How To Incorporate Search Engine Optimization Into The Website Planning Stage

Posted: September 5, 2010 in SEO
Tags: , , ,

Search engine optimization (SEO) should play a major part in the planning of any website. The sooner you incorporate SEO into your website, the better. All too often, people only think about SEO after they have built and launched their site. By then they would have lost a lot of SEO time and may have made decisions that are detrimental to their SEO efforts.

So what part does SEO play in the planning stage of a website?

Website Domain Name

Search engines do take into account keywords in the domain name. So I highly recommend registering a domain name containing your most important keywords. However it is also important that the domain name is memorable and brandable. Please avoid domain names like, “AAA1-Cheap-Domain-Names-Registrations.com.”

Website Structure

A website should be structured for optimum usability and linkability.

The usability of a website is essential to the success of a website. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if your visitors have problems or get frustrated trying to find the information they’re searching for. Typically, the usability of a website is managed by the web designer.

Linkability refers to the internal linking structure of a website. It is vitality important that webpages are linked in such a way that it maximizes the Google PageRank of each webpage, because the rankings of each page depend on it.

This is why I recommend employing search engine optimization strategies as soon as you start planning your website.

Website Navigation

Site navigation is one area that few web designers worry about, with regards to search engine optimization.

For example, some search engines don’t crawl deeper than the top two or three levels of a website. So unless you use SEO techniques to help the search engine spider go deeper than the top levels of your site, your lower level pages may never get indexed.

For exp:

http://dir.yahoo.com/

Search engine spiders that don’t index more than the top 3 levels will not index pages starting with level 4 downwards.

The best way to getting all your pages indexed is to lead search engine spiders to all the major areas of your site. To do this, use a site map. Visit the “What Are Site Maps?” section for more information.

Website Categories

To attract the most number of targeted visitors, you must offer products, services and content that people want or need. That’s obvious right?

So you must choose the right topics to target when creating your site. Split your site up into the wrong categories, or not knowing what categories to target, could cost you a lot of potential visitors and customers.

For example, let’s say your website sells baby products. Did you know that more people search for baby names than baby products?

With this knowledge you should create a resource to attract these people. After all, if someone is interested in baby names, there’s a good chance they will also be interested in baby products, right?

Good topics include major product categories, as well as major brand names. Some people may search for a digital camera by entering “digital camera” into a search engine. Whereas others may know of the brand they want and enter the brand name, such as “Canon digital camera.” You should create categories that cater to both these types of search engine users.

Webpage Content

The content of a page is the most important aspect of search engine optimization. It is the keywords contained within the page content that makes or breaks a page’s chance of top search engine rankings. Let’s take the two extremes.

  • • A webpage has no text whatsoever, as in the case of some Flash pages. Search engines will not find any keywords to index.
  • • A webpage contained lots of text, with dozens, even hundreds, of different keywords on different topics. Search engines would find it difficult to categorize the page, as there are simply too many competing keywords.

As you can see, not only is the content of a page is important, but the amount of content as well.

The inherent problem with web designers is that they generally don’t understand, or even care about, the importance of creating a search engine optimized website. After all, they’re web designers, not search engine optimizers.

So it’s up to you to make sure your website designers produce a site that offers a balance of aesthetically pleasing design and search engine marketability.

Links (Also known as Hyperlinks)

After the contents of a page, links is the most important aspect of search engine optimization. Some would argue that links is more important. Maybe, but we could argue that issue all day.

Search engines, such as Google, base their ranking system on the link structure of websites. In general, the more links pointing to a site, the higher it should appear in the search engines. But this isn’t always the case.

The link text is just as, if not more, important as the link itself. But web designers would rather use aesthetically pleasing graphic buttons, than plain, simple text links. The problem is that search engines cannot associate keywords with such links, as it doesn’t have any link text to

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