Using SEO in the Foundations of Website Design

In an ideal world, search engine optimisation shouldn’t be something that gets done as an afterthought. If you’re really intending to succeed at online marketing, then search engine optimisation is something you need to take into account from the very moment you start planning on building a website.

Environmental Analysis

Use your company’s existing marketing data to assess what your company’s core goals are and how a website might compliment these goals. Then formulate a strategy to integrate this assessment to each element of your website.

Your existing marketing information, particularly consumer data on your target market, will help inform which keywords could be the most opportune for your business.

This may not have a substantial effect on your SEO at a later point, but when you’re starting out, this data will give you a good idea of the direction of the website.

Website Tools

Your website’s format and platform can greatly affect what services and support your website can offer. If your platform is too scale restrictive and your website becomes successful, your existing site may be unable to handle the additional activity. Some programming languages have crawlabilty issues. Pick one that agrees well with the major search engines.

You will also need to decide the format of the online services you may offer. For example, will consumers submit a form when they have a query, or will you make use of things like a blog feed.

Corporate Goals and Objectives

Use your company goals and objectives to help those of the website. If you’re creating your website without a clear idea of what you’re hoping to achieve with it, but rather just so you can have a web presence, you’ve started off on the wrong foot.

This will guide the aesthetics of the website, as well as the length and aggression of your conversion funnel.

Website Structure

A poor site structure is one of the fastest ways to get rid of a visitor. Your structure should complement the main goals of your site. Your website should be like a store. Where the most interesting and valuable products (content) are the easiest to find, and you know which sections have what you’re looking for.

Use a silo structure which follows the decision making process: Homepage > Category > Sub-Category > Subject > Content. The effective use of internal links will ensure that your link juice isn’t just held by a few pages.

User Experience

Formal market research is a good way to objectively gauge the human user experience on your site. Although a well-known rule of thumb is that any page on your site should be reachable within three-clicks, from anywhere else on the site.

If people arrive at your site on an entry page, instead of your homepage, they should be able to easily find out where exactly they are and what you’re about. Make sure that your content has high readability and isn’t just keyword rich.


On many websites, the homepage isn’t responsible for the majority of the traffic from search engines. Identifying your more successful pages and the search terms that are directing traffic your way can inform your key-phrase strategy.

Don’t optimise for popular keywords which don’t specifically apply to the content you have. You’ll get traffic but weaken your websites reputation when they bounce from your page.


• Content – How keyword rich is your content? Ensure they aren’t too densely placed.
• Links – Include keywords in the anchor text but make sure that the links are relevant and vary in type.
• Navigation – include keywords in navigation tabs but closely watch how they affect your keyword density.
• Geographic – Depending on where and how wide your target market is, you may want to consider regional keywords.

Supporting SEO

The following activities you will have to keep working on, way after your site’s been optimised. They will help maintain rank stability.

Social Media

Social signals are becoming more important as the indexing of social media content becomes more feasible. Try and get profiles on social media sites to recommend or share pieces of your content to build these signals.


How many popular and reputable pages point to yours will always be a relative indicator of the value and authority of your pages. Site-wide links are also effective for making all content visible.

Content Building

This relates directly to Content Freshness, an important ranking factor. Consistently adding new content will gradually help optimise each page around popular keywords until every entry point to your site is covered.

Conversion Funnel

Your conversion funnel should be tight so it doesn’t lose customers along its path. Make sure the content along each of the steps address the customer’s information needs and is appropriate for that stage.

Choose appropriate keywords that attract the right traffic instead of just any traffic. And focus your offering on the benefits to your visitors instead of just the quality of your product or service.

Motivating SEO to Your Company

Here are some points that you can use to communicate the value of SEO consulting.

• Search engines are responsible for the majority of a website’s traffic.
• Keyword activity can give you an idea for business opportunities and alternate profit centres
• A good SEO strategy can make your ranking quite sustainable
• Provides your customers with a highly interactive touch-point
• You can measure different elements of business performance with website activity

Marketing and PR benefits are nice but hard to quantify. Making use of an SEO consulting company may be prudent, particularly from an accountability perspective, as the expertise required to carry out a lot of the above tasks effectively will require too many resources who will probably lack the needed expertise.