Saturday, February 5, 2011

SEO design ?

Hi all,
I just found and interesting article about wed design and SEO written by Craig. Find out why it can be beneficial to start SEO work early in a websites development.
Ensuring that a website is properly optimised for search engines is one of the most important steps that an online business will take. Until a business manages to become renowned online (such as amazon, ebay, etc) a huge amount of their traffic will be derived from search engines. Due to this it is vital that the website appears near the top of search engine results pages. Despite the fact that most business owners are aware of the importance of achieving a high ranking in the big 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo and Live) a huge number of them don’t even consider search engine optimisation until they have either launched a website or are preparing to. This article aims to explain why it can be hugely beneficial to start an SEO campaign at the same time as, or slightly before, the website is being designed.

Keyphrase Selection
One of the most important steps in the search engine optimisation process is the selection of keywords. There are several important aspects to look for in a keyphrase that is likely to prove successful. Firstly it is vital that enough people actually search for a particular term. Secondly it is necessary to analyse the competitors that already hold the page one rakings for that phrase. If the top 20 results in the major search engines are held by dominant authority sites with high pagerank ratings it is extremely unlikely that a new website will be able to have a strong impact. Finally the keyphrase has to be considered in relation to how well it relates to the page that it will be linked to. For example, for businesses it is integral that they not only generate traffic but also that the traffic is likely to convert to sales. Typically highly generalised keyphrases will generate traffic that is looking for information rather than products or services so it is worthwhile looking into more specific long-tail keyphrases.
When designing and building a website it is enormously beneficial if the keyphrases have already been selected. This allows the developer to tie the different sections of the website (or product categories for e-commerce sites) to the keywords making each of these sections far easier to optimise for in the long run.
On-site SEO
One of the first steps that an SEO specialist will take when beginning to optimise a website is to analyse the website and create a list of recommendations on what can be improved to give the site the best chance at achieving high rankings. While often these changes are relatively straightforward to implement after a website is completed it makes far more sense if these recommendations are made early to allow the designer to implement them on their initial build. By doing this the owner of the site can save the considerable amounts of time and money that would have been incurred by writing and then rewriting the code and content on each page.
Another reason for starting SEO before a site is completed is that the copy on the site can be written with search engines in mind. While it is obviously important that the website is written for its human visitors first and foremost there are some straightforward SEO techniques (such as utilising the keyphrase within the text and linking to other relevant pages on the site using keyphrase appropriate anchor text) that can help boost a websites ranking. By figuring out the keyphrases early and writing SEO friendly content from the start a lot of the time and money that is often spent redrafting content can be saved.
Ultimately while it is perfectly possible to embark on an SEO campaign after a website has been completed it usually makes far more sense to start it early and then build the site with the SEO in mind. This can save the considerable amount of time that rewriting Titles, headers, descriptions, content, etc can take and result in a website that is ready to launch with the highest potential to rank highly.


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