SEO Tips – How to Design a New Website

by admin on March 27, 2010

Another in the excellent “How to” series of SEO tips from the mighty SEO Design Solutions..

This week they’re explaining how to put the “design” into SEO web design..

Over to Jeffrey Smith @ SEO Design Solutions

“Here are 10 powerhouse SEO tips that you can use to design a new website and make sure it gets off to the right start. First, the strategy, then a brief synopsis of the tactics are outlined below.

SEO Tips to Build a New Website:

  1. Start with a theme (meaning your market and the top level keywords).
  2. Use Keyword Research to build that theme into the site navigation, internal links, tags and naming conventions.
  3. Determine the tipping point is for the top 5 competitors and exceed them using time-released content.
  4. Leverage internal links to select preferred landing pages.
  5. Build a stable base of off page links from trusted sources first, and then ensure a fresh supply of relevant ongoing links.
  6. Build pages properly the first time “optimal” using a pliable CMS system which does all the SEO / heavy lifting by default.
  7. Use keyword research to integrate less competitive keywords (branches of the root phrase) into supporting posts, pages and off page content (then go back to point #3).
  8. Keep site architecture flat and make sure to link to a sitemap for that segment of the site (if you use categories).
  9. Make changes to older / trusted pages – If ranking priorities change, go back and edit and add additional links and content to leverage pages 4 months or older to link to new pages with supporting keywords.
  10. Measure the results and rinse and repeat.

Start with a theme: Understanding the competitiveness of the keywords, based on competing pages, the authority of the competitors holding down the top 5 spots and the content and link thresholds they exhibit is a great start for any endeavor.

You can also expand your base of modifiers to embrace multiple variations or flavors of the market to drive additional traffic that competitors may be leaving on the table due to their own narrowness or lack of creativity. *Links will be provided at the end of this post for further elaboration on various tactics and techniques.

Use Keyword Research: When conducting keyword research, keep in mind, it is the long term objective that matters, so you have to build the most competitive keywords and phrases into the site structure so that it is always present and acts as a hook for a node of relevance.

Then, using faceted or tiered navigation, you can drill down from the most broad phrases into the category and / or product level (giving each page its own focus) vs. trying to mash everything together as a keyword free for all.

The rule of thumb is a page should be optimized for 3 -5 keywords per page, anything else is just mid-tail and long-tail traffic which will happen anyway, once all the pages are indexed, linked and working in unison.

Determine The Tipping Point: Each keyword has a tipping point, determining what that is takes to outrank others requires observation, analysis and execution to overcome.

For example, is it 15 pages of content for keyword A, 25 deep links and 100 internal links from other pages, 5 pages of content for keyword B, 100 deep links and 4 months to season enough search engine trust?

They say practice makes perfect and no two websites are alike, however this is a moving target and requires persistence based on keyword thresholds exhibited by (a) your own website and (b) the thoroughness of your competitors SEO strategies and whether they are hollow or back by solid SEO metrics.

Leverage Internal Links: Leverage the links you build from other websites by using keyword relevant internal links through co-occurrence. If a keyword exists on another page you intend to rank for, and then make sure that all of the subsequent pages are linked to the preferred landing page with the keyword or semantic variation to support the preferred ranking.

Off Page Links: Getting the proper type of off page inbound links matters more than the quantity of links pointing at a page or website. Trusted links pass trust; you can have 200K inbound links from sites that are classified as a bad neighborhood that pass nothing of value to your website. On the other hand, you can have 1000 quality links from sites that have trust and authority and pass more ranking factor along than the 200K links.

Aged sites replete with either (a) trust or (b) rankings in the niche, market or segment your site corresponds to are ideal.

SEO for a CMS: You don’t have to over-think your SEO, just build it on a solid platform (such as WordPress) refer to our WordPress SEO Tips. After you set your site up properly the first time, you can easily mirroring the title, h1, meta tags and page naming conventions and focus on adding themed content to add an array of robust keywords and landing pages to garner rankings.

Keeping Site Architecture Flat: Flat site architecture implies building relevant pages in the root folder and using exact match or targeted naming conventions for the url structure. For example, instead of having a site format and naming convention like domain.com/electronics/games/sony-psp/ you could use domain.com/sony-psp-games.html to flatten the subfolders.

Here is a great piece on competition and how to leverage content silos to get that value out of your deeper pages and add traction for specific pages.

Making Changes to Older / Trusted Pages: You can benefit tremendously from refining or editing pages with trust or page rank to increase indexation for other newer pages or site segments.

Many SEO’s don’t tell you that your websites most trusted pages (older than 4 months) are a treasure trove when re-optimized or utilized (by adding additional content or links) to act as pivotal points within a website.

Linking from trusted pages passes along value beyond measureable link flow alone, it allows your other pages to rank on less inbound links from other sites (as inbound links or external inbound links are treated much in the same way).

Measure, Rinse and Repeat: No explanation needed here. Just test the metrics, keep a log and make adjustments where needed to dial in specific keyword variations.

These 10 SEO tips should allow you to make a great start and strong ranking finish. Now, as promised, here are the links.

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: