Website Development — A Planning Approach to Integrated Design & SEO

Developing a website is not an easy process. We know that many of our clients have a problem with this, even though they are ready to invest in achieving their business goals.

They usually want their website to help them raise greater awareness of their brand, build confidence, and create long-term relationships with the audience.

However, the main problem most website and business owners face is the approach itself. Namely, they know what they want to achieve, but they don’t know how to do it. More notably, they rarely manage to see the importance of integrating SEO into website design. Many feel that SEO comes last, but the fact is that it needs to be an integral part of website development from the get-go.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at what this process is and how beneficial it can be.

Importance of Integrated Website Development

Countless companies today approach website development in the same manner — they look at it only from a functional and creative viewpoint.

Don’t get us wrong, both of these are vital, as you want your website to look good and provide users with an amazing experience. However, you also want those users to be able to find your site in the first place, and that’s precisely where SEO comes in.

Marketing teams shouldn’t wait for the website to reach completion to start thinking about how they can drive traffic to the site. Each aspect needs to be considered from the beginning. Website design, SEO strategy, and even content planning and creation — all of them need to work together from the start, as that’s the only way to build a more beneficial website for your brand.

Most people have heard about the old practice where site optimization comes at the end as a way to improve it and make final tweaks and adjustments. This approach can work, but its results are nowhere near what an integrated development approach can do.

SEO comes with a lot of questions, such as:

  • How can I improve growth?
  • How can I ensure proper keyword visibility?
  • How can I get more space in the SERPs (search engine results pages)?

All of these — and many other questions — need to be asked from the start.

If you decide to opt for an integrated approach to website development, all aspects that determine your website’s success will work together throughout the process and result in a highly-functional, user-friendly, optimized website.

Problems of the Old Approach

Imagine this for a minute — you’ve finished designing your website and completed the technical stuff. Everything is working perfectly. It’s all done, and you’re happy with the results, but then, all of a sudden, you realize you’re not getting any website traffic. Now, you need to make some major changes.

This is precisely what tends to happen if you neglect SEO at first because your website will have to undergo major changes that are incredibly time-consuming. Also, the whole feat may turn out to be quite costly, as you’ll probably have to hire people to do it for you.

However, when website design and SEO work together from the start, these improvements and optimizations can be mapped in the early stages completely and implemented easily once the time comes. So, you won’t waste any time or money, and, most notably, there will be no stress.

Tips for Integrating SEO and Website Design

Now that we’ve explained the importance of a holistic, integrated website development process, let’s talk about some tips that will help you understand how to approach the subject.

Learn Where the Traffic Comes From

If you want your website to be successful, you need to understand your target audience.

Firstly, you’ll have to research where the traffic to the site will come from. Of course, in order to do so, you’ll need to understand the keywords and the themes connected to the products or services you’re offering. By doing keyword research, you’ll know exactly where most of the future traffic will come from, which will help you create an effective strategy for your website.

Let Google Bots Do Their Job

The only way for your website to even end up in the search results is for Google bots or spiders to crawl it and add its information to the Google index. For that to occur, you need to build an easily crawlable website, and this is only possible with proper optimization and a good XML sitemap, which is a crucial part of every SEO strategy.
Mapping all of your site’s content is crucial because you will send positive signals to the bots if you do it right. This will, in turn, increase your ranking in the SERPs.

Consider SEO Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is always worth considering, especially in the early stages. That’s because website designers might not always consider things that only SEO experts can see. This can cause issues and lower your rankings in the SERPs, which can be easily avoided by having these two teams cooperate in the early stages.

Never Stop Testing

A big part of a typical SEO strategy is testing. You need to do it all the time by testing absolutely everything. Furthermore, if there are any issues, make sure to solve them as soon as possible. Even if it seems like you only need to make some small adjustments, the problems can add up over time and have a big influence on your overall ranking.

Importance of User Experience

There have been indications in recent times that user experience (UX) has a positive impact on SEO. In fact, many web designers already know that they need to design sites while having UX in mind all the time.

This connection between SEO, UX, and web design just goes to show how crucial it is to deal with all the aspects of website development at the same time.

Naturally, we are aware that all of this can seem too complicated for any business to tackle on its own. That’s why we believe it would be much better to get outside help from professionals.

We at Crankworks offer a wide range of branding and SEO services, so if you want to improve your website from the get-go, make sure to get in touch with us!