Does it make sense for Web site designers to consult with a search engine optimization (SEO) firm during the design and maintenance of client Web sites? That depends on various factors, including the size and level of sophistication of the site and client goals and objectives.
In some cases, a client can be stuck with unexpected costs if SEO coordination is not conducted early. For instance, even though a site is nicely put together, is functional, and features many products, search engine visibility may be hampered because the site uses frames or is primarily done with Flash using a limited amount of text. Search engines like to see as much text as possible -- text that includes your strategic keywords.
Search engines work with text. They read the content on your pages and in your title and meta tags, recording this information in their database. Without text, the search engine has nothing to work with. Furthermore, text on pages that the search engines can't get to doesn't do any good. The search engines must be able to follow links from your home page to the other pages on your site that contain good content.
Someone once said, "A Web site is like a sand castle, not a bronze statue." In other words, Web sites are works in process and you should be prepared to make or deal with changes on a regular basis. In almost all cases, deciding to integrate good search engine practices before, during, or after the design phase is irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that site designers and their clients develop a plan for integrating search engine marketing and SEO strategies at some point before, during, or after the site is completed.
What are some of the search-engine-friendly basics to consider while designing a Web site?
The text in the links is very important, too, and should include a keyword related to the page to which it is linking. A site map is a good way to provide links for the search engines.
Items in the header section should be in this order, using HTML:
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter exactly when an SEO specialist gets involved in the Web site design process, although consulting with an SEO firm early can help you avoid critical mistakes. At any rate, it is crucial for all Web designers and their clients to budget for SEO modifications before getting too carried away with marketing and advertising. Search engine traffic will provide some of the most targeted visitors you can hope to attract, so it simply makes good sense to optimize for search engines before blowing the entire marketing/advertising budget on paid advertising and offline media.
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Paul J. Bruemmer is CEO of Web-Ignite Corporation, a search engine optimization (SEO) and positioning provider. Founded in 1995, Web-Ignite has helped promote over 15,000 Web sites and was recognized by ICONOCAST as one of the top 10 most reputable SEO firms. Services include optimization, submission, registration, positioning, monitoring, maintenance, paid-inclusion, and paid-placement management for fixed monthly fees. Recent client testimonials report search engine traffic increased from 150 to 500 percent.
March 19, 2014