Are you starting a new web project? Learn everything you need about SEO & web design in this one-hour webinar replay. I go through every web project phase and the SEO considerations at each point in the project timeline. You can also download the free PDF SEO & web design checklist to hand off to your web designer or web developer.
SEO & Web Design Webinar Transcript
I’m going to get started and people might be coming in as kind of the time goes on, but I have a lot to cover. So I’m going to jump right into it. I have muted everyone for now, as we go through the presentation. And if possible as we’re going through, if you could leave all of your questions kind of to the end, I’ve left time to answer everything. But you know, things will probably explain themselves, as we like to go on. And so we’re going to cover a lot. And I’m very excited to get started. So this is my first webinar that is completely solo Boop Digital. I’ve been doing webinars and Masterminds with a lot of different business partners. But I’m going to be starting a spring and summer marketing webinar series. So every three weeks, there’ll be a different topic. And this is the first topic, everything you need to know about SEO and web design. So let’s get into it.
About Lo From Boop Digital
So I’ll start with this bio, just so you know that I do know what I’m talking about, or you have a little bit more trust that I know what I’m talking about. So I’ve been doing digital marketing for many years now. My areas of specialty include SEO, which we’re going to talk about today, but also paid ads, analytics, and web optimization, and I have a lot of experience in web design, and web development as well. I’ve been doing digital marketing for over 10 years, across 32 industries, over 17 countries. Honestly, the stats are like a little old, but I haven’t counted it all up again and managed over 500,000 advertising budgets annually. I’m passionate about helping brands that make the world a more beautiful place, either through their creativity, their social impact, or the general kind of spirit behind the business owners themselves. And I am very big on transparency in the marketing, industry, education, and social impact of our businesses. And when I’m not nerding out about marketing, I like going to the mountains, beach photography, fashion, astrology, tarot, making cocktails, and a lot of dancing. And pictured here is my cat who is having a little break in the bedroom right now so that she doesn’t jump onto the screen.
Why Is SEO Important
So I’m gonna start just really basic, why do we even need to care about SEO? What are the results we’re looking for. And this is just really important to know why we’re doing anything. At a very simple level, SEO is about increasing our organic web traffic. So it’s increasing the number of people that come to our website through search results, which ultimately is a free marketing channel other than maybe the time or the talent that you might hire to help you with it. So that makes it a really great marketing channel to invest in because you’re not having to pay for every single visit or click like you might with traditional or digital advertising methods. So a case study example of this is one of my clients, Young, Hip & Married. This is in their last year of business. After working together for a year, we were able to get them over 7 million Google Search impressions, and over 317,000 clicks to their website. And we’ve seen in the last two years of 13% growth in their website traffic from search results year over year. And if they had spent this on ads to get the same amount of traffic, it would have cost them $73,000. Now, again, these are actually old numbers, I just got off a call with them as well. And even in the last three years of this business year, they’re consistently hitting 1 million search impressions each month at this point and their monthly traffic value is worth about 92,000. And the way I calculate this number is by looking at the keyword that someone searched for that then led them to click on the website and how much that key Word costs to bid on in Google ads. So there’s like a cost per click. And if you take all of those keywords, and you times it by the amount, it actually costs, this is kind of the number you would get. So obviously, everyone’s businesses at different points and kind of their maturation, as far as you know, how long they’ve been around, how big their website is, and how much content they’re producing. And all that kind of stuff. Young, Hip and Married I would say, is kind of in their middle maturity, maturity phase at this point. But I think it’s a really great example of just kind of the impact that properly focusing on SEO can have in real numbers.
What Is SEO
So what is SEO stands for search engine optimization. And it is basically a methodology and process you use to improve your website and prove your content so that you show up in the top of Google search results or, you know, potentially other search engines like Bing or Yahoo, when someone searches for a term or question related to your business, that is what SEO stands for. And kind of this is an example, if someone searches boop digital, you know, ideally, I want to be the top search result. And I want my business to be there. And this extends not just to someone searching your business name, but let’s say if someone searches Vancouver marketing agency or something similar, I want to be showing up at the top of that search results. As you guys probably know, just even from your own behavior online, it’s unlikely that you search for something and then go through, you know, page after page of search results all the way to like the 20th page of search results, you’re going to kind of trust that the people that are showing up on the first page are, you know, bigger, maybe more trusted businesses. And so this is where you want to be as well.
