Create An SEO Friendly Site: Myths And Reality
Website creation and Web project management processes are taught in many higher education courses. The site creation market is saturated with different offers.
On the other hand, there is an area where it is difficult to see clearly: how to build a website optimized for SEO. We are talking about SEO friendly, to this Anglicism is attached to technical beliefs and a lack of methodological knowledge that we will explore.
These SEO myths will help you to enhance the visibility of the website. These myths might lead website owners and marketers to make inaccurate assumptions about how to increase the ranks of their websites in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Myth #1: SEO Is Expensive In A Project
Building an SEO friendly site does not require a technical overlay, it is a matter of method and timing in the organization of work. This kind of argument also applies to accessibility, and therefore compliance with web standards by extension.
All you have to do is integrate SEO into the initial preparatory work for your project to save time and money! You are not convinced? Here are some examples that will change your mind:
- The names of the categories of an e-commerce site are too generic: your categories integrated into your Prestashop or Magento are too generic, you have not carried out a naming plan upstream, and your agency has integrated your category tree. Optimizing your site will require the resumption of certain work on your site and you will generate several days of additional cost: not integrating the contributions of SEO from the start of the project is already losing money.
- The semantics of the templates is bad: you have purchased, or your communication agency has purchased, a magnificent premium template on Theme Forest, and you admire the parallax effects, the continuous loading of content on the page. An audit of SEO factors for Google ranking SERP ranking will undoubtedly reveal that the flow of titles is unsuitable (eg: only H3, H5, and H6 on the home page, no level of titles in the interior pages). Your web agency will have to take up the theme (overbilling and waste of time), on the specifications of the SEO. The different actors will charge for their work, and again you lose money.
In our SEO agency activity, we often see projects where not only the structuring of the site is unsuitable (tree structure, wording) and the templating is faulty, but because the potential designers think that the SEO corresponds to the received idea no. 2.
Myth #2: SEO Is URL + Title + Description + Keyword + Sitemap + Robots.txt
For several years, semantic richness, user-oriented content and quality links have been more important than the old SEO pillars. Within this category of received ideas, there are sub-categories:
- The Keyword meta: unless you are targeting the Baidu (China) search engine, be aware that the Keyword meta tag has not been used since 1998. You certainly have nostalgia for the World Cup, but that is not a reason to go back to 98.
- The xml is essential for SEO, the same for the robots.txt: having or not having a sitemap will have no impact on your positioning. The sitemap is just a tool that will facilitate the indexing of pages. Indexing is not positioning.
- The URL must contain as many keywords as possible: the URL weighs less and less heavily in the algorithms; this is due to technological developments, but also to abuses… Having a clean URL is useful for monitoring it better from an analytical point of view; working on it too much is taking the risk of falling into over-optimization./
- The meta description is essential for SEO: there is an error in the acronym, it is essential for the SERPs (search engine results pages) and the CTR in the search pages (rate of click). Obviously, you have to work on it: but it’s a catchphrase that will make the Internet user want to click on a result in Google, or not. SEO monitoring is essential, tools such as the Abondance newsletter, Search Engine Watch, Secrets2motors or our blog will be tools that will help you stay in touch with the multiple developments of search engines without great effort. !
The technical dimension is important, performance, and accessibility on all media, are a major basis for success in a positioning strategy. But the semantic dimension in the code is often forgotten: how many integrators correctly use containers and the new HTML5 semantics?
How many integrators use data enriched with JSON? How many project managers, ergonomists or developers make title plans before starting their work or work from real content?
SEO is a bit of common sense, many good practices, but it is also an expertise. You might as well call on an SEO as early as possible in your project: he will be able to “spot the wolves” right away, will simplify the project at times and will avoid delays, overcharging or dropping out of traffic after a redesign, following a redesign called “savage”.
Myth #3: The SEO Agency Will Intervene During The Acceptance Of Project
Received idea very often daughter of received idea N°1 and 2. “Because SEO consists of a few tags and obscure terms, we can handle it last. “Lost! Reread points 1 and 2, I think you have understood that involving a SEO professional only during the recipe is already a waste of time and money.
