Many companies have gone through the expensive process of having a website designed or updated only to discover that the new website can’t be found in the search results. To prevent this costly misstep, we recommend that SEO services be included as a component of any website development project.
Where web designers focus on the creative effort of designing a website that is attractive and making your products a services appeal to buyers. The SEO persons focus is on what it takes to make a website appeal to the search algorithms and understand how to prevent loss of rank when an existing site is replaced.
Where does SEO fit in the design process?
Before you design, Audit.
A Website Audit will evaluate competitors’ sites and your site to determine what is and isn’t working. The Audit will explore the most important words in your industry and develop a strategy and structure to provide the best exposure for those terms to the search engines.
Prior to Launch, Tune.
A pre-launch optimization pass should be made to tune title tags, page titles, page names, and meta-descriptions. This will boost relevancy for your content, improving how your content appears in search results and improve your click through rate (CTR).
Incoming links to your pages should be evaluated and then redirects created that will focus those links on the most appropriate new pages. This will assure that any existing page rank isn’t lost on content that can no longer be found.
Analytics should be installed on the news site. Using the same tracking code as the previous site will make it easy to evaluate the effects of the changes and compare the old site to the new site, month over month and year over year.
When you Launch, Notify.
A new sitemap should be created to be sure search engines can find all your new content. Google should be notified if your domain name is changing and Google Webmaster tools settings made to configure any URL preferences, and set the primary county, if you are not marketing worldwide.
After Launch – Follow up, Maintain, and Optimize.
If you are using a content management system (CMS), it should be kept up date with the latest revisions to reduce the likelihood of being hacked. Google Analytics should be reviewed to measure the effectiveness of paid and organic marketing efforts. Content that converts may merit off-site marketing and content that doesn’t convert re-evaluated.
Google’s Webmaster Tools should be checked routinely to evaluate the effectiveness of the effort. Done correctly, missing page (404) errors should be minimal and errors should fall off dramatically as cached content is flushed from the page cache of the popular search engines.