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The SEO Checklist for Website Design & Development Series – Part I

Posted by Paul Patrizi on Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 12:26

We are often asked how important is on-page SEO for website ranking and authority vs. off-page.  As we continue to have these client conversations, it is very apparent that much confusion exists relative to the topic.  So this post is intended to shed some light on the important checklist items you should focus on when doing web design and development. In addition to design and SEO concerns, it’s important that developers and clients alike ensure each website is accessible, fully supported and recognizable to search engines.  In this four part series, we will discuss 8 key areas which include:

  1. Mobile
  2. SEO basics
  3. W3C compliance
  4. Structure
  5. Internal links
  6. Structured data
  7. Speed
  8. Page load

Okay, so let’s jump right in.

SEO Deserves Your Attention

Effective SEO gives you a chance to compete in a cluttered marketplace, cutting through some of the information saturation facing web users (and search engines). Web developers and website design companies are continually becoming key partners, working to keep your site optimized for search.

Starting with the right information architecture (IA) gives you an SEO advantage as your site grows and becomes more visible online. IA encompasses organizational aspects of the content found on websites, creating intuitive structures for users and search bots.

The link between site organization and SEO is important for more than one reason. Visitor engagement matters now, so an easy-to-understand website keeps users present, sends the right message to search, and increases sales with good optimization strategies.

Not only does the straightforward layout help user experience (UX), but Google also rewards a clear structure, organizing related content in logical ways. In the SEO world, organized IA is also known as “siloing” and has massive impacts on getting found in search.

Okay, so let’s dive right in.  Here are the key checklist items you need to make sure are complete:

  1. Mobile and Responsive Sites – A Modern Must

Making a site mobile is a vital part of any productive web strategy. As we are all aware, more searches are conducted used mobile devices than ever before and this continues to escalate.  Also, keep in mind that non-responsive sites are Mobile and Responsive websitespenalized by the engines making rank near impossible.

Many websites lag because they were built for a desktop user experience and later tweaked for mobile. As you might expect, the results are inconsistent, when compared to mobile-first sites built for the future. If more people relay on mobile to search, that’s where your page views originate. Unresponsive and slow-loading sites give visitors every reason to leave.

Similarly, users are five times more likely to leave a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Responsive website design (RWD) is one of Google’s answers to the problem.

  1. Don’t Forget the SEO Basics

Consistent attention to basic SEO provides a solid foundation for any website. Accounting for details like alt tags and title tags strengthens content and makes your site more accessible to the search engines.  The tags should be attached to every image and anchor text, accurately describing what’s on them.

Another long-time feature of SEO, the importance of metadata hasn’t diminished On-page SEO BasicsMetadata can best be described as a concise informative snapshot of other data, furnishing basic information about the website’s content.

Well-structured meta titles and descriptions make it easier to find content, increases click-through-rate (CTR), and reinforces information organization. Creating metadata manually makes it more accurate and site-specific, driving better results than creating it automatically.

Stay tuned for Part II in our series when we will be discussing W3C compliance and site structure.  Need help with your next digital project, reach directly out to our team at 216-360-8141.  Or drop us a note at We’re Here To Help Your Business Blast Off!

Topics: on-page SEO, Mobile, Responsive websites