DESIGN SEO SITE WEB

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Before you begin the redesign process, you should crawl your site to come up with a view of the current site, including all the pages on the site and relevant information associated with them (eg; current rankings, existing title tags). Are any of these pages outdated or redundant? If so, where can they be redirected in your new architecture? Which of the current site pages rank highly for your target keywords? Comb through all of your content to make sure that none of it gets left behind in the redesign – it’s essential that high value content is maintained on the new site. If you’re changing URL structure make sure to do a redirect map and have redirects in place at the time the new site goes live.

4 – Be vigilant during a redesign.

The content on your website is what tells search engines what each page is about. Where it once was enough to stuff landing pages full of keywords to achieve rankings, modern SEO is all about quality content.

Urban Outfitters website showcases excellent usability, with a streamlined layout of tabs . [+] broadcasting their offerings which allows for users to find what they’re looking for effortlessly, Photo Credit: Urban Outfitters.

The goal of search engines is to provide the best results they possibly can to users who search on their platforms. This is the best way to ensure customer satisfaction and keep users coming back. More users equal more advertisers, and more advertisers equal more profits.

Below we cover 4 methods to ensure your design is helping, as opposed to hindering, your SEO efforts.

A search for ‘craft beer’ on bing results, Guinness has mastered content discoverability through . [+] SEO, Photo Credit: bing.

The NFL had their website redesigned by Blue Fountain Media which lead to higher SEO rankings, Photo . [+] Credit: Blue Fountain Media.

Your goal from a design perspective is to create a site architecture that is intuitive for users to engage with, while your goal from an SEO perspective is to create an architecture that allows pages to be crawled and distributes internal links judiciously. Fortunately, these goals are aligned and can be achieved simultaneously. Prioritize your most important content high up in the architecture – this will include top level service or product categories, which should also map directly to your priority keyword themes. From there, create subcategories and individual product or service pages.

In order to create content that can truly be called high quality; you need to begin planning for it before the design phase or redesign is underway. For each page you’re creating you should ask yourself: what purpose does this page serve? What do users want/need to know about this topic? What types of content are necessary to convey our message as effectively as possible? The answers to these questions should be used to inform the design of the site because the design of it must be conceived to accommodate the content you’ve deemed necessary. The alternative means wedging content in after the fact, when ideas about the design may have already become entrenched and difficult to alter.

What this means on a practical level is that search engines will reward sites that offer great experiences to users. The last thing they want is to place a site in the first position of the results page and have a user click on that site only to realize that it’s frustrating or difficult to use. Poor usability translates to a bad user experience with the search engine. Good usability translates to user satisfaction with both the website in question and the search engine that included it in the results.

Good user experience will bear itself out in longer time spent on a page/site, higher volumes of inbound links, and a healthy amount of social shares. These factors are seen as indications of quality and therefore are rewarded by search engines. Of course, by now we all know that it’s not enough to focus solely on desktop usability – mobile usability has an equally important role to play in the overall picture of user experience. Mobile-friendliness is an absolute must if you’re hoping to make gains in organic search visibility, and it should be a primary design focus.

1 – Know your usability factors.

In order for content to be crawled and indexed by search engines, it needs to be discoverable. Search engines, though sophisticated, are limited to discovering content through links. If the proper links to your content don’t exist, or they’re buried or broken, your content won’t be discovered and it will be impossible to get your site’s pages to rank.

2 – Design for content discoverability.

A redesign can be a dangerous time for the SEO value of a website. A website redesign that’s done without the input of a search expert puts the company at risk of losing much of the SEO value it’s spent years building. Not realizing this, many companies waltz blindly into a redesign, only discovering their error when their organic traffic takes a nosedive.

Website design and organic search performance are intrinsically linked, which is to say that design has an observable effect on a website’s ability to rank well for relevant terms. This can become problematic for companies with isolated teams, where design and marketing don’t work closely together, or in cases where marketing is only brought onto a project after a site has already been launched. Sites designed without SEO in mind can cause ranking issues down the line.

3 – Plan for high quality content.

At our digital agency, we work with clients across industries to design and develop websites that are built with SEO best practices in mind. Our marketing strategists are involved in design and redesign projects from the beginning, collaborating with the designer to create a website that is search engine friendly. From this experience, we’ve gained a lot of insight into the interplay between a site’s design and its ability to rank well in organic search.