The Three SEO Scores Impacting Your Search Rankings
Now, there are three things that affect how high you show up in search results. The first is something called a technical SEO score. So this is kind of a score that’s given to you based on a lot of different metrics about how easily can Google search engine crawlers actually understand your site. So this is like a lot of technical stuff like, are your URLs optimized? Do you have metadata, it has a lot to do with kind of the coding and actual development of your website. The second thing that affects your search rankings is something called your domain authority score. And this is what you can consider almost like a popularity contest, it’s how trusted you are on the internet. So on one kind of end of the spectrum, we have like the Canadian government website, a very, very trusted website, very official, that’s gonna have extremely high domain authority score. And then at the lowest end of the spectrum, you know, we might have some of your neighbor’s random Blogspot blog that they just started yesterday, and there’s only one comment on it about how much they hate your trees. And that’s just going to have the lowest domain authority score, not much credibility, and every single website falls somewhere in between there. So ideally, you want to have your website be considered very popular and trustworthy. The way that you typically improve this is almost through, like traditional PR strategies being covered in media, having other trusted websites link back to you or refer you as a business owner. And the third lever that affects your search rankings is the relevancy of your content. So for example, if someone searches for pizza delivery near them, my website digital as a marketing agency is probably not going to show up because I have no content on my website about pizza delivery. And I don’t want to show up for pizza delivery searches. So when you’re creating content for your website, you want to make sure that the blog posts that you write the copy on your web pages are really relevant to the things that people are actually searching for. And you also really want to consider not just what you think is important but actually look at the data. What are the questions people ask in search engines? And how can I answer those questions really well, how can I create really good content that is really relevant for my business and my customers, and my clients? These are the three levers to actually affect your search rankings. This is kind of the most high-level, you know, simplified breakdown of the kind of areas that we need to work on.
What Is an SEO Marketing Strategy?
So there is a lot that goes into a full SEO marketing strategy. The first step is creating a business website experience that is optimized for your customers, always humans first, always the people you’re actually serving first, and search engines When you’re creating a website, you’re most likely going to be hiring a website designer developer. Not all website designers and developers are necessarily also SEO experts. So it’s really important to figure out if the website designer or developer is also an SEO expert, or if you’re going to have to outsource that as well. If you build a website that doesn’t have SEO in mind, what will happen is you’ll probably get a beautiful website, but you won’t necessarily have it showing up in search results, or you won’t have the good foundation to at least start to show up in search results. So I’ve moved digital when we create websites, we’re also SEO experts. So any kind of website build that happens for our customers already includes everything I’m about to talk about. This presentation is really to help you understand what exactly goes into that, and to if you’re considering working on your own website, or hiring someone to help you with your website, these are all the considerations that have to happen. And this isn’t really, I find accessible information on the internet, it’s very overwhelming when you start to look into this. And so I’ve made a lot of kind of really simple resources to explain this as simply as possible.
Now, this is just one chunk of the SEO strategy. And you notice I highlighted this in yellow. So this is what we’re covering today in this webinar is the actual, you know, website, projects and how to make sure that it includes everything for SEO, once you have a website, the next step for an SEO strategy is to start to write valuable blog content for your humans. That was a really, really weird way but that was for your customers, and to make sure that you’re including your business keywords. And so part of that is understanding what are even the keywords or the search terms that you would want to be writing content about and that you’d want to be ranking for. So we consider that kind of content or keyword strategy. The third thing that you want to work on is optimizing that content for search engines. So you’ve written that for your customers and actual humans. And then you also want to kind of go through a laundry list of items to make sure you’ve optimized it so that Google also really understands what your content is about. The fourth thing is to kind of get a handle on your website analytics. So the kind of most common way to do this is Google Analytics is free. And just understand, how do I have Google Analytics connected? Do I understand what any of this data means? And how can I look at it and improve my website and content and make data-informed decisions? The last thing that you would do is you would want to be sharing your content on the internet to kind of gain authority be seen as a thought leader be positioned as the expert in your field. And this is called a backlink strategy. Because this is going to help you improve that domain authority score. It’s kind of being a reputable business and sharing that content in other places. And the sixth and final part of this complete SEO strategy would be repurposing all of that hard work that you’ve done on your website and creating all those blog posts and creating bite-sized versions to share on social and share on other platforms. In general, it’s really important as entrepreneurs to work smart and not hard as much as possible, you know, you have a limited amount of time you’re wearing multiple hats. And so you want to make sure that if you’re going to put all this effort into having an SEO strategy, and writing blog posts and doing all this research that you also take the time to do the kind of quick win of sharing it on social and other places as well and leveraging it as much as possible. Okay, so let’s get into what’s actually covered in this presentation. And you’ll notice throughout this presentation, I again, focus a lot on education I have a ton of resources if you wanted to go into one of these topics I have a lot of free blog posts a lot of tutorials there will be many webinars coming.
