How Content Is Organized & How Users Find It Can Make Or Break Websites
Allow me to walk you through the most common process for planning and launching a new site: Following initial client discussions, designers set to work with wireframing, then move on to mock ups where pages are almost randomly displayed in the navigation for presentation purposes only. Following a few adjustments, designs are then sliced and passed on to developers. Once the developers make the site functional, the SEO team finally takes over to optimize the pages on the site.
Now allow me to explain why this process is completely flawed.
In order to fully target high priority keywords, they should be as deeply integrated with the site as possible. They should be worked into the site navigation, subpages should be developed to support target pages, and content should be appropriately divided into specific sections. User experience should further determine how menus are structured, which pages are placed where and even the layout of priority pages.
In other words, keyword research and a strategic sitemap should be the first tasks completed, before the words “color palette” are even mentioned. Once design has begun, there should be continuous communication to ensure best practices of sales optimization are built into the designs. After the site moves into development, code should be continuously checked for potential search engine roadblocks and inefficiencies. Lastly, on-page optimization can be completed.
I provide well-researched keyword lists that compliment highly targeted, comprehensive sitemaps for new site builds. Once these items are developed, I consult with designers and developers throughout the build to ensure best practices of user experience, sales optimization and SEO are baked into the site at every level and stage.
The old process results in one of two outcomes: 1. Weak performance and poor ROI on the new site or, 2. Costly and timely revisions at the end of the project to go back and change designs, navigation and technical barriers.
Your site is getting new life. Make sure it lives up to its potential.