Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a fundamental pillar in digital marketing, and the foundation of SEO is your business’ website. Without a website, even the best content in the world will not have a platform to be showcased. SEO web development is a specific discipline in web designing and building and requires experience in both web developing and SEO.
In a jargon-filled definition, web development can be explained as the work involved in developing a website for the Internet or an intranet. Web development can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, and social network services.
SEO is the process of optimising a website so that it will rank high in search engines. The site is optimised in many different areas. But, the website is the starting point.
There is a misconception among some that SEO efforts are added in after a website is built. In reality, for maximum optimisation, SEO should be built into the web design process from the ground up.
Website developers are not always quite as savvy as SEO practitioners when it comes to creating websites that rank well. This simply because the skill sets are different. But developers who learn SEO and can integrate SEO techniques into their web design are valuable assets to any business.
A SEO web developer must have SEO knowledge to be able to build and optimise the infrastructure of a website so search engines like Google can access, crawl, interpret and index your website without issues.
Likewise, SEO marketers who learn some programming can be even more effective at SEO.
In his article, “Why all SEOs should learn to program”, Ian Laurie highlights the benefits of possessing a basic understanding of front-end coding. For one, with an added dimension of having a coder’s mindset. SEO practitioners will have a better idea of what can realistically be done to fix technical issues. This, in turn, helps in making more sensible and feasible recommendations.
While SEO web development is a specialised subject, here is a checklist of things to take note of when working with a developer to build and optimise your website.
SEO WEBSITE FOUNDATION
Here are a few core elements that you must have in place before even starting with the website design and building process.
You need to have a domain name that makes sense for your business and can be translated effectively to a traditional marketing platform. For example, a domain like essentialpowertoolsfromjackson365.com is inconvenient and difficult to present on media like a poster, namecard or TV advertisement.
There is a debate on whether exact-keyword-match domains significantly help SEO. This means including the exact keywords you are targeting to be in the domain URL.
I think that it does help if it makes sense and is not too limiting. Even, if there is no technical advantage from a Google algorithm perspective, psychologically, it leaves a deeper impression on the consumer and helps with branding and positioning efforts.
For example, if you are a pizza parlour in Gotham called Mario’s pizza, I would recommend getting a localized domain like MariosPizza.com.gt as well as GothamPizza.com. I would then build the website on GothamPizza.com but redirect MariosPizza.com to it.
GothamPizza.com is the exact-keyword-match domain because potential customers in Gotham looking for pizza are likely to search for “Pizza in Gotham” (or some variation).
Your web hosting provider is also essential. Sites with slow speeds, frequent down-times or poor support due to the web host should be avoided as these issues can impact your ranking. You also need to ensure you choose a hosting plan that can support your needs.
Content Management System
The content management system (CMS) is the platform that you build your site on. It will also determine how easily and effectively you can optimize your site for SEO.
For most portfolio-style, e-commerce and membership sites, WordPress is highly recommended. It is an open-source platform with loads of functionality that is supported by even more plugins. Plugins are extensions or add-ons tools to provided you with specific technical solutions. And, yes, there are many highly rated. SEO plugins.
Once you have the core elements of your website set up, you can work on the technical SEO.
Technical SEO is a subset of “On-page SEO” which is the search engine optimisation that takes place on your website.
“On-page” includes both the content and the underlying technical coding structure, but technical SEO focuses on the latter.
Here are some technical factors that can affect user experience as well as a search engine’s ability to rank your website accurately:
- Navigation and Website Structure
- Txt Optimization
- Optimize Your URL Structure
- Optimize Your XML Sitemap and Submit it to Search Engines
- Ensure Your Website is Secure
- Optimize Your Website Speed
- Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly (Responsive)
Read our post on 10 Technical SEO Points for Your Website for details on the above optimization requirements.
Also, check out this great article by Marcus Miller to see how he explains SEO web development.
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