SEO Best Practices for Web Design Shannon Richardson & Lisa McClure 6S Marketing
About 6S Marketing Skilled, dedicated and industry-savvy team of 25 employees Online marketing and social media marketing for 10 years Worked with 400+ clients BC’s Top Ten company to work for in 2010 (BC Business Magazine)
About Lisa Lisa has six years of experience in the Internet Marketing industry specializing in SEO and analytics. She has over three years of agency experience working in all aspects of online marketing and project management. She has worked with clients including HSBC and The United Way. Lisa has a BA in Journalism from Curtin University in Australia. Lisa works at 6S Marketing as an account manager.
About Shannon Shannon has eight years of experience in web design and development. After arguing with internet marketing professionals for most of those eight years she decided to see what life was like on the other side of the fence. She has been working as an internet marketing/social media specialist for three years now and knows first-hand that designers and internet marketing professionals can get along. Shannon works at 6S Marketing as an account manager.
What is SEO? Definition: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results - Wikipedia
Overview Site Organization and Structure – the building blocks Flash – the good, the bad and the ugly Usability and Conversion Optimization – how to get a site to not only get traffic but make $$ Images vs. Content – how to make sure everyone gets along All Things Technical – site speed, CSS, code structure and much, much more
Site organizationand structure http://www.flickr.com/photos/regi_a
Keywords Basis of site structure needs to be built around keywords. This includes domain name, navigation items, folder names, file names, image names, etc. Work with the site’s SEO to create the best structure that meets usability requirements and keyword-specific landing pages
URLs SEO is all about the URLs Consistency is key Use absolute links throughout the site Include keywords in the URLs strategically Think about the WHOLE URL for each landing page, not just the domain name
URLs Always put URLs in lowercase with words separated by hyphens Try to keep the number of words per folder/file to 3 or less Avoid dynamic URLs whenever possible Don’t include extraneous folders where not necessary
Site Structure Example of good site structuring www.bcfamilylaw.ca/family-law/spousal-support/
Site Structure Example of bad site structuring www.bodylogix.com/node/1013
Site Structure Example of bad site structuring www.mec.ca/Products/product_main.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=1408474395847401&ref=icon
Domains Age matters Target the site to geographic markets Hosting
Subdomains When do you use them? How do you make sure they are indexed? How do you integrate them with Analytics?
Subdomains Example of a blog as a subdomain blog.ariadental.com
Subdomains Example of ecommerce/shopping as a subdomain shop.nhl.com
Subdomains Example of location as a subdomain canada.forever21.com
Landing Pages What types of landing pages are there? How do different types of landing pages affect SEO? Landing pages should be created to match organic keywords referring traffic to the site Create prominent messaging and/or CTAs on individual URLs that match the keyword or landing page topic Should it be a part of the site’s navigation or separate?
Flash: The Good User experience Can include SWF objects to help search engines see some of the Flash content How does this fit in with SEO?
Flash: The Bad Can’t view Flash elements on most mobile devices Users need to keep Flash up-to-date for it to work properly
Flash: The Ugly Search engines can’t see information in Flash Slow load time Need strong supporting arguments to include any type of Flash on a site
Flash Alternatives HTML5, other scripting options Video Social Media feeds
Flash Good use of Flash: Small Flash element at bottom right of page hsbc.ca
Flash Bad use of Flash: Majority of homepage content is Flash sonoraresort.com
Flash Ugly use of Flash: Entire Flash homepage Gotmilk.com
Usability and conversion optimization http://www.flickr.com/photos/regi_a
How usability and conversions relate to SEO Goal of SEO is to gain ranking to increase qualified traffic to the site and gain conversions / leads Bounce rates affect SEO
Usability Don’t assume that visitors will enter the site from the homepage Conduct usability testing where possible
Conversions Define what the conversion points will be on the site Set up measureable goals for these conversions on the site if possible Ensure that the CTAs for these conversions are prominent on every page of the site
Conversions Example of a good CTA westland-insurance.com
Conversions Example of a bad CTA blanchemacdonald.com
Images vs. Content http://www.flickr.com/photos/regi_a
Images vs. Content Where not to use images Navigation Headers Structure Alt tags / image file naming / etc
All Things Technical http://www.flickr.com/photos/regi_a
Clean Code Always use the most up-to-date web standards Keep all formatting, scripting, etc code out of the page Use W3C tools and information regularly
Order Matters Keep text content to the top Keep title and meta tags to the top Move scripts to the bottom Use CSS to bridge the gap
Site Speed Every page should load as fast as possible Use the Google Page Speed tool http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com/ What items help improve site speed?
301 Redirects Redirects should be implemented when: Changing domain name or merging domains Changing URL names Must be a 301 redirect Not mirroring, not using any other 3xx redirect status code Implement 301 redirects with the .htaccess file