SEO Phases of a Typical Web Project
So how to properly consider SEO at each phase of web projects? So easy, guys, so easy ;). Let’s look at kind of a typical web project. Now there are other parts of a web, you know, a development project that happens but this is kind of the phases of the web project where we want to consider SEO. So the first phase is going to be choosing the page structure. This is literally choosing how many pages? Does my website have one? You know, do I have an about page? Do I have a contact page, what pages do I even need? So this is a great point in your website projects to consider SEO because you might want to create a page that has to do with something people are searching for. The second phase of a website project is the actual design and development of the pages. This is where you know, you get the mock-ups, and then it gets developed and all that there are SEO considerations that you want to think about at this phase as well. And we’ll get into that. The third phase is once all of that, you know, those pages are built and designed, usually have to go in and add content. So this is where you have all that copywriting you have all the images. And now you’re uploading it and putting it onto the website. And there are specific SEO considerations that you want to think about at that phase as well. And then the last phase of a website project is launching the site. And once you’ve launched the site, you know, there are things you want to consider at that point, too, like your hosting and your domain. But also there are some things that once you’ve launched, help you with your SEO as well. So we’re going to talk about each four phases of a web project here.
Phase 1 of SEO & Web Design Checklist – Structuring Your Web Pages
Phase one is choosing the page structure. Very beginning, you’re having discussions about your hopes and dreams for your website. Here is the complete checklist of everything you would want to consider for SEO at this phase of the web project.
So the first one is that ideally, you’d want to have a separate landing page or a separate web page for every single main service or product that you offer. Now there are exceptions to every rule that I am going to say, you know, everyone’s business is, is very different. So I have a lot of clients that might have a very small website project where they basically just have kind of one homepage, this is often like kind of a solo consultant or a solo freelancer. And they might have a much more simple version of this. And they might only really be offering one thing at this time. But as your business grows, and in general with your website, in a perfect SEO world, you would want to have a separate web page for every single service or actual, you know, a product that someone is buying. That way you can really focus all of the content on that page about that particular kind of service.
You also want to make sure that you have a separate landing page or separate web page that has been created for each main market or region or industry that you offer services in. So let’s say for example, you are a photographer, and you offer photography shoots in Vancouver, BC, but you also offer photography shoots in LA, you would ideally want to have a separate web page for the Vancouver part of your business and your LA part of the business. And the reason you want to do this is because they probably have different addresses. When someone searches for photographers near me, you want, Google is going to want to know that you’re located near that person who’s searching. And so having it by every kind of location or market that you’re in is also very important. Again, not relevant for everyone but very important to consider.
