Clients will invest a lot of time, effort and money on a visually beautiful website.
And then the discussion turns to SEO. What is SEO? Why isn’t SEO included in a new website? Why do I need SEO? What is ongoing SEO? These are great questions and I want to address them one at a time.
Let me start with giving you a quick definition of SEO. I mentioned the new, visually beautiful website you have just created and published. Perfect! That website is now out there. Once someone gets to the website they are satisfied they came to the right place.
The key phrase to address is, ‘once someone gets to the website’. How will a searcher know your website is out there and offers everything they need? How will a searcher find your website? Statistics show us that most traffic to any website is through one of the major search engines: Google, Yahoo or Bing.
This is where SEO comes in
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It helps your website become noticed and is attractive to the search engines. SEO happens both on your website and off your website. On your website, or on-page SEO includes coding within your website, verifications and validations, sitemaps, website structure, and most importantly content on your website. Off-page SEO includes the links to and from your website to directories and citations on other websites. Analytics, or a measurement of traffic, will help you track your success in both on-page and off-page SEO.
So why isn’t SEO isn’t automatically included?
The answer to this question varies across each and every website development service. (Read more about Web Design and SEO). Originally, and maybe most of the time, SEO is often a separate product with a separate cost. SEO has been a separate discipline from website design and build, and truly used to be an afterthought, despite its importance to being found online.
Now we are seeing more and more that SEO must and should be included during the beginning of the design process and creation of a website. A new website could be created using the same domain, or a new domain. That new website using the same domain may or may not be using the same URLs. These are important SEO considerations that need to be decided at the beginning of website development. It starts with the creation of the structure of the website and URLs (each page has its own URL). Yes, the name of a URL is important.
What is included with ongoing SEO?
Ongoing SEO includes digging deeper and paying attention to details. Review the analytics and metrics, look for changes and trends. Optimize old content and create new content for the website, blogs and directories/citations. Think of publishing your website as a starting point. You will want to further develop and optimize it based on search algorithm changes and metrics. Each one of the search algorithm changes impacts your search ranking. Google’s algorithm changes are so important, they name them: Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon.
There are generally four reasons why your business has a website: to educate, to express yourself, to capture leads and to acquire sales. No matter which one of the four reasons or combination of them, you will need SEO to make your website attractive to the search engines. (Read about them here Five Ways to Avoid Digging Your Own Digital Grave).
Think of your website as the glittering destination.
SEO provides lighted paths to get consumers there. Download our free ebook, "Redesign With SEO in Mind " to get started!