Quite often businesses build a good website, make it live and then start thinking about how to get visitors to it. One of the best ways to generate traffic to your website is through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – this is the name given to the process of getting your website ranked highly in the search results of search engines such as Google.
You should think about SEO before building a website because your site structure is an important SEO factor. In this post, we will take you through the SEO elements you should consider when planning your website.
What are the keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that Internet users type into the search box of search engines such as Google to find what they are looking for. Some keywords get hundreds of thousands of searches a day whereas others may only get a few. It is important to think about the keywords you would like your website optimized for before you start building your website.
Why are keywords important?
Keywords are important for search engine optimization because if you want to get traffic to your site from the search engines, you need to have the most relevant ones appear in your pages.
How do I know which keywords to optimize for?
Conduct some keyword research, using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Wordtracker, to find out what keywords are popular in the industry you’re targeting. With these tools, you will be able to see the average search volume for each keyword and how competitive those keywords are.
SEO-friendly site plan
Once you have conducted your keyword research, you should have a list of keywords you would like to optimize your website for.
Example: You are a florist based in San Francisco and you have a website promoting your store and outlining the services you offer. You have decided that you would like to target:
- flower delivery
- florist San Francisco
- wedding flowers
- funeral flowers
- bouquet of flowers
The next step is to create a plan where you dedicate a web page specifically to each of the keywords you’re targeting.
Search engines tend to look at certain parts of your webpage to work out what the main topic of the page is. When planning each of your pages, make sure to integrate your keywords into each of these places:
- Page Title
- Throughout the written content
- In the text links
Choosing the right domain name is very important and should be considered carefully. When choosing a domain name with SEO in mind you should:
- Consider the length of the domain: Your URL should not be too long, as it will be difficult to remember and customers will be more likely to misspell it when searching for your site.
- Consider investing in your own custom domain: Your site will appear more professional, and some SEO research suggests that sites with their own domain rank better than sites published to subdomains.
- Consider adding a keyword: If your first choice domain name is already taken, consider adding a general keyword to your URL to explain what you offer – for example, www.beautifulbouquetflorist.co.uk
- Consider the extension: If you are a local business just operating in a specific country it may be better to choose a localized domain name e.g. a British .co.uk domain or a Canadian .ca domain. This will help your search ranking when people search for the services you offer in the country you operate in.
- Consider the use of hyphens: Using hyphens and underscores in your domain name does not promote credibility, in fact, it can make it look spam-like. They are also difficult for a user to type and search for so it should be avoided.
SEO is a great way to drive profitable traffic to your website, and it is a lot simpler to plan your website with SEO in mind than it is to optimize for it after you have built a site.