SEO is a pretty big deal in the online world. You have most likely heard of it before; especially if you work in the digital realm or are looking to take your small business online. But what does SEO stand for in web design and development? We are here to tell you.
Over the last decade, more vendors have turned to online. Search engines have replaced the bulky phone book directory, becoming the first point of contact for just about everyone looking for a new service or product.
In light of this, we have seen web design become more innovative and creative in the development of websites. With online now being the initial contact point, this means that first impressions are imperative, especially in a list of search results all claiming to offer the same thing.
So, what does this mean for websites and how do you stand out in the crowd? The answer is SEO. You see, behind a sleek website design, SEO is what gets you search engine rankings, drives traffic to your website and secures an upstream of conversion rates - that's music to a business owner's ears, right? That’s why SEO is vital in web design and development.
Let’s start with the basics; what is SEO? It stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and it’s the process of improving a website's ranking for particular keywords in search engines like Google.
To break it down further, say your website sells custom sneakers. You would therefore want your website to show up in search when anyone types in ‘custom sneakers’ (or similar). However, as smart as search engines are, they won’t just automatically know that you’re an authority in custom sneakers. You have to do several things to help search engines understand that part. This is where SEO comes into play.
We could quite literally go on for days when discussing what SEO is and the various factors that encapsulate it; however today we’re going to stick to what SEO stands for in web design and development.
When discussing what SEO stands for in web design and development, there is no difference in the acronyms translation - we are still referring to search engine optimisation. The goal of getting a website to rank for particular keywords still applies and the methods of going about it are also identical.
The key thing to consider when it comes to SEO and web development is to ensure it is incorporated at every stage of the design and development process from the get go. SEO should be developed as the website is developed. Not after the site has gone live - that is almost like building a house before the foundation has set. You are setting yourself up for a very rocky start. Afterall, there is really no point in creating and launching a beautiful website that no one can find online!
Those first few months of launch are vital for establishing your online presence. This is where search engines begin to explore, read and understand each page on the site. If they can easily crawl the site, then your new website is more likely to be found through a simple organic search. Of course, this requires a lot of research and careful planning, but doing it right from the start will save everyone time and money in the future.
We should first start by saying that no sole person should be responsible for making a website SEO-friendly. This is something that should be considered from every angle of the web design and development process.
Ensuring your website design and development is SEO-friendly begins with keyword research. This involves looking at the type of search terms people are using to find your type of products or services; considering search volume; looking at what competitors do; and identifying any gaps or opportunities.
The keyword research will essentially act as your basis for any design or development decisions going forward. It will help build a site map that is both SEO and user-friendly, construct optimised URLs and guide the content that is created on each page.
It will also help in planning the metadata. Title tags and meta descriptions are the first thing users see in search results. Essentially, this is where first impressions really matter. A good one instantly captures the needs of the user in a few words; leaving them wanting more and earning a click. If your metadata is not optimised then it could very well be the difference between getting a click or even appearing in the search engine rankings in the first place.
Every team member in the production line should have a clear understanding of the keywords and search terms that are vital for getting that website found in search. From the initial planning phase to the official website launch date, SEO should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Responsive web design, mobile first design, one clear CTA per page, test all links & forms are working.
One unique focus keyword per page, internal links, quality content (e.g. spell check/grammar check/sense check), header tags used, duplicate content check, optimised metadata.
Automated backups, Google Analytics connected, web hosting, schema markups written.
Page speed testing, keyword rank monitoring, broken link checking, web server uptime analysis.
So, what does SEO stand for in web design and development? It’s about getting that shiny new website found from the moment it goes live. Check out our portfolio and contact Digital Promise today. Together we will build a website that ranks higher than the rest.