Descriptive URLs for SEO Keywords
The next thing you would want to consider is that whatever page URLs you choose and whatever page names you choose that they just follow best practices. So you’re at this phase where you’re brainstorming your new website project. And you know, you have a pizza company and you have this crazy name for your pizza that has nothing to do with the actual type of pizza it maybe you sell a pepperoni pizza, but you call it oh gosh, I don’t even know you’re calling it, you’re calling it your corndog pizza, even though it has nothing to do with corndogs. It’s probably not the best practice to just name your web page corndogs. If it’s actually pizza if that makes sense. It’s a very silly example. But it’s just really important to make sure when you’re choosing your pages and the name of pages that they’re really descriptive and clear. A kind of more common example of this is sometimes it’s very common for people to just have a contact page, let’s say the page loaded is called contact and the URL is just contact. This is fine. You know, you’re not gonna be penalized for this. But if you were to get more descriptive for SEO with the URL, and I’ll say I was a marketing agency, I might actually make the URL something that says Contact marketing agency because right in the URL while it’s being a lot more descriptive, and Google’s ability to tell this is a marketing agency that someone could contact, like a slight difference, but it makes, it can make a big difference for search engines to really understand, because search engine, see, you know, the URL slash contact, just 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of times across many websites. So any kind of little description that you can give is really helpful, always within reason, because you can also go to the extreme of this and just have, you know, the world’s longest URL to be super descriptive. And that’s also not good. And so I have a blog post called ‘How To Create SEO friendly URLs’ that lays out all of the rules and best practices for this. So if you’re doing that, as a project, you can go check it out.
Best URL Length For SEO
Another SEO consideration at this phase is that you want to have a maximum hierarchy. They’re called folders, but if three folders throughout the site, so for example, you know, when you see in a URL says, you know, boob digital.com/blog/and, then the category name, then slash post, in that example, there are technically three folders here, every time you see that slash if you just don’t want to create a website that’s so confusing to navigate, where you start to see like five or six lashes, and there’s just keeps getting further and further and deeper and deeper down. That becomes confusing for Google to figure out the organization of your website. So try to keep it simple.
Keeping Your SEO Rankings When You Switch Domains or URLs
And the last SEO consideration when we’re deciding kind of what pages we want to build for our website, and what the structure of our website is going to look like, is just to keep in mind that if we’re redesigning an existing site, or we’re switching the domain, or even if we have a, our website, and we’re just creating, like a new version of a page that already exists, we need to be really careful that we don’t create broken links by just randomly changing your URLs. Because anytime you create a page that exists at that URL, that URL technically, always exists for the rest of time in Google’s mind. And so you might change the URL. And you might think, Well, I’ve changed the URL. Now it’s different. But Google doesn’t really catch up that fast. And so it might still show search results with the old URL. And then when someone clicks on that search result, the link is broken. And that’s not a great experience. So that’s just something to keep in mind, when you’re creating a new website, and you’re changing up the way you do your pages, and you’re changing up the way you do your house, we really need to make sure that you avoid broken links. And again, I have a very intense breakdown of steps on how to, you know, fix that as well on the blog. (Read about how to keep your SEO when changing your domain or URLs here)
Choosing The Right SEO Keywords For a Web Page or Blog Post
So, actually, I’m just gonna go back here, I’m going to explain something a little bit more in-depth just because I think it’s so important for SEO at this phase. But I want to kind of point out that for this URL for this folder stuff for the broken links, I have these blog posts, you can check out, because there are going to be a lot of points where you’ll notice I have a checklist. And you know, they could be their own webinars and their own records. But I do just want to talk about how one might go about choosing the keywords that you want to focus on for creating specific pages, because I think that’s really important and foundational.
