Many business owners with websites think of website design and SEO as a one-shot deal: fix your keywords and your website and leave it alone to do its job. Unfortunately, SEO strategy is an ongoing project that must constantly be redesigned, tweaked and fixed to meet changing circumstances in the market and on the web.
SEO website design is not like painting a house, which can be done once every 10 years. Instead, it is like vacuuming or laundry; it must be done on a regular basis to prevent problems.
For this reason, many SEO experts that specialize in website design, charge a monthly retainer fee. This fee can include all the services that must be performed on a regular basis, such as checking competitor's sites, changing keywords, refreshing web pages, updating coding standards, browser compliance, and tracking metrics or analyzing performance. In some cases complete redesigns are necessary, as in the example of implementing a new responsive design from a former design.
However, randomly performing these tasks will not give the results you want. Website updates and other tasks must be scheduled on a regular basis with attention to best practices in SEO web design. Standards are available that help you know when to perform certain tasks and optimize web site performance, no matter who is doing your SEO.
Developing an Update Procedure for Your Website
Having a list of things that should be done and the frequency with which these tasks should be performed is a useful resource for website managers and business owners alike. With a well-planned schedule, everyone will be included in the decision-making process about how to achieve top SEO results. Developing a "style guide" can help everyone involved in your SEO process understand your goals and what you have already done toward building strong SEO. Some things that should be included in this list are:
- File naming. The naming conventions used for new website pages, image files, audio and video files and all other types of content should be clearly defined and checked on a regular basis. File names should describe the contents and ideally will include specific keywords.
- Directory structure. The directory structure of your website can make it easy or difficult for search engine bots to find you. A well-defined silo structure, which uses top-level themes and builds downwards, is often the best choice for websites.
- Redirects. Best SEO practices indicate that the ideal number for redirects is 301. Redirect codes should always take into account your SEO strategy; failure to consider this in redirection planning could lead to less-than-optimal results. Routinely, webmasters or SEO experts should also remove pages that are no longer working or are no longer needed.
- Linking. The exact procedure for identifying links and keywords should be written out so that everyone understands the process. Guidelines for linking should be established before the linking activities begin.
- New pages. Before a new page is added, there are several important questions that should be answered, such as: What keywords are we using for this page? What is the purpose or goal of this page? What silo does this page support? The page should be designed with the answers to these questions in mind.
Style guides can make ongoing website development and SEO a clear and straightforward process for new coders and programmers adapting to your needs for expansion. Make sure that everyone involved in your IT team is clear on company objectives, technology requirements, and equally as important, search engine trends.