SEO Process Tutorial
Search Engine Friendly Design
The ideal time to have an SEO consultant review your design is while the web developer is creating the template design of the site, including navigation structure. At this point, many important elements should have been defined: keywords to target, content, architecture and navigation. If the design of your site is heading in a direction that is not search engine-friendly, an SEO pro can correct the issues before the entire site is developed - saving time and money.
Search engine-friendly design does not mean your site will now rank at the top of the search engines, but that the search engines can find and index your pages. Search engine optimization is the process of preparing each page of your site to gain top search rankings for specific search terms.
A site that has not been designed to be easily indexed by the search engine crawlers will require changes - sometimes significant changes - in order to become search engine-friendly. Because search engines are text-based, some design decisions can cause indexing problems, such as:
- Requiring cookies on your website prevents spiders from indexing your content.
- Web pages that require users to input any type of information in order to access the content blocks search engines from your pages.
- Shopping cart systems that invoke session IDs. All shopping cart systems utilize session IDs, but the further along a shopper is in the buying process without a session ID, the more search engine-friendly the system.
- Design using frames, large amounts of Flash or AJAX (Although Google can index text in Flash now, it still isn't recommended that a site be developed entirely with Flash.)
The rest of the SEO process involves:
- Keyword research and analysis
- Content and copywriting for SEO
- Optimization techniques
- Link building
- Determining the ongoing maintenance plan for top rankings
- Testing and measuring for optimal ROI
Each of these stages is critical to the overall success of gaining top search engine positions and maintaining them. Typically, search engine optimization requires 3-6 months to see results and, therefore, is a long-term Internet marketing strategy that gains momentum over time.
Some have been burned by SEO providers and then begin asking better questions, such as, why should I invest in SEO and what ROI can I expect? Please read the article to get my response.
If your approach to SEO is like a "plug and chug" formula, you will be disappointed with the results. Every business is different and the SEO plan for that business should be as well - something we refer to affectionately as tailored Internet marketing.
To learn what Capture Commerce has accomplished for other clients, read our SEO case studies.