One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is to develop their new website prior to giving any serious consideration to search engine optimization (seo). The thought process seems to be, “I’ll develop my site first, and then hire a company to optimize it for the search engines”. The issue is that optimizing a website involves many of the steps that you complete during the development of the new website, and you will probably end up changing some of the work that you just completed.
When I have been asked by businesses to optimize a recently completed site, the results are usually disastrous. I am asking them to reevaluate and change many of the items that they just made decisions on during the development process. And if the client is sizable, and must go back through other people in the organization to get changes approved, it gets worse.
Imagine if you’re in charge of managing your company’s website development. You’ve just worked through the process of getting input and approvals from other people in your organization. And now your search engine marketing company wants to make changes and asks you to go back to them and ask them to do this again? Quite simply, it doesn’t work.
Here are a few items which are decided during the development process which are important to your seo effectiveness:
- Home Page Design – a make or break factor for the search engines. There are several factors to be considered such as images vs. content, and how much and what content is included on your home page.
- Content Organization – How much content is on each page, how many subjects are discussed, and the organization of each page can significantly impact your optimization effectiveness.
- Duplicate Content – Several WordPress themes provide information snippets on the home page and then link and duplicate this content on interior pages. Very difficult to overcome.
- Website Architecture – Flat or hierarchical architecture? This can determine how easily your pages get crawled by search engines.
- Interlinking – The link structure impacts the perceived importance of a page by the search engines.
If you absolutely can’t hire an seo company during the development process, at a minimum hire an seo expert to review the work during each stage. While you still might end up duplicating some of your work when you have the site optimized, some of the major pitfalls can be avoided.
For more information on seo and the web development process, contact us to discuss your specific situation.