So if I were to develop a list of keywords or search terms that I want to rank for in search results, this is how I would go about doing it. And I have a free SEO Keyword worksheet that you can download on my website that you can literally print out and follow along and do this brainstorming activity. And by the time you finish this brainstorming activity, you will have the main keyword list that you’ll want to focus on. So feel free to check out that resource. This is kind of the gist of it. If I were to develop my main keyword list, I would list out each one of my main services or products. So if I was a photographer, I might be like, wedding photography, engagement, photography, and let’s say family photography are my main services. I would list each of those out. I would then try to think and match the web page or blog posts that is dedicated to just that keyword or service. So I want to be able to think do I have a wedding photography page? Do I have an engagement photography page? Do I have a family photography page? This is going to become the page that focuses on just that keyword. If I’m then going to go into the Google homepage and start typing that keyword into the search bar, you’ll notice when you type things into Google, you’ll see those autocomplete suggestions. This is data right from Google showing you what are popular related terms, I would list out all of those terms that are relevant to my business. So if I typed in wedding photography into Google, and I saw a bunch of related terms about wedding photography, outfits, wedding photography, prices, all that kind of stuff, I’d write all that out. And I would make them each a section on the page. Because then you have a web page that talks about your main service and also includes all of the related popular keywords in section headings, and it becomes a one-stop shop that has all the content someone might want about that particular keyword. And I would just repeat this process with as many services as I had as many locations as I had until I had kind of a robust content structure for my website. So kind to show you here, it’s very simple, this is exactly kind of what I have to do, I’d write the service, I’d match it to a page, and write all the related kind of keywords that I have. And I would make those content sections on my page. And this is just a really simple way to break down and make sure that you’re considering all of the kind of main keywords for your business, and what are the most kind of like popular keywords for your business. So if that interests you, you can download that spreadsheet or the worksheet on my website, and you can print it off, it also is fillable digitally as well. In addition to figuring out what keywords you want to include as I said, I have that free worksheet. I do also offer this as a service where I fully produce much more than just that like a custom kind of content strategy for you with like all the keywords and all the blog posts, suggestions, and all of the optimization suggestions. And I also have a blog post that can talk about how to like a bunch of brainstorming activities to get your creative juices flowing to figure out different keywords you might want to rank for.
Phase 2 of SEO & Web Design Checklist – Designing/Developing Your Web Pages
Okay, in phase two, now we are designing and developing the web pages. Next, we’re going to kind of deep dive into it after this checklist you need to make sure that your heading tags are properly optimized for search engines first, and then as a design tool. This is probably the number one mistake I see when people come to me with their websites. Pretty much universally every web designer web developer I know, but especially web designers are using heading tags like as a design tool. And they do not consider its actual function which is to organize information. So we’re going to talk about that a little bit because that’s probably the biggest mistake at this point in the website project.
Website Footer SEO
But I also just want to mention that when you’re designing pages, and you’re creating those mock-ups, you also want to consider your footer. So that would be the bottom the very bottom section of your web pages. You know, typically a footer, you want to see your business address in there as much information as you’re like willing to share some people you know, have their home addresses and their business addresses. So this might not always work out. You can also if your home address is your business address. But you kind of want to seem more legit and not publicly share your home address, you can consider signing up for like a professional mailbox service that allows you to set your business address to that, you know address like a lot of co-working spaces will offer that as a service. And then you could use that as your official business mailing address. But in your footer use want to make sure you have as much as possible your exact business address, and you want to make sure it exactly matches the way that you might have it show up in your Google business listings. So that Google is able to make that connection between your business and your business website. You ideally want to make sure that your telephone number if you have it and your website footer are clickable. And this is kind of the format that you would do that just kind of the metadata. You want to make sure that your email if you have it is clickable, and this is kind of the format you would use to make that work.
How Many Words For Blog SEO
And you want to make sure that when you’re designing your web pages every single page that you make has a minimum a minimum of 300 words of copy on it. If it has under 300 words, then Google won’t be able to tell what that page is about at all. That’s the bare minimum, in an ideal world. And this is like a crazy, huge number. But in an ideal world, every page would have like 2000 words on it, and Google would be so happy. That’s an insane number. And, you know, obviously, like a lot of your main web pages and your homepage, they’re not going to have 2000 words on it. In fact, that would be kind of probably a really terrible experience to have to scroll through all this text. So often, when you hear people talking about that, like 1000, or 2000, word, kind of suggestion, they’re talking about, like long-form blog posts, so your blog post, ideally, you want to have them be like long-form written content, your main web pages are most likely never going to hit that, but at least make sure they have 300 words.
Title Tags in SEO
Okay, so just want to deep dive into the heading tags situation here. And I again, have a full blog post on my blog that breaks down this into great detail. And it’s a really good resource if you’re working with a web designer or web developer, or you just want to understand what it takes yourself. But I’m going to kind of simply explain it here.
