There is a big difference in basic website design and design done with SEO in mind. What good is a site if it will never have the chance to achieve good rankings in the SERPs for relevant keywords? Many website design companies out there are very good at what they do, but a truly well rounded Internet Marketing company will develop websites with search engine optimization in mind from day one.
Assuming a website development firm is building both the front end and back end of the site SEO needs to be part of the plan, even if it is not “part of the plan”. If a firm is hired just to build the skin and another group will be handling development, coding and implementation, these two teams should be in communication from the very beginning.
So what is SEO website design?
These days, with Internet marketing on the tip of everyone’s tung, website design and development should always incorporate proper SEO site structure. Three of the five or so key elements in a search engine friendly site are site structure, internal linking, and unique content. All of this should be part of the plan before a wire frame is even built.
The best way to accomplish all this is by using the following steps:
- Perform a lengthy discovery period with the client as soon as the project is taken on. This should ultimately encompass many conversations and take up to two weeks or more (depeneding on the size and scope of the project).
- Discuss keyword research and understand the client’s brand and target audience.
- Develop and detailed Functional Specifications Document that includes ALL aspects of the project including keywords, technical specifications, timelines, milestones, etc. The FSD should include a section discussing optimization requirements, title tags, meta tags, and content (on page content, blogs, forums, etc.)
A good Internet Marketing company that offers website design will deliver a website that uses proper site structure, has great internal linking, contains appropriate amounts of unique content with keywords, and has title tags, meta tags, H1 tags and URLs that support that content. Even if the firm is not going to be performing SEO at a future date, any client these days should expect a website product that has a healthy foundation from which to perform proper SEO strategies.