START AT THE BEGINNING


How to implement SEO in your website's creation process.


SEO IS UNDENIABLY BENEFICIAL after a website has been built, but the implementation of SEO in a website's creation process is far more effective. As we would like to make a good first impression in real life, so our websites should make a positive impact when the search engine crawlers visit them for the first time. Indeed, all that is done wrong at the beginning has to be corrected later, which will cost more money, resources and time.

The beginning

Typically, new websites are created to generate income. Make sure that you are unique and that you do something better than your competition - be special. When you have your idea, the next step should be to plan your website structure, and here is where we start to talk about implementing SEO strategies.

Keyword strategies

Let's say you have targeted a niche gambling market such as 'Live Blackjack Casinos' and you are asking yourself, 'what will the user type in the search engines to find me?' You will likely get to the conclusion that there are many possibilities. Let's consider that you are not alone in this market and there are older websites ranking at number one for the 'best' generic keywords. One strategy might be to target your homepage with these keywords, but on more of a long-term basis and with a focus on longer keywords where it should be easier to achieve relatively good rankings quickly. By working out your keyword strategy, you have defined your roadmap for the future structure of your website, as well as your future goals and direction. Always bear in mind that your website will develop to a greater extent when it grows naturally.

Domain name

There are a variety of opinions about choosing the right domain name. You have plenty of choices; for example, getting a keyword domain (live-blackjack-casinos, com); getting an expired domain; getting a domain that has already been 'live' (to use its existing history to hit the ground running); or registering a new domain and branding it (lbjack.com).

One special recommendation; I would get a holding page online as soon as possible, one that has text describing what you intend to develop on your site. Having this means that you can start building links earlier and earn your website some history.

Website structure

Having carried out your keyword research, you now know where you want to start, what content your page should have from the beginning and what sections might be added in the future. Try to think in categories to structure your content:

• Cars
• Sports cars
• Ferrari
• Mercedes
• Lexus
• Bentley
• BMW
• Helicopters

There is never just one way of categorising a topic; in the previous example, we could also have taken the brands as top category instead of vehicle type. When you have written down your structure, analyse its ability to adapt for future developments.

The next step is to implement the internal linking structure into your overview. Usually, if you have done a good job, you should have included all of your keywords into a hierarchy, which should make it very easy to implement logical links, for users and search engines, which contain your targeted keywords as anchor text.

You might include additional elements like tags (blue cars, two doors, big trunk) to find even more ways to interlink between related web pages on your website.

SEO design template

Bringing your ideas and structures into a format which is optimised for both crawlers and your target audience is the next challenge. Often, designers, programmers and SEOs (and, indeed, CEOs) have very different opinions about what elements should take priority.

I can only recommend that you follow the basic guidelines of a clear template structure:

• Navigation machine readable (DHTML and CSS)
• JavaScript only for non-search relevant parts of the websites
• Good implementation of site elements (navigation, content, sitebar. advertisements)
• Headings (hi, I12,I13)
• Title tags containing the keywords you want to rank for
• Good use of meta-tags (especially canonical and description)
• Implementation of images using correct file names and alt-tags
• Avoid duplicate content issues

Of course, there are many more elements that could be mentioned, like the robots, txt, sitemaps, the robots-meta tag, among others. There are a number of guides on the Internet that can help you in this regard; even Google's Webmaster Central Blog is a handy resource.

Link building

This is, perhaps, the most difficult and enduring part of your SEO strategy. There are countless ways to get links pointing to your websites, some of which are not exactly popular in the eyes of Google - like excessive link exchanges and link buying -but, nevertheless, can be part of your link acquiring strategy because one thing is for sure: without links, it is very unlikely that you will achieve top rankings.
Making bad decisions with your link building strategy can lead to severe punishment and even de-rankings from Google. If you are not sure what to do, I always recommend consulting an expert.

As a basic guideline, you should never forget that the process of building links should be as natural as possible. If you think, 'hey, this link or website looks very suspicious to me', than it probably does to Google as well, and you do not want to be connected (via links) to this type of website.

If you need help with any of these steps do not hesitate to consult an SEO specialist. I have seen more than one website which has been doomed from the very start, all because SEO has been neglected in the site's development.
 
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