More often than not, business owners go down the route of first developing their website and then working on Search Engine Optimization. This is a huge mistake and a strategy destined to make business owners lose valuable time and money. There are several aspects of designing or developing a website that must be done right to begin with while keeping SEO in mind. Fixing these issues later is a costly and time consuming proposition. Below are some of the reasons SEO should be considered during the design or development phase of a website.
- User Experience Matters
One of the most important ranking factors on Google is user experience. Metrics like bounce rates, average time spent on a website, traffic volumes etc. all contribute to helping your website rank better on Google. User experience is driven by several factors including the quality and relevance of your content for the target audience, simplicity of language, color schemes, organization of information. All of these contribute to the user experience on your website and in turn the way your website ranks on Google. If you had to re-align your content or even the structure of your website for SEO, it would no doubt be a tedious process.
- Optimizing for Speed
Page speed is a direct ranking factor, a fact known even better since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update. Google has also published tools to help site owners and developers pay attention to user-centric performance metrics and use tools such as Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights, and real-world field data (e.g. see Chrome User Experience Report) to diagnose and improve user experiences. Website speed to a large extent is driven by the size of the images and the length / quality of the code. Both of which are quite difficult to fix after the website is live.
- User Experience Matters
To evaluate performance of your website in terms of speed you can check:
- PageSpeed Insights, an online tool that shows speed field data for your site, alongside suggestions for common optimizations to improve it.
- Lighthouse, a lab tool providing personalized advice on how to improve your website across performance, accessibility, PWA, SEO, and other best practices.
For more information on website speed, you can check out our recent blog post on why poor website speed is costing companies millions of dollars.
Fixing website speed after the development phase is over can be a tedious and time consuming task.
- Using the Right Plugins
As you might be aware WordPress is an open source platform and has several plugins that provide various added functionalities based on your individual needs. There are several plugins that help make your website easily crawlable and readable by crawlers. Using the right plugins can significantly help elevate your website in search rankings and vice versa, using the wrong plugins can do much harm. It is much easier to get these settings right to begin with instead of fixing them at a later stage.
- Updating Website Settings
It is not uncommon to come across websites that are live but do not show up on search results at all. Many developers do a great job with putting together an aesthetic and user-friendly website but forget to make the website ‘indexable’ or ‘discoverable’ in search crawlers. This prevents your website from showing up in search results and obviously defeats the very purpose of having a website which is allowing prospective customers to find you. Developers with an understanding of SEO are often able to avoid such mistakes.
You can also check our our recent article about essential things to keep in mind when developing a website
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