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Why is SEO Important During Website Development?

     -     Apr 27th, 2018   -     Search Engine Optimization, Websites   -     0 Comments

When launching a website development project there are many issues to consider including site design, desired functionality, content, professional photography and imagery. Making sure all the puzzle pieces are on the table, in the right order and fit together is essential to the success of your project project. Unfortunately, many accounting marketers and accountants miss an important aspect of a website project that can create future issues – they don’t consider search engine optimization (SEO) elements. How a site is designed should be as much about brand and ease of use as it should be about making it SEO friendly. A new website that looks gorgeous but ranks poorly with Google and other search engines will not do much to propel the firm’s online presence. There are key considerations that should be made in the design and coding phases to ensure the site can be optimally positioned. In other words, building a new website that doesn’t consider SEO is like building a house without plumbing. At some point you are going to need it, so it makes more sense and is more cost effective to do the work while the site is being constructed rather than attempting a retrofit. Below we have provided a few SEO issues to consider during your next website redesign.

Essential SEO Considerations

  • HTML Overlay – Many accounting firm websites are fond of using sliders that use imagery to communicate a message about a service the firm offers, an industry served, or an award earned. It’s common for these sliders to have the wording built into the image. While it may be standard to do such a thing, it actually hurts SEO efforts. Google is not capable of reading an image so any content that’s built into a slider (or other image) is essentially hidden from search engines. The way around this is functionality called HTML overlay. As the name suggests the content is placed on top of the image and is in HTML format which search engines can index. Once the creative for the homepage has been determined make sure the coder knows you want to have HTML overlay functionality and confirm they can make the needed CSS changes to render text according to your design preferences.
  • HTML Overlay – Many accounting firm websites are fond of using sliders that use imagery to communicate a message about a service the firm offers, an industry served, or an award earned. It’s common for these sliders to have the wording built into the image. While it may be standard to do such a thing, it actually hurts SEO efforts. Google is not capable of reading an image so any content that’s built into a slider (or other image) is essentially hidden from search engines. The way around this is functionality called HTML overlay. As the name suggests the content is placed on top of the image and is in HTML format which search engines can index. Once the creative for the homepage has been determined make sure the coder knows you want to have HTML overlay functionality and confirm they can make the needed CSS changes to render text according to your design preferences.
  • Footer Menu – While a footer menu is not exclusive to the homepage it is an essential element for any website. Google and other search engines are not able to “see” a website’s menu. This is especially the case if you are using WordPress because menu.php is a code file that is shielded from Google. So, one alternative to tell search engines about the structure of your website is to create a footer menu that’s indexable. Rather than listing out every single page on the website only list out the pages that a site visitor would most commonly look for or visit. Linking to the firm history and awards page, while interesting to you, may be of little consequence to a site visitor. Take careful measure to include only the most important pages in a footer menu. Again, once you have decided on what should be included in the footer menu, let your coder know you need the information to be indexable by search engines.

Get Connected

Unfortunately, many wrongly assume that their designer or coder are aware of these issues and will properly guide them through the process. In most cases, these professionals are great at design and coding but only have an ancillary knowledge of these SEO issues. If you have questions about SEO during the web design process or need assistance with an organic SEO or PPC issue, FlashPoint Marketing can help. For additional information please call us at 954-621-8080 or click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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