A good website needs great content.
Small and mid-sized businesses often hire me to plan, script, or build (working with experienced partners) an SEO-friendly website.
I’ve been planning and leading website development projects since the mid 1990s (okay, now I feel old). I’ve planned and/or directed the development of websites for businesses from every major industry including pharmaceutical companies, hotel chains, government departments, online retailers, golf courses, country inns, consultants, flower shops and boat builders. (In most cases I’ve done the SEO as well.)
What is an SEO-Friendly Website?
Sites that are SEO-friendly are designed with SEO-friendly layouts. They load quickly and are not bloated with code, off-loading some functions to external scripts. SEO-friendly websites are built in technologies that the search engines find easy to read and to follow. They have a healthy amount of focused content on most or all pages, and enough pages on core topics to allow for a search optimization plan aimed at several idea or key phrase targets. And that’s just the start. (An SEO audit will tell you exactly where your site stands on these and other dimensions. The audit is free to clients who use my SEO services. but can be purchased separately.)
It’s frustrating to see sites that are built without any thought to SEO, and sometimes difficult to change them once they are built. I once had a tourism client, thrilled with the bookings pouring in from his newly optimized website, decide (without telling me) to prepare for the next season by sinking that money back into the web and building a new site… in Flash. The next spring I received an urgent phone call – “why am I not getting any calls?!”. When I saw the new site I couldn’t believe it. That the new vendor would have built an all-flash website, largely invisible to search engines, is appalling. So in answer to the question