Commissioning a new website is a great feeling, especially when you’re introducing new features or technologies that change the way you interact with customers. It’s an exciting time for all.
One of the most interesting conversations I have with new clients is the one where I explain that the company that developed their website hasn’t been entirely SEO savvy and have left a few wide open holes that will mean things need to change. 90% of the time it’s not a significant change but bringing up these 4 points with your developers will save you time once you’ve signed the project completion document.
1) Informative URLs
An informative URL is one that gives you an idea of what the page is about rather than a jumbled up combination of question marks and obscure characters. For example:
Search engines take these into account when determining what your site is all about so it pays to have the site set up so that you can use custom URLs.
2) Blogging Facility
With SEO now being very content-centric, it’s inevitable that you’ll need this at some point. It doesn’t need to be called ‘blog’ at all if you don’t think this suits your brand. You’ll see blogs masquerading as anything from ‘news’, ‘latest’, ‘keep updated’ or anything else that suits you.
The main thing is that there’s a part of the website where you can add a page of content and it’s organised neatly together away from the core structure of the website.
Images are a significant part of making a site look great and as such they tends to make an appearance in places where you may not expect them.
Any text that is actually an image isn’t given any weight by search engines and so anything you believe to be important enough for a search engine to see should be good old-fashioned text.
This is one of those slightly technical points that requires an expert eye to overcome. Essentially, every piece of content on your website needs to be found through one URL rather than different combinations depending on where a visitor has come from.
For example, if you click on your contact page link in the main navigation you may see the URL in the address bar as www.yoursite.co.uk/contact which is good. However, if you have a little sidebar with a link to the same contact page you need to avoid a situation where clicking this link gives you a different URL in the address bar such as www.yoursite.co.uk/sidebar/contact .
Basically, every piece of content must only exist in one place as search engines will read this as duplicate content and this could have a detrimental effect on your rankings.
At the moment, I’m working on a single side of A4 that you can include in your briefing document to your web developer to ensure all the SEO bases are covered from day one. This will go out as another blog post shortly!
If you need any further assistance I’m only a phone call away.
— Ben Young (@bycuk) April 14, 2014