It is imperative that your website planning, brainstorming or pre-development session has solid foundations in strategic search engine optimisation. The best time to think about and incorporate SEO into web site design, is in the pre-design phase.
Your website architecture- the way you semantically present your content online to the world is something that needs to be thought of today with tomorrow’s growth in mind.
Making changes to website architecture later can have a really bad effect on your seo and Google indexing. Suddenly familiar URLs are gone, link juice is lost, and inbound links point to nowhere, as you might not be able to contact every single website owner who has a link back to your site, and request a rewrite. Using a server redirect is a stop-gap, accurate initial planning is the answer.
Take a look at our article to help you plan your website seo right, the first time.
SEO, Website Design and World Class Hosting
Look for impartiality in your web designer, hosting company and seo provider.
The ideal website designer will encourage you to use an independent web hosting company, not their own service. You don’t need to be a technical person to have your own hosting account.
The best SEO person will never ask you to link back to their website, and will live and breathe search engine optimisation. If their strategy discussion with you leans towards links, it’s time to leave!
The perfect web hosting company will have fluent English-speaking support staff who can help you either by phone, online support or live chat when things go wrong at 3 in the morning.
Your choice of web technology and presentation makes a big difference in your SEO performance.
If you use a hosting company’s content management system, you are generally at the mercy of gibberish code, which tries to allow for all sorts of mistakes which non-technical users can make, and as a result won’t write the underlying code to your pages the best way.
When you realise there’s no seo performance within the hosting company’s flawed system, you won’t be able to take your website elsewhere, as it will be tied to their platform.
You’ll need to start all over again!
Content Management Systems and SEO
A very brief selection of criteria is presented here, to help you decide whether or not your content management system is right for you. Websites are developed using the CMS systems of the day, and provided that the systems allow you to do certain things, there should be nothing to stop you from achieving fantastic Google rank, provided all the other seo strategic elements are in place, and correct.
Here are some of the key features you should look for in a CMS:
- You need to be able to control the way that URLs are written
- It’s essential that you are able to create custom page URLs
- You must be able to create custom title tags for individual pages
- The CMS must be able to be modified at core level to provide rendering of meta tags and head tag information- both content and sequence need to be editable by the user
- The CMS must not tie you to a web developer, hosting system or designer, and you should never ever have to provide a link anywhere on your website to your seo provider or website designer
- You must be able to take backups of your website at regular intervals, especially after any significant work has been done
Separating Content from Presentation
One important thing is that there is a distinction between content and presentation markup. Websites are styled using CSS, which stands for cascading style sheets, and this keeps presentation separate from the content of the page.
If you decide to change all your text to a different color, or style your page headings a little differently in 12 months’ time, these tasks will be easy with style sheets. Writing new page-level presentation rules into every page on a 100 page website can take a very long time.