Search engine optimization (SEO) tends to be an afterthought for most companies when they launch a new website or website redesign. Many of our clients want to think about SEO after the site is up and running usually because they don’t understand the importance that one has on the other.
SEO used to be thought of as a bag of tricks that is done to an existing website to get it to rank higher in search engine results. Some of the main tactics that were used included keyword stuffing and link building in mysterious places. Although these types of tricks used to be pretty effective, search engines have become much more sophisticated and won’t be fooled by black hat SEO anymore.
Search engines are now more concerned with the quality of a website and put importance on items such as the following:
Search engines like websites that are organized and easy to understand and this includes the very structure of your website. Your website should include parent and child pages to help search engines understand how your content is organized. For example, if you have a law firm you may have a parent page called “services” and then child pages explaining each service such as estate planning or business succession planning. An organized URL structure would be something like the following: www.abclawfirm.com/services/estateplanning.
Search engines don’t care how many keywords you have if your content is written poorly. In fact, poorly written content could even get you penalized. Place importance on the quality of your website content and use headers that pertain to the paragraph below to keep it organized. And yes, do use your keywords, but don’t overdo it and stuff your keywords in every other sentence. Basically, make it sound natural.
A sitemap lists the web pages of your website to tell search engines how your website is organized. Search engine web crawlers read this file to crawl your website more accurately. Your web developer or SEO will be able to create your sitemap and submit it to the search engines.
High-Quality External Links
One of the ways search engines measure the importance of websites is by counting the number of links a page has. The idea is that more important websites will likely have more links from other websites. This is one area where black hat SEO got its name. SEOs used to get pretty clever with where to place links such as by replying to forums with a link to the website. Search engines can’t be fooled in this area anymore. They require high-quality links. One example of high-quality link building is getting a link from a local newspaper who wrote about your business and naturally just included a link to your company website. Or maybe your business product is sold by an online retailer who naturally links to your website. The idea is to get links that are just a part of doing the business you are already doing.
Planning out these details after a website is already built can be a huge hassle and may cause a lot of issues with your original plan, especially if you have to restructure your website and add or delete pages. Save yourself some time and energy by putting these items at the top of your list in the planning stage.
We highly recommend working with a web development company who also specializes in SEO services. This will ensure that you not only get a beautiful, user-friendly, custom built website but that it is also optimized properly for search engines. Having these services provided by one company will also help keep the communication smooth and effective. Don’t let anything get lost by being the middleman.
DoubleDome specializes in both Web Design and SEO services, and can help your company build a great website that ranks well in search engines. Call us at 888-799-6067 or fill out our consultant contact form for more information.