Myth #4: SEO And Ergonomics Produce Unsightly Sites
What is beauty? What is design? We are not going to gloss, but any web project is a multidisciplinary project. Marketing, communication and IT are the three basic disciplines. Sacrificing SEO constraints means killing the marketing dimension, and considerably trimming the scope of communication. Web design is the consequence of upstream qualification work:
- of a positioning
- of a differentiation
- site objectives
- content adapted to targets and objectives
- of an appropriate lexical field
- of an angle and a tone of speech
- messages to send
- of a brand image
It is the constraint that brings creativity! Unfortunately, we are faced with a training problem, very few schools have their students work on editorial projects.
A few years later, young designers become teachers, and the vicious circle continues: the field of visual communication, luxury brand communication projects are favored by tutorials.
If we look at the press specializing in Web design, what do we see? Sites without content based on essentially visual concepts… Let’s not forget, as Olivier Andrieu says: “Google is obsessed with the text”.
For a brand to develop on the Internet, it must develop its visibility not with its customers, but with its suspects and prospects. It must therefore invest in the lexical fields of these two targets and conquer off-brand traffic via search engines.
The place of the content, its quality, the quantity is central. Web design is clearly a discipline that must feed on editorial, communication, technical and ergonomic constraints. If in addition, it’s pretty, so much the better, but what matters is efficiency!
Creating An SEO-Friendly Site Is Simple!
Designing a National SEO service-friendly site is not an impossible mission. It takes method and an up-to-date SEO culture! We collaborate with a simple and effective methodology for the production of SEO-friendly sites. This makes it possible to find the right balance between a design and an optimal fluidity of navigation with optimized natural referencing.
Study And Design Phase
- I focus on my objectives, my targets and I determine my main KPIs.
- I analyze the products I sell, the services, I research what differentiates me from the competition (price, exclusivity, reputation, etc.).
- I determine my communication angle and specify my marketing approach based on my value proposition.
- I analyze the existing, the competition, the question-and-answer sites of consumers, in order to determine lexical fields.
- I carry out a precise SEO plan, integrating different families of keywords (notoriety, brand, questions, products, generic keywords, geolocated keywords, long tail, etc.)
- From the SEO plan, objectives and targets, I determine the main types of content necessary for the proper editorial and ergonomic functioning of the site.
- I design the tree structure of the site thinking both of the users who will go through the home page, but also of those who will enter directly on an internal page via a search engine.
- I integrate my internal linking plan into my tree structure by implementing thematic clusters.
- I write my first content taking into account my SEO plan and good HTML5 semantic practices.
- From my first contents, and the site plan, I work on the organization of the information in the page by realizing a zoning , even a prototype in the case of a complex project.
- I integrate my SEO constraints into my specifications in the form of generic specifications (technical bases of SEO) and specific (marking plan, integration plan for containers and title levels, micro formats that you wish to use, management operation multilingual).
- I qualify my creation brief by clearly providing my SEO constraints , giving my first content, my zoning, the tree structure, my charter (if existing), examples of sites that I like and that I don’t like.
- I immediately start the setup of the development environment on the good foundations of SEO (canonical URL, URL rewriting, redirection of the www domain, hreflang, but also security, etc.).
- I brief integrators and developers by helping them with technical specifications.
- I prepare 301 redirects (if redesigned).
- I am trained in the use of the back-office and learn how to correctly integrate my content (good use of HTML, good practices on images, links, etc.).
- I integrate into my test plans the verification of SEO constraints or I carry out an SEO audit of my project in its development environment.
SEO Friendly Is Easy
An SEO friendly site or SEO Ready site is not that hard to achieve! It’s a “backwards” working method compared to that used in many agencies. It doesn’t cost more, on the contrary, the SEO friendly approach makes it possible to provide much more specific technical and creative briefs. Which even saves time overall on the project.
However, there is a limit: the expertise of stakeholders and clients in terms of SEO. The most reasonable thing is therefore to entrust your redesigns to agencies that are really SEO friendly.