9 Important SEO Considerations for Your New Website
The digital landscape is fast-paced and ever changing. When it comes to your online marketing, you need to stay up with the play and if you can do it, be ahead of the game.
A website which converted at an astounding rate and held top positions in the search results in 2006 may not do so well in 2016 if you don’t keep up with today’s best practises and advances when it comes to SEO, web design and online marketing.
It’s a big step to get a whole new website or to re-design/re-brand a current website. There’s the ‘what if’ question as to whether the new kid on the block will actually perform better than it’s older generation. For purely online businesses this could mean the success they’ve been long striving for or it could be detrimental.
This is where the professionals come in, if you’re unsure if your website is out-dated, doesn’t function well from a usability and SEO standpoint or isn’t converting as well as it could, then you should consult your SEO provider and web developer. With their knowledge of the current online realm they’ll be able to best advise you of the way forward.
If you have made the big decision to get a new website – congratulations! We understand how hard the decision can be and how strenuous the process can be with all the meetings, reviewing all the designs and liaising with all the parties involved.
If you’ve chosen your web design and SEO company well, then you can rest assure that you’re in good hands and letting them do what they do best will allow you to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Today we wanted to highlight important SEO considerations you should take into account from that very first meeting you have with your web design company.
By taking into account these considerations, it’ll be easier for the web designer to incorporate them from the get go and then in the long run it’ll make it easier for either your company or your SEO provider to make updates and changes to the site to achieve the best SEO results possible.
1. HTTPS or HTTP
More and more websites are getting their SSL certs to gain https secure status and Google loves this. If you have a shopping cart you most definitely want the shopping cart to be on https, however you may as well have it site wide seeing as Google indexes https pages before http pages where possible.
2. Accessible Meta Data
Make sure you have access to the meta title and description field on ALL PAGES. You want to be able to adjust the meta data accordingly on landing pages, product category pages and singular product pages. It sounds a bit controlling but hey, this is what your brand will look like in the search result pages, so it’s just a touch important!
3. H1 Headings
You want only 1 <h1> heading per page and you want access to this so your SEO account manager can optimise it accordingly as it is a ranking factor. You can have as many h2, h3, h4 etc headings on a page as you wish.
4. Editable Content Fields on all Pages
Google loves good content and copywriting so the more we have to play with the better. However there’s the line between a lot of content for Google and giving the right content to users. You don’t want a bunch of text getting in the way of the products your trying to sell for instance. On an eCommerce site it might be wise to put content at the bottom of product category pages. Your web designer and SEO professional can work closely on this to find a happy balance.
5. Blog or News Section
Again the more content on the site the better! A blog is a great way to add fresh new content regularly. It’s also a great way to draw in organic traffic that might never normally find your website. Plus it gives you something to share on your social media channels to again draw more people to your website. If the right call-to-actions are in place you’ll probably start converting some of your blog readers. Don’t forget to add social sharing buttons too so readers can easily share it with others.
6. Minimise Coding
If you’ve gone with a reputable web developer they’ll already have this down pack. The key here is to keep the code simple rather than trying to complicate it by doing extraordinary flashy and unnecessary things on your website. Simple code will also translate easily in different browsers; it’ll keep your site running quicker and allow Google to crawl the site easily. If you’re unsure on how optimised your website coding is, speak to White Chalk Road and organise a website health check.
7. Site Speed
As we know this is part of Google’s algorithm so it’s important for SEO purposes however you also don’t want customers bouncing off the site because it’s taking over 30 seconds for the shopping cart to load. Talk to your developer and SEO company about how site speed can be reduce. Typically things like, minimising code as pointed out above, your choice of web host, large images and files, type of caching etc can all impact site speed.
8. Responsive/Mobile-Friendly Design
In 2015 having a mobile friendly website became a ranking factor and with all the predictions it’s believed mobile web browsing is going to overtake desktop browsing at some point. There’s no negotiating on this one, you just need to have it.
9. User Experience
Careful consideration needs to be taken when deciding the structure and navigation of your website. No matter how good your site looks, if people can’t use it then you’ll never get any sales and basically everyone will have a bad perception of your brand, which means no mentions or links. The site structure needs to be attacked from a ‘user first’ point of view. Put yourself in a users position and go from there.
For more important SEO considerations for your new site build, make sure you chat to the team at White Chalk Road in Perth on 9361 9534.
And last but not least, when your new site is ready to be launched – don’t do it on a Friday! The best day to do it is on a Monday so that ‘touch wood’ if anything goes wrong both your web design company and SEO company will be in the office to quickly fix it.
Plus your SEO company will no doubt want to be able to check Google Analytics tracking is working on the new site straight away alongside making sure any 301 redirects are in place if you’re moving to a new domain name/changing page names.
A new website is hard work however when you engage professionals in the process from the very early stages it’ll make the experience a lot less stressful for you. You’ll be able to sit back and know that your SEO company will work closely with your web developer to help create a website which will have the ability to perform outstandingly against its online competitors.
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White Chalk Road are a specialist Search Marketing Agency based in Perth, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. As a Google Premier Partner, WCR specialise in SEO, Search Marketing, Advertising & Marketing Automation. WCR help Perth businesses, across both B2B and B2C markets, who need help being found online by their customers.
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