How to Build a Website for Search Engine Optimization

How to Build a Website for Search Engine Optimization

Last Edited May 13, 2018 by Garenne Bigby in Search Engine Optimization

When building a website, it is important to build it with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. By doing this from the start of your planning, it will help to ensure less work needs to be done in the future. To have to go back and rebuild a website for SEO will take a lot more time and energy than just doing it right from the start. If you are a business with an already established website looking for suggestions of how to increase SEO rankings, this article can also be beneficial for you. As SEO becomes more and more important in the world of the internet, it is becoming more vital to businesses and how successful they are. Using SEO techniques are no longer an option in today’s digital world. These strategies are a necessity to success.

The first step to building a website with SEO in mind is understanding what SEO is and how it will be beneficial to a business’ website. SEO is important to helping a website gain more visitors. The way it works is the different factors of SEO that affect where a website is on a search engine’s list. A higher score means a website will be higher up on the list. The higher a website is on the list, the more visitors it is likely to get. With the opportunity to get more visitors, there is also more of a chance these visitors will turn into customers and make purchases.

Some of the factors considered in SEO rankings are keywords, the effectiveness of content, usability, traffic and conversions, and ensuring links are relevant to users. While there are many factors considered for an SEO score, these are some of the most important. By looking into how to build a website with SEO in mind, you are already taking the first steps into helping your website to get a higher ranking. Here are some things to consider for SEO when planning to build a website.

How to Build a Website for SEO


How to Build a Website for SEO


1. Page Layout and Formatting

The layout of your page is very important. The layout can be anywhere from the size of text to where you put content, links, and pictures.

  • A website that has too little or too big font will not make users happy. It is important to use an average size font and also consider what color both the text and background are.

  • Using a background and font color that is difficult to read will also discourage users from interacting with your content. This means they could miss important information or might leave the website altogether.

  • Consider that placing content in some of the most looked at spots can ensure visitors are getting the most important information that might convince them to take action. Tools can help you to determine what parts of your website are most clicked on and paid attention to by a user.

  • Your URL should also be changed to a worded structure; Example, www.Google.com, instead of www.Google.com/?page_id=41

  • Limit or abandon the use of flash moderation and iFrames as these can shield your site’s content from search engines.

  • Don’t put text in images because search engines cannot read what’s inside them.

  • Direct your site to either www or the non-version, not both.

  • Pay attention to speed. Having large images, too many CSS files and HTTP requests can slow things down. Javascript can also confuse search engines, so unless it’s absolutely necessary, don’t use it.

The problem for businesses in this day and age is that there are so many different online businesses, so if they are unhappy with your website or what you have to offer, they can easily go find it somewhere else.


2. Do Your Keyword Research

Do some research on keywords that you intend to use on the website. Keywords are the number one factor used to determine SEO for a website. By knowing which keywords are best to use, you will even give your website planning a direction.

This is not only beneficial to SEO but can help with the planning process as well. It is helpful to the overall planning of your website because it will help to figure out what content will be relevant to users. Of course, your business probably already has a focus, but having knowledge of keywords and which ones are most relevant will help you, even more, to narrow your focus down.

Keywords help a search engine to determine what message a website is trying to convey and why it is important and useful to users. It is also helpful to do your keyword research to figure out what people are already searching for and what the competition is like. To get this part of the planning done, there are online tools that can help you to determine what keywords will be best for you to use when building your website.

It is common that SEO expects a keyword to be used about once per 100 words. This means if a page has about 200 words on it, you should use your keyword twice in unique ways. It is important not to overuse keywords as search engines usually take this into consideration for SEO rankings as well.


3. Create Relevant Content

Aside from keywords, the content included on web pages is the next most important aspect of building a website. The content can be anything from the types of words used on a webpage to pictures to sound clips and any kind of content that gives a user information about a business. Content is very important to your website. The content on your homepage is going to help a user determine whether or not they want to keep reading or check out what is on the other pages. It is the first thing users see. If you take your time with any part of your website, it should be the content. Planning content can make or break how successful your website is.

Content that is relevant to users should be unique to the message it is trying to convey. In other words, it should pull users in and make them want to read more. Having a picture of a kitten might be cute, but if your website is about outdoor products and there is no link to the kitten, then users will be baffled as to what is going on with your website content. A good guideline to follow is that each page should have at least 150 different words and one picture that is important to the content. Having too many pictures or videos could deter a user.

It is also important to make sure the words being used are not too hard to understand. You have to consider there will be many different people who are visiting your website with varying reading abilities. It is best to shoot for words that the average person will understand rather than to put a whole bunch of big vocabulary words that can confuse users.


4. Take Time to Consider and Plan Site Structure

The planning of your website layout is just as important as the content. Keywords, and title tags. Before any coding is completed, it is important that the main features of the website are laid out. You can either do this by drawing it out on paper or using an online tool built for this purpose. The structure of your website will be vital to user experience.

By taking the time to plan out every button, link, and piece of content that will be going on each page, you can ensure there are fewer mistakes when it comes to building the website. It is similar to having a blueprint for building a house. You can’t just jump in and start the building process without a plan. By taking the time from the beginning to plan everything out, you are already on your way to getting a higher SEO ranking.


5. Navigation and User Experience

Planning the structure of a website leads right into usability and user experience. When you keep in mind usability and user experience from the beginning, this can also help with SEO. The usability of a website is how easy it is to navigate as well as the overall experience of a user visiting the site.

Navigation can really affect user experience. If it is difficult to go from one place on a website to another, a user may leave before they get the chance to convert. Anytime a website is frustrating, it creates a negative user experience. This can be detrimental to whether or not a visitor converts to a customer, which can affect SEO ranking and how your business is performing overall.

There are many tools that can help ensure users are having a good experience and they are able to navigate to different places on the site. By having the website tested either by a tool or real users, they can help to find out if there are any errors or bad links. If there are, it can be fixed, so that a user can have a better experience. It can even be useful to test the website a few times before launching it live.  


6. Make Sure to Use Analytics Tools

By setting up analytics tools from the beginning of launching your website, you can get important information that can be vital to SEO. The analytics tools can be put right on your website, so it is really easy to use from the start, even if you don’t have a lot of website experience. Google Analytics is one tool that can give you stats and data about how your website is performing.

Without these tools, you have no way of knowing if users are leaving your website because of bad links or irrelevant content. It can also give you information on tracking and conversions. Understanding who is coming to your website and why they are increasing your conversion rates are both very important aspects of ensuring your website is running smoothly. By having this information, it can also help you to increase your SEO ranking.


7. Optimize Title Tags

First of all, you must know what a title tag is. Title tags are the heading or title for each page that is usually displayed by the search engine on the results page. It is basically the first words about the page a user sees when searching for a particular topic. Once a user sees the title tag, they have the ability to click on it and go to your page.

If the keywords being used are not relevant to what the user is looking for, they will likely skip over your page to go somewhere else. Having the title tag for each of the pages on a website use relevant keywords will help with SEO. This is something you can focus on when building your website. When search engines are determining the score of a webpage, they will take the title tag into consideration based on the keywords used.

The title tag can be used when someone shares a post on social media, as well as when they bookmark a site on their browser. This makes it even more important to take the time to carefully craft your title tags for each of the pages on a site.


8. Use Social Media as An Advantage

You might be wondering what social media has to do with SEO. Recently, social media posts have begun to be included in search results. This means that they are also being given an SEO ranking. If your business is well-known on social media, this can mean a positive outcome for SEO ranking, which can boost the popularity of your website and your business in general.

While this is a newer factor within SEO, it is important to research how to make the most beneficial social media postings to ensure you are helping your SEO and not hurting it. Social media, like SEO is becoming a necessary aspect of helping a business to be successful. It is almost impossible for a business to do well without being online or on social media.


9. Only Put One Topic on a Page

Have you ever been to a website that is so overwhelming you don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you read through the content, but have no idea what you read or how to organize it in your head? Try not to overwhelm your users by putting too much different content on one page. Remember that the most important page of a website is the homepage.

This content, as mentioned before, should be the most thought out content on the whole site. It is the first thing a visitor sees. Once your homepage is all set, the rest of the website should only have one page per topic. The links from each page are also important to this aspect of SEO. If the links don’t work, then it doesn’t matter what content you have on different pages. If a user can’t get there, then they won’t see what each page has to offer.


10. Give Your Visitors a Call to Action

This is very important to getting your visitors to convert to customers. Without customers, your business will not make a profit. Part of the SEO ranking is taking conversion rate into consideration. The conversion rate is the rate at which visitors convert over to customers or take some kind of action while on your page. One of the most effective ways to increase conversion rate, aside from making sure you have relevant content, and your website is user-friendly, is to give them a call to action. This could be as simple as filling out a form, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. Within your content, it is important to convince your visitor to take action before leaving your website.

Remember that building your website with SEO in mind from the beginning will help to make your life easier later on. What you may or may not know about SEO is that getting a high ranking takes time. By keeping SEO in mind from the start, this will help to begin getting points that will count towards your ranking. The sooner this happens, the sooner you may see results. This still doesn’t mean it will happen overnight, but it will happen the sooner your website has the factors which affect SEO.

It can take months to see the results of SEO, but it is necessary to ensuring a business is able to thrive in the age of the internet. There is so much competition out there, but with SEO in mind, your website is on its way to ranking higher than if you have to go back and rebuild it. By keeping these factors in mind from the very beginning of building your website, you can only benefit in the end.

Garenne Bigby
Author: Garenne BigbyWebsite: http://garennebigby.com
Founder @dynomapper
Garenne Bigby is freelance Chicago developer and founder of DYNO Mapper with over 10 years experience in both agency and freelance roles in design, development, user experience, SEO, and information architecture.

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