14th December 2020
SEO process in web design: Why it matters and how we approach it.
In 2020, we set aside quality time to evaluate our SEO processes. With fewer businesses able to open their physical doors due to Covid-19, it’s been even more important than ever to have visibility in search engines.
We have been working to integrate the SEO even more seamlessly into our web development and design processes to ensure each new website has the best chance of ranking well in organic search. This can only happen when SEO is factored into every stage of the process. From the wireframe to the on-page copy and image optimisation, plus there is plenty to be done after the launch too. Our process takes all of the essential ‘off-page’ and ‘on-page’ SEO elements into consideration to ensure the authority of your site doesn’t suffer as a result of a redesign or rebuild, and in most cases, we will aim to surpass the old site’s overall authority.
What is SEO?
For anyone who is unfamiliar with SEO, simply put, it stands for “search engine optimisation.” It’s the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic through search engines. SEO also allows you to improve your brand exposure through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.
Why your website needs Search Engine Optimisation.
Although SEO focuses on improving your ‘organic’ rankings, (below the ads), there is actually a great deal of work that can be done behind the scenes to improve your visibility. Unfortunately, it won’t just happen on its own. For instance, you can utilise content marketing to earn relevant links from external sites to show Google you are respected in your field.
So why is SEO important for your site?
- Strong SEO means better user experience. Although user experience is vital to everything we design at KOTA, SEO allows this UX to be taken one step further. Crawling your website in search of ‘SEO issues’ can actually double up as looking for issues which may be detrimental to the user experience on your site. Google’s algorithms have even learned how to interpret an unfavourable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success in organic search.
- More clicks and conversions. In most cases, you will generate more relevant traffic from a highly placed organic listing than from a highly placed paid ad. Research shows that 70% to 80% of users focus exclusively on organic results and ignore paid listings. What’s more, some 28% of those searches convert, resulting in a purchase.
- SEO is sustainable. Organic search is one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up and maintained correctly, can continue to be beneficial over time. If you produce a solid piece of content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas any online advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site.
- Helps Google find and understand your content. Above all, by optimising your website content through SEO methods, you’ll be helping major search engines, such as Google understand your site better. While search engines are definitely getting smarter, they still need our help.
Optimising your site will help deliver clearer signals to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.
1. Kick-off meeting
Before and during our integral kick-off meeting, we gather all of the crucial information to optimise your new site in order to attract the right traffic. We believe increasing traffic for the sake of it is pointless, especially if users bounce immediately. It’s important to attract the right users who engage with your brand and ultimately convert. The more we understand about you and your brand, the more accurately we can optimise your site as a whole, representing your site in the best light in search engines.
2. Content audit
Once we have Google Analytics and Search Console access, we can assess which pages on your site are most important. This process includes looking at which pages have the strongest backlinks and which are key in driving traffic to your site. Through this exercise, we can easily determine priority pages which need to be maintained in the wireframe of your new site. We will also thoroughly crawl your site to figure out which pages are detrimental to your SEO, and ensure these are not carried over and repeated on the new site.
3. Design and web development considerations
As we said earlier, SEO will not work if it’s an afterthought. At KOTA, we think about SEO at every stage of the site build. Our SEO experts work with our designers and devs to ensure your new website is SEO-friendly in every way possible. For instance, we make sure the information architecture of your site is user friendly and your content contains meaningful anchor texts, which allows users and search engines to navigate through your content.
4. Keyword and competitor research
Before any SEO can happen, we must conduct proper research (Luckily, we are huge fans of data here at KOTA). Research is crucial for any SEO campaign, to ensure there is an understanding of the target market. It’s important for our digital experts to fully wrap their heads around how your prospective clients search for your offering and brand, to ensure the site and its content is optimised accordingly.
Through this research, we look at how your competitors are achieving high rankings, our learnings from this will impact our overall strategy. We also look at what specific areas users want to know under the umbrella of your core products and services. Do they want to know about how your software can be integrated into their existing tools? This exercise will help us decide whether there needs to be more content explaining your company’s approach, and the technical side of your products.
Although much of this information on your brand may be obvious to you as someone ‘inside’ the business, prospective customers may need clarification on certain areas of your offering. Having content which answers these queries well will allow you to rank for these terms.
5. Content optimisation
Once we have assessed which target keywords will provide you with the most relevant traffic, we work with you to optimise your new page content. We will also provide you with SEO-friendly meta tags which will help Google understand your key pages.
6. Redirect strategy
In any successful site migration, there needs to be a solid redirect strategy. This is where all your old content is matched to your new content, to ensure the old site’s authority is carried over to your new one, and so that Google understands that your new content has a new home.
7. Post-launch – SiteCare
After a website goes live, we always recommend our SiteCare package to ensure optimum performance. If you decide to become our long-term partner, our developers will make sure no technical update impacts your website in a negative way. Moreover, in our monthly reports, you’ll be able to see how much traffic and conversions you’re receiving from organic search.
For those clients who need ongoing SEO support, we’re always happy to create a bespoke SEO strategy, which can include content writing, link building and more, depending on your needs.
SEO can be hugely successful for your business if executed properly from the very beginning. The closer we can collaborate with our clients, the more successful our SEO efforts will be. We look forward to hearing about how you want to raise your search engine visibility in 2021, and working with you soon!