What are heading tags, heading tags are little pieces of code, you see h one, you know, like and bracket h one around a piece of text. This is a piece of code that you put around text to let all you know the website code and Google search engines and everyone knows kind of what hierarchy of text This is on a page. So you actually see heading tags used and things like Microsoft Word. When you have a Microsoft Word document, you can select your text and you can select Heading One Heading Two, Heading Three, and you can select just be paragraph text. So this is the exact same thing for websites. websites use the same hierarchy. But there are rules to how you use it. So every single web page should only have one h1 tag, one heading one tag. And that should be your page title. And every h1 tag on a website should be very unique, you shouldn’t have like, the same page title for every page should be descriptive, and what the page is about in every section heading on your web page or think about this like a Microsoft Word document. Every section heading should be given the heading two tags. If you were to have subsections. Under those, you could use the Heading Three tag, all of your kind of paragraphs and body text should be using the paragraph tag. So what ends up kind of happening and why there’s a lot of confusion is because often web designers will use this to set font style rules. And this is the same thing when you’re kind of working with Microsoft Word or something, you might set it so that your heading one is like you know size 50 font and Times New Roman, but then your paragraph text is like size 12 Times New Roman. Similarly, when you’re designing a website, designers will apply kind of font rules to the heading tags. And this is absolutely what you should do. It creates a universal styling throughout the website. But what happens is usually they don’t understand. Beyond just applying different font style rules, they don’t understand the importance of how the hierarchy tells other programs like Google search engines, like how to read the information. So sometimes, in fact, a lot of times, you’ll see a web designer, and little like take that heading three tag. And they’ll make it a super huge font because they want to be able to like quickly and easily insert a large quote on a web page. And so they just choose a random heading tag. And anytime they’re using a quote on the web page, they’ll wrap it in this h3 Heading tag. That’s not good because the h3 Heading tag has a very specific purpose. And so does the h1 tag and so does the h2 tag. in web design. There are headings one through six that are available and then there’s the paragraph tag as well.
So, you know, you can go into the blog post to understand this more but just making sure when you’re doing a website project that it’s really important to make sure that when your web page website is getting developed, the designer and the developer and everyone understands how to use these properly Because this heavily impacts SEO, like, heavily, heavily impacts, so I just really wanted to flag that in the design phase.
Phase 3 of SEO & Web Design Checklist – Adding Content To Your Web Pages
So phase three, adding content to the pages. So, in website, phase three, where we’re adding all the copy, adding all the images to our website, there are a bunch of things you need to consider for SEO. This is where you start to really, like, you know, amp up the SEO homework. When I say focus keyword, what I mean is whatever keyword you chose in that first column of the developing your main keyword list worksheet that I talked about, so let’s say you’re a photographer, and we’re adding content to the wedding photography, webpage. And our focus keyword for this page is wedding photography. That’s our focus keyword.
Where To Put SEO Keyword In Content
So if I were to add content to a new webpage, I would choose my focus keyword. And in this example, I’ll use wedding photography, I would want to make sure that I’ve chosen it, it makes sense for that page, and I would then want to make sure it appears in the URL. So ideally, the URL would be something like lo-kyle.com/wedding photography, I want to make sure that it appears in the SEO page title. So on that page, my h1 tag, you know, my page title, ideally, I want the words wedding photography to show up on that page title. I then want that keyword to show up in the first 100 words of text on the page. So let’s say I have an intro paragraph, and I’m like, Hi, I am Lo Kyle and I do wedding photography in Vancouver, BC blah, blah, blah, I want that wedding photography word to show up in the first 100 words, I also want to make sure that that focus keyword appears in any alt text of any images on that particular page. So if I upload, you know, some pictures of me taking photos, I would want to change the alt text. So that it says something like wedding photography, you know, like and just kind of in the description of the image, I want to include those that term as much as possible.
Image Optimization for SEO
I also want to make sure that any images and videos that I upload to my page have been properly compressed and cropped. So for example, this happens a lot with photography clients or creative clients. They take these really big, beautiful high res photos for their website with their professional cameras. And then they just upload that version of this super high res photo to their website that was technically made to be able to be like made into an art print. And it’s such a big file and it slows down the website so much. So you ideally want to save a version of every image and video that is basically the smallest it’s cropped, and it’s compressed to be the smallest size that you really like, can have it for the website. Every time you upload images and videos, it slows down the website and Page Speed is a very, very important ranking factor in your search rankings. Google does not want to send traffic to a website that’s so slow when people go to a website. And it’s taking forever to load. Within the first few seconds. If it hasn’t loaded, they leave the website and they never come back. And Google doesn’t want to send people to a search result where they have a bad experience. And then they leave because then Google’s out of business because people don’t trust going to Google for the right search result. So it’s very important to make sure that your website is speedy and working well.
