A Website is Only as Good as its Foundation
In order to build a stately manor such as the one pictured above, one needs to establish a strong foundation that supports such a grandiose structure. In similar fashion, building up a brand new website into to being an authoritative cash cow on the internet is not much different. Following proper SEO best practices when creating a brand new website can save thousands of dollars in modifications down the line, and can enable your business to leverage the complete benefits of Search Engine Optimization.
5 Things For Website Planning 101
- Google Webmaster Central - Help Google help you! Setting up a Google Webmaster Central account can help you understand and influence the way Google perceives your brand new website. With new additions such as duplicate content reports, Google is now actively trying to give you information to make your website rank better. Why not gain a competitive edge by spending what only takes 5 minutes of your time for such valuable insights?
- URL Structure - Search engine spiders are smart, but why make it more difficult for them to find you if you can make it easier? Using simple static url's or permalinks that are descriptive of your website will help you rank better.
- Get a Blog - No body likes to come across a website that has stale fish content, and as such search engine spiders don't either. Getting a blog will help your site crawled more frequently, and ultimately help your pages rank better for competitive keywords or reports on breaking industry news.
- Proper Internal Linking - Sure, its really hard to get other folks to give relevant inbound links to your site. But, the upkeep starts at home with proper internal linking structure. Without giving away the secret sauce of internal linking juice, make sure that there are no orphaned pages that aren't already linked to as part of your overall site structure.
- Get a Sitemap - Got a highly complex website with a couple of levels of deep links? Make it easier for Google and other search engines to find you using a easy to generate sitemap. The sitemap acts like an index to your site, letting spiders and users know exactly how to navigate to the content they are trying to reach. Get all the bells and whistles with a dynamically updated sitemap structure, that is XML compliant (for the robots) and perhaps even HTML compliant for your visitors.
The 5 things discussed are just a few starting points for building the cornerstone's to a well-ranked website. With the industry focusing on link bait, social media and smarter off-page link building, its still imperative to ensure that you can optimize on-page content to rank better.