Many companies aren’t aware of the extent to which design influences SEO. They’ll spend all their time to trying to create content that attracts links and social shares, and never think about the fact that their content is barely readable on mobile, or that pages buried deep in their site architecture have never been indexed at all. Being aware of the ways in which design and SEO are linked will help ensure your site has every opportunity to rank for the key terms and themes that matter to your business.

The content at the consideration stage helps your prospect compare you against the other offerings out there. This tends to be practical content that helps the customer make a decision.

A three- to four-level approach like this ensures that most content can be easily navigated to within four clicks and tends to work better than a deeper approach to site navigation (for users and search engines).

www.example.com www.example.com/s123/ www.example.com/s123/s1/ www.example.com/s123/s1/75/

Ensure your navigation is crystal-clear — if one user can make a mistake, many others can, too.

We will also take a look at some of the common pitfalls that can befall businesses looking to build a new website that is central to your digital marketing efforts.

Mobile-friendly design.

There tend to be two kinds of duplicate content: true duplicates and near-duplicates. True duplicates are where the content exists in multiple places (different pages, sites, subdomains and so on). Near-duplicates can be thin content or substantially similar content — think of a business with multiple locations or shoes listed on a unique page in different sizes.

Yet all too often, businesses don’t think about SEO until after having a website designed (or redesigned), and these sites are often sadly lacking on the SEO and digital marketing front. They may look shiny, but if the marketing smarts are not cooked in at design time, then you will be running the marketing race with a wooden leg. Or at the very least, faced with going back to the drawing board and wasting a whole load of time and money.

Your hosting is also important. A slow site makes for unhappy users. Your hosting should follow common-sense rules. Be situated where your audience is situated. Be fast. Be platform-specific, if necessary. WP Engine is a great example, as it provides a platform tailored to WordPress websites.

In this post, I have a look at how SEO should be an integral part of your website design (or redesign) process. We are going to look at what you need to consider to have a site that is built for search marketing and lead generation — and how focusing on happy users keeps the Google gods on your side.

These kinds of issues are simply resolved with URL redirections , but again, they deserve consideration by any web design agency that takes care of hosting and is serious about the SEO of their customers’ websites.

www.example.com www.example.com/services/ www.example.com/services/seo/ www.example.com/services/seo/audits/

If we consider the following structure of the Bowler Hat site as an example:

To understand your site, they have to be able to read the content of the page. This means that the main content of your site should be text-based behind the scenes. Not images. Not flash or video. Even in this ever-advancing world, your main content should still be text-based. There are some great tools, like web fonts, that mean you can still look the part, and your images have a place, but be sure to talk in clear language about what it is you do so the search engine can read and understand your offering.

I have always liked the signpost analogy. I walk into a supermarket and look for the signs to find what I need. Your website is no different. If a user is referred and searches for your brand name, then they will land on your home page. They then need a signpost to get them to the relevant service. And it had better be easy to find!

Fundamentals.

A great starting point is Google’s mobile-friendly test. This tool will give you feedback on mobile-friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed. It also wraps everything up into a handy little report detailing what exactly you can do to speed things up.

There is a problem here. SEO is not some band-aid you can just plaster onto an existing site. Website SEO is fundamental to succeeding online for the majority of businesses. And the same concepts that fuel solid SEO help with paid search, social and any other inbound marketing efforts. Get this wrong and you will certainly fail to hit your digital marketing goals.

The /audits/ page exists in the SEO folder in the services drawer. Nice and organized. This can follow through with other SEO elements to clearly indicate context far beyond that which can be indicated by the document alone.

If everything is done well, a human and a search engine should have a pretty good idea what a page is about before they even look at it. Your typical SEO then just builds on this solid foundation that is laid out by your information architecture and site structure.

Best practice for title tags are as follows:

Keyword cannibalization.

Crawling & accessibility.

Context is indicated not only by the site it exists on but also by the position within that site. Our own site has a drawer for services, and each service has sub-services in folders. Your site will be largely the same.

Your website has a hell of a job to do: it must help your business get in front of prospective customers on search engines, and then it has to engage and convert those customers.

Consider a business with two domains:

Web usability is a combination of other factors: device-specific design, page speed, design conventions and an intuitive approach to putting the site together with the end user in mind.

Link structure.

Awareness content will typically be your blog and informational articles. We are helping your prospective customer understand the problems they face and illustrating your experience and credibility in solving them.

To index your content beyond the home page, you need internal links that the search engine can crawl. Your primary navigation, search engine directives and tools like XML sitemaps all help the search engine crawl your site and discover new pages. Tools like Screaming Frog can help you ensure that your site can be easily crawled by a search engine.

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