As we all know Hell is paved with good intentions. The good intention to transfer a site to a good Content management system (CMS) can lead to search engine optimization hell. Positions, traffic and conversions are lost.
To avoid this, moving the site to a new CMS should ideally be carried out under the supervision of an SEO specialist.
How an SEO specialist at the development stage helps to save?
Most often, SEO services are requested after the web site has been developed and opened to visitors. Most likely, this site will be beautiful and functional, but out of touch with SEO reality. In most cases, it becomes obvious that the site needs to be readjust at the audit stage.
- the structure does not correspond to the semantic core – new pages are needed;
- the content does not lead the visitor to make a purchase decision – new photos and videos are needed for product cards;
- pages load very slowly – you need to move to another CMS, look for a more powerful server and optimize elements;
- service pages and pages with 404 errors get into the index – you need to correctly configure the robots.txt and sitemap.xml files;
- relevance to search is low – you need to use unique meta tags
And this is only on the surface: the deeper you search, the more you have to adjust.
In addition, the work and the reaction of search engines to new updates takes time. And it’s the time when the site is inactive, means no traffic, no sales.
As a result, the customer pays twice (first for development, then for SEO), while wasting time.
To avoid this, you need to connect an agency or an SEO specialist at design stage of the site.
What problems do websites usually have if SEO specialist wasn’t involved?
Let’s list the most common and critical problems that can be avoided with the help of specialist.
1. Unsuitable CMS in terms of SEO
The content management system itself cannot make the site worse or better, but it determines the set of functions available to the webmaster. The more limited and inconvenient CMS, the more problems:
– incorrectly spelled HTML elements (URL, meta tags, subheadings, alt attribute for images);
– incorrect navigation;
– the tendency to multiply elements – some CMS duplicate pages and content, which negatively affects the promotion in the search.
That’s why it is not easy to manage and adjust the web site according the requirements of search engine promotion.
Also, due to an incorrectly chosen CMS, there may be problems with download speed, optimization for mobile devices, and 301 redirect settings.
2. Errors in the technical part
There are errors found in the robots.txt and sitemap.xml service files quite often.
3. Crawlers follow the rules specified in robots.txt. But the correct configuration of this file includes not only content (correct User-agent, Allow/Disallow, Crawl-delay directives), but also the location.
The Sitemap.xml file contains information on the organization of the site content – the location of the pages, priorities, time and frequency of crawling changes on the page by the robots. But sometimes developers forget to add Sitemap.xml to the site, as well as specify it in the Google Search Console services. Errors or total absence of this file can also limit the potential of search promotion.
4. Incorrect structure of the web site
The owner of the site and its users may have different ideas about what should be on the web site. Because of this, the site may lack pages or entire sections that could be in demand among potential customers. And vice versa: there can be pages that buyers are not interested in at all.
5. Incorrect landing page structure
Modern design is not a panacea for the quality of usability: the layout may be beautiful, but not convenient and may not contain important blocks, the content may not correspond to the intent and help the user solving the task.
6. Undeveloped or missing commercial elements and blocks important for promotion
Commercial factors are elements of the site that influence the user’s purchasing activity: for example, the decision to place an order or pay for a purchase online.
These factors are also important for SEO promotion.
Often, you have to modify and add blocks and elements on web sites developed without a SEO specialist, again connecting designers and programmers, spending time on eliminating errors. Here are the main ones:
– there is no complete information about the organization, including contact information;
– there are no information pages “About us”, “Warranty”, “Payment”, “Delivery”, etc.;
– prices are not indicated;
– there is no shopping cart for placing an order;
– no callback order form
How SEO work helps to promote the site at the start of development
In order the site becomes a source of traffic and conversions from search engines, it must be directed to achieving business goals. It is necessary to take into account key areas of activity, priority goods/services, regions of work, a unique selling proposition.
And only a site optimized for search requirements can reach high traffic rates faster. So, in order not to waste time, a SEO specialist must be involved, even if there is no web site yet. The specialist will help:
– select CMS;
– to form a semantic core;
– organize site navigation, a competent structure based on the analysis of demand, competitors and semantics;
– prepare content;
– determine the commercial blocks and elements that need to be reflected in the finished version of the web site;
– set up web analytics (Google Analytics).
As a result – the web site starts promotion in Google from the moment it is launched.