Meta Description SEO
You also want to make sure that you’ve written a unique meta description for that page. This is usually done in the SEO settings of your website. If you have Squarespace. If you have a WordPress site, you can use the Yoast plugin or a Rank Math plugin depending on what you have installed. And you can write the meta description for that page. And again, I mentioned this before, but it’s important on this phase as well, because this is where we’re actually adding the copy. You want to make sure every page has a minimum of 300 words on it. I have the free guide, you know here as well for that focus keyword. I also have a blog post where I have a full checklist of anytime you write a blog post, you can just follow that checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do.
Phase 4 of SEO & Web Design Checklist – Launching Your Website
Okay, phase four, launching the site. Shout out to Spock, my favorite character ever. Okay, website phase four, we’re launching it. So we’ve launched our site. We want to make sure that we enact all of the Google Ads apps on our website. And this is also important and kind of why I included this is because often when you hire someone to, you know, design and build your website, this stuff typically is not included, you’ve just hired the designer and the developer, but they’re not necessarily going to go and do a bunch of the kind of stuff after you’ve launched your site to make it be marketed well, including, like marketing through SEO. Again, at Boop Digital, if we do do a web design, or web development project, we do do this for all of our clients, it’s included, but that’s also because we’re SEO experts. And that’s what we do. So we do it. But this is absolutely not included for most other web developers. And I’m not even saying this to like shame, other designers or developers, it’s not in the scope of their work, they shouldn’t have to do it. So just make sure that you’re aware of that.
Setting Up Google Analytics & Conversion Tracking
You want to make sure that all your Google accounts are connected. So these are all free products, but you want to make sure Google Analytics is connected, that’s your web traffic kind of analytics tool, you want to make sure Google Search Console is connected. This is the one that really impacts SEO, and you want to make sure Google Tag managers are connected. You then would ideally want to have someone who was an expert, create a custom conversion event in your Google Analytics account so that you could track conversions. This is not something that is done out of the box, at all this is something that has to be done by an expert. Again, this is kind of something we do but it’s not naturally part of a web project.
You then want to make sure if especially if you’re a WordPress site that you download all of the relevant SEO plugins. So we always download Google Site kit. Because Google Site Kit basically will help you has a wizard kind of to help you connect all of those accounts, I told you about the analytics, the Search Console, and the Google Tag Manager. And then we also download Yoast SEO plugin, or Rank Math. They are competitor plugins and it kind of depends on the projects, but what I choose lately is the Rank Math plugin. But they’re both good. I’m also potentially downloading pro schema markup or all-in-one schema Rich Snippets. That helps you add structured data. And I also like to download the WordPress Smush plugin, which will help you compress those images and videos even further. Because again, Page speed is so important.
Sitemap For SEO
And then the last thing of this phase, it’s super, super important. Next, we’re gonna go on a little deep dive here is you need to create a sitemap. And then you need to submit it to Google Search Console. And this is basically to imagine it’s like the certificate. It’s the roadmap of your website, it’s finally published in life, I create that roadmap, and then I hand it on knock on Google’s door, and I hand it directly to them. And I say, Look, this is how my website is organized. This is what it’s about. Please consider it and put it into search engines. And this step just usually completely like, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. And most people don’t realize this is what they have to do. So you launch this brand new website. And it’s beautiful. And it’s, you know, great. And then it’s just crickets because no one’s alerted Google that it exists. And eventually, Google can sometimes find websites. But if you think about how many websites exist online, I wouldn’t take it the chance that Google is going to find your new website anytime soon.
