Most of my SEO clients already have an existing site. It is my job to take what I am given and do my very best to ensure that it starts ranking well for the chosen keywords. Normally this would entail at the very least, changing Metas, adding some relevant content and keyword placement. The problem is, by adding content and making small changes it is very easy to make an existing site look a little spammy especially if the site was never designed to have content on the home page.
I believe that the following 3 broad points should be taken into consideration when designing and implementing a new website to ensure that it is given a good SEO foothold:-
It is important that during the early stages of a design that a list of competitive keywords is produced. Not only will this help with the page titles and content but also the navigation.
For example, if you had a list of keywords such as; Hotels, Foreign Currency, Travellers’ cheques and Flights. You may decide that you will have separate pages for Hotels and Flights but you may wish to have one page targeting travellers’ cheques and foreign currency.
Another thing to note is that the keywords should be relevant and realistic. Chances are that if you own a small travel agency in Liverpool, you will not fare too well with the keyword ‘travel agents’. It is too broad and highly competitive. You would be more suited to targeting something like ‘travel agents in Liverpool’. This is slightly more precise and relevant and I think that it would be more successful.
You also need to know where to place your keywords. To get the best use out of them I would place them in the title tag, in the sites Meta description and Keywords, in the H tags, as Alt text for images, titles for links, anchor text for internal linking and in the URLs as file and folder names.
Content and Navigation
I would suggest that you need well-written content and at the same time contains the keywords you are targeting.
You need to ensure that there are a few on-page elements, these include; Social media buttons such as Facebook like button, Google+1 button and Twitter feeds. Adding Twitter feed with relevant keywords helps in speeding up the cache rate of Google.
Using social media links will help with rankings and also offer another platform for your online presence. It is important that companies take advantage of the millions of potential visitors by having a social presence. Remember, although search engines can’t crawl Facebook profile pages, they can and do index Facebook fan pages.
You should provide a good area for content and ensure that the page is updated regularly to keep the content fresh. If using images then you should use them to break up the content and remember to try to use keywords in the ALT tags.
When it comes to navigation, I would try to ensure that the URLs were friendly. Using keywords in the URL will help the search engines identify what the page is about and having keywords in the URLs is good for keyword placement.
Also, the host should be reliable so that your site is up and live as much of the time as possible. These days most hosting companies are good at keeping their sites live but this is still a consideration.