10.21.08 —Focus on SEO Before You Launch Your New Website
Author Michael Fleischner
Are you launching a new website? There's no better time to think about search engine optimization than prior to launching a new site. By giving consideration to your on-page optimization factors, you can increase your chances of achieving top organic search results.
To prepare your site for easy indexing, be sure to follow these basis guidelines:
1. Design your site in html or similar format that minimizes the use of java script and flash. The more complex you make your code, the more difficult it becomes for the search engine spiders to read your content and prescribe the appropriate Google PR to your web page.
2. Make sure that your meta tags are coded properly and include the Robots.txt tag. Many individuals downplay the importance of meta tags. Although meta tags themselves won't drastically change the organic ranking of your site, they do create the display text users will see when your site appears in search results. If your meta tags are search engine optimized and compelling, you increase the changes of improving click-throughs.
3. Apply the proper tags to your page. H1, H2, and H3 tags are a great wall to call attention to your content and promote your keywords and keyword phrases. Try to use each tag at least once, but don't force the issues. You want your text to flow and appear normal.
In addition to ensuring that you've made your page easy to access and presented text that is optimized, you also want to consider other factors that can help long-term with your SEO efforts. So often, web designers get caught up with on page factors, that they overlook the requirements for establishing a foundation that supports long-term initiatives.
In particular, consider adding pages that you can add to over time that support link building and accessibility for search engine spiders. Be sure to include:
1. An html sitemap and an xml sitemap. Including a sitemap on you site makes it easy for search engines to access all of your website pages and index your site accordingly. Your sitemap should be in both html as well as xml. Although users would not access the xml sitemap, search engine spiders use this version to crawl websites. Additionally, key search engine submission resources like Google's Webmasters Tools require xml site map versions.
2. Include a partners page. Previously referred to as a links page, the partners page is essential for reciprocal linking. This strategy isn't as powerful as developing one-way links, but until your site has been assigned a Google PR, one-way links can be difficult to acquire. So begin your link exchange program with a partners page that allows you add or remove link quickly and easily.
3. Submission pages that encourage new content. One of the most powerful seo techniques is the addition of new content. Make it easy for your users to add or submit content to your website. When search engines see new content, they rejoice. Don't underestimate how important it is to make it simple for your browsers to add or submit content.
When focusing on search engine optimization, especially with a new website, follow the basic ideas outlined above. There are a number of other factors to consider as well. However, you should always start with a strong foundation - a site design that meets basic SEO standards but one that also supports your long range search engine optimization goals.
Originally published in the October 21, 2008 Entireweb Newsletter.