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How do I make my site more SEO effective?

by Chris Sutton | March 22, 2011

In my last blog we looked at the question of which was more important, web design or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)? and in this blog we start to discuss the question: How do I make my site more SEO effective?  In my last blog I also touched on the need for planning and for your involvement as a site owner in both the design and Search Engine Optimisation process. I've had a couple of questions about that so today we'll expand a little on the need for planning for SEO when building or redeveloping a website.

Search Engine Optimisation is still a topic that can make grown men and women run screaming from the room. As web developers, we've always been aware of the growing importance of SEO in making a website easily found by visitors. In the early days of SEO we saw it as separate function that could be undertaken once a website was built, and we worked with many SEO providers to develop solutions that were effective for our customers.

But as the sophistication of optimisation work grew, so too did the difficulty of understanding exactly what was being done, and many of our customers expressed frustration at not being given an easily comprehended assessment of the work that was required. Arcane explanations of keyword research, short and long tail keywords, heading hierarchy and site depth generally cause the eyes to glaze over in short order. Our response has been to delve deeply into the methodology of optimisation, so that we can explain the requirements to our customers and ensure that we build sites from scratch that are going to be SEO effective.

Possibly the most important lesson we learnt from that research has been that planning website content before the site construction starts is crucial, and you need to be involved in that planning. While tools can be used to determine effective keywords for a particular business or industry, it is the business owner's input that will take that raw research and add the benefit of experience within the industry to produce an effective result. That outcome from the initial research is to create a site with optimum structure, a keyword strategy for each page of the site and good, unique content for every page of the site that optimises for the designated keywords.

When you have a site built that has incorporated sound research and good quality content, you then have an excellent foundation for ongoing SEO activity such as back links, press releases, article submission etc.

So how do you make your website SEO effective? Simple, be prepared to invest some time and effort when you work with your providers.

Our next blog in this series will address these points in detail, but if you have any questions about How do I make my site more SEO effective, please feel free to leave a comment.

SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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