So let’s just deep dive into this a little bit. But I do want to kind of point out again out, I have a blog post fully on how to set up conversion tracking, I will say out of all my blog posts, this is quite advanced. This is not for the faint of heart. And then the other blog post I’ll point out here is I have a full tutorial on how to create that Sitemap and submit it to Google. And why I’m pointing out this blog post, even though we’re going to deep dive into it now is because I break down kind of different website platforms. So in general, I’m probably going to talk about WordPress and Squarespace here. But I’ve got a lot of other platforms in case it’s not relevant to you. So at a very simple high level, this is how you would create your sitemap to Google and this is actually not that intimidating. You just need to know that you have to do it. So for WordPress, if you download the Yoast plugin, it’ll automatically create your Sitemap you don’t have to create it. And this is where it exists. If you were to type this URL, like www dot and you know you put your domain.com/sitemap_index.xml that’s where your Sitemap exists. You could actually check it out to see if it if it’s live. It’ll look like just a bunch of text or look like The Matrix. That’s, that’s good. That’s what it should look like. If you Have a Squarespace exists. Site sorry, it. Squarespace now like automatically creates that, but it’s at a different URL, and that’s where it’d be at. So you can double-check to see if you have that. If you’ve downloaded Yoast, which again, like for boob digital clients that’s automatically downloaded we are we already create your Sitemap we already create your Google Search Console and we already submitted it. But you know, if we haven’t on your website, I would just check to make sure you have this done.
How do you submit the sitemap you would sign up for that free Google Search Console, you’re going to have to follow their wizard to make sure it’s properly connected to your site, it’s not enough to just create the account you have to connect it to your site. So for WordPress sites, using that plugin, Google Site Kit will help connect it or there’s a wizard on the Squarespace platform. This is a screenshot of what it looks like. When I go to the left-hand menu, there’s a menu item called sitemaps. And when I click that, I can put that URL that I’ve put right here in there and submit it. And eventually, you will see a status and you should see a success symbol. And you can go into your search console every once in a while and like see like Google will keep kind of checking and seeing if it’s been refreshed. Once that’s all properly set up. You don’t have to do anything about it, Google will automatically check in on it. If you add new pages, the sitemap will automatically be updated. The main thing is that you do this when you launch a website.
So What Have We Learned About SEO & Web Design?
Okay, what have we learned so far? So we’ve learned about what is SEO, why it’s important, and what the three levers are your technical score, your domain authority score, and the relevancy of your content. We’ve talked about developing that main keyword list for your site, and I have that worksheet that you can download to brainstorm and figure out what your keywords are. And then we’ve talked about how you need to create a landing page or web page for every single one of those keywords. And then you would want to find related keywords using a tool like Google Autocomplete, to create different sections. And if you remember, earlier on, I talked about how every section header should be an h2 Heading tag. So every related keyword would be an h2 Heading tag. If you follow all of this, you will dominate search engines. This is not things that people know. But this, this is the exact breakdown. And the third thing we’ve learned is to do your due diligence at each phase of the web project. So make sure you properly use those heading tags, choose the focus keyword for each page, and then optimize all that content. Technically optimizing each page with the metadata and the image compression and making sure that the page is going to be fast, setting up your web proper plugins, event tracking analytics, and then creating and submitting that sitemap to Google after launch. Or, you know, you have completed all the SEO phases of a web project.
Questions To Ask Your Web Designer About SEO
So I created a PDF checklist that you could print or email to your designer or developer. If for some reason you haven’t hired us, which is totally fine. download this PDF, give it to them, and walk through it with them. And, again, this is really not made to be I’m not giving you this to be like, you know, you should expect that a designer developer can do all of this, I just think it’s really good to have transparency and understand that this is all the things that have to go into SEO, and walk through it with them and be like, what’s included in your web package what’s not included so that you get a really clear understanding of what work you still have to do, and what work they’re willing to do. That’s how I really hope this tool gets used. I also obviously have, I mean, we offer custom web design web development projects. But we also have a new offering that I’ve worked on kind of alongside this topic, where you can do an SEO Add-On onto a website. So if you have a designer developer you’re working with and they’re like, we don’t do any of this SEO stuff. You can contact us and we’ll work with the designer and developer and we’ll go through and complete this checklist alongside them. So that is also an option.
I hope you enjoyed this webinar about everything you need to know about SEO & web design! Please send me a question if you want to know more about a specific SEO & web design question.