical areas are the problem areas that need to be properly examined before website design.
1. Which one to choose HTTP or HTTPS?
HTTPS is regarded as the number one ranking factor by Google and the web designer should explain whether HTTP or HTTPS is right for your website. If the website would also be an online store then HTTPS is a must.
2. How to manage URLs?
It is essential that all URLs of your website are unique. No duplicate content! It is also considered as a best practice to use canonical version of URLs.
3. What should be the speed of the website?
The web page speed is crucial for optimal website performance and customer experience. Due to short submission timelines, web page speed must not be comprised on.
4. What languages to use for different countries?
If the website covers more than one location and has a different language for every region then local SEO and duplicate content issues must be rectified before website designing. A more appropriate and intelligent approach would be to have different and local domains for each country. But, it all depends on factors such as finances, ability to have unique content for every website and its maintenance.
5. Is the platform flexible and easy to edit?
A website must be flexible and easy to edit because Google continuously updates its requirements. And a website needs to adhere to the new recommendations and requirements. Therefore, an easy to edit website would be able to perform the necessary changes immediately.
The areas to be determined before the website is being built.
1. The design of the website and links
An informative and easy to read website design is always helpful for a business. Well planned structure will allow search engines to index website’s content more easily which is a plus for ranking factors. Moreover, the keyword that the user has looked for must be found within four internal links of the homepage. The architecture must be simple and the information required by the user must not be deep inside the website otherwise the user would soon become disinterested and leave.
2. Types of content.
The website can contain different types of content to interact with users. But it is necessary to determine which one you will use the most. A lot depends on the purpose of your site. If you need to inform users or provide news – obviously, you would mostly use text in a nice and easily readable format. For online stores, you would definitely need a lot of high-quality pictures of your products. And for websites providing any trainings, it’s best to have videos. Keeping this in mind, you need to know that purpose of the website defines the format of the content.
3. The machine readability of the website and its structured data.
4. Compatible design
With different types of devices coming to the fold such as personal computers, tablets, smartphones, etc., it is important to the website's success that it’s compatible with all of them. A complete and flawless website that works well on every device should be the way forward.
It is a known fact that a business owner already is managing quite a few things simultaneously. They hardly have time to give attention to every tiny detail but this article has given them the broad point to work with. They can communicate those points to the web designer and developer so that the important areas are covered.