SEO Web Design: How to Plan for the Never-Ending Update
The conversation goes something like this.
Man on the phone: How much for SEO?
Fred, our sales exec: Our rates are based on a retainer fee per month, and depending on the type of experience you’re looking for, we can also provide a consulting service or full-service solution.
Man on the phone: If I paint my house, I don’t have to worry about it again until it wears off in 10 years. Why do I need an ongoing SEO project?
Fred: Think of it less like painting a house and more like something you need to maintain. Like a plant, your website is organic. You don’t water it once and you’re done. The Internet is not static. Competitors are constantly changing their sites, search engines are constantly changing the search results, and you have to keep up your website, too.
Once you understand that SEO is ongoing, you understand the need for a website maintenance blueprint. Procedures for website updates with SEO Web design best practices will help you and your organization ensure consistency throughout the website’s lifetime.
The standards maintain seamless style, tone and optimization practices across the site for an optimal user experience, regardless of who’s in charge and how many times a website or role changes hands.
Developing an Update Procedure for Your Website
In writing down the SEO dos and dont’s for website updates, you’re creating a handy resource for yourself, your team and your organization. Define the preferred styles for the following site elements:
File naming: Naming new pages, images, videos, audio files and all content types should be specified based on your chosen syntax. Include directives that ensure file names are descriptive and inclusive of important keywords.
Directory structure: Outline the directory structure for additions to current directories as well as the creation of new silos, or top-level themes. This requires that the site has a well-defined silo structure, and putting the site architecture down on paper is extremely valuable to have anyway.
Redirects: The SEO best practice for redirects is 301 permanent redirects. While there are several types of redirect codes, implementing one that does not take SEO into account can result in a loss of search traffic. Document the procedure for redirecting traffic from pages that are removed or no longer needed.
Linking: Link juice is too important to squander. Describe the process for adding links. Outline the use of keywords in anchor text. Specify the use of fully qualified links. Provide guidelines for linking within and across silos, so that theme relevance is best maintained.
New pages: When new pages are being added to the site, ask the following questions: What are its main keywords? What is its goal? What silo does it support? The answers to these questions will make sure the page is best supporting overall goals of the site to meet user needs.
Make ongoing SEO a straightforward process. An SEO Web design “style guide” that new webmasters, IT staff, marketing directors and search marketers can refer to will help avoid the introduction of inconsistencies and keep a growing site running smoothly.