I firmly believe that website design and SEO go hand in hand. In fact, I believe that it’s important to start every design with Search Engine Optimisation Research. A website without the required research is probably not going to reach objectives.
So here’s what you can expect when you engage me to build your website.
Our first website planning meeting
“Why do you want a website?” is probably the first question you will hear. It’s important to be precise here. If you answer that you want to attract more clients then I’ll probably want to find out exactly who those clients are, so that I can pitch the design and the words on the website to exactly that target market. I’ll want to know what your expectations are and also want to ensure that I don’t over-promise. So some market research will be required.
I’ll ask you about your competitors, their differences and the uniqueness of your business.
Keyword and website research
The next few days will be spent doing research. If your competitors outperform you with their website then I’ll find out why. I will research which “keywords” attract customers to their website and will decide how we better that with your website.
That keyword research is critical. I want to ensure that your website actually ranks well for the words and phrases that are actually being used to find your business. It is pointless ranking for terms that just don’t get used in searches.
The initial design I present is a draft. It will take into consideration your brand, your objectives, your market and your customers. You may already be working with a branding company, a graphic designer or someone else who is a design guru. That’s great, because all ideas count. I’ll be careful though that artistic flair does not dilute the objectives of the website. Having a product that is visually stunning is all very well, but it may not attract the right customers or lead to conversions when they do land on the website.
Building the website
I can use various platforms to build your website, usually WordPress, but I also work with Drupal and Joomla or with a host of ready-made online platforms like Squarespace, Wix and others. I can also build your site from scratch without a particular platform. While that is not my preference, my knowledge of PHP gives me the ability to make meaningful alterations to existing platforms, or add components to platforms, like the “Palace Plugin” I designed for property management companies.
During the build I will try to use content that is already meaningful. At some stage before launch, I’ll want us to go through the website in detail to revise the wording and content and functionality. The more we have in place already at that stage, the better.
I choose images (reluctantly if they are stock images) and will encourage you to work with a good photographer. I frequently work together with a good photographer and can make recommendations.
After everything is tested, you’ve given it your tick of approval and I’ve celebrated a little, I tell you that there will likely be parts of the website, particularly the wording, that will change. The “Post Launch SEO” is why…
Website Post Launch SEO
After launch, there will be a number of things I’ll add. Where I haven’t already, I’ll add the “Meta Data“, those words that are invisible behind the scenes but very visible to Google. I’ll make sure that the website is correctly registered with search engines and that all technical things are well taken care of.
Then I’ll monitor who visits and how the visitors engage with the website, how it starts ranking for certain “keywords” and phrases (long-tail keywords) and yes, I’ll make changes accordingly so that we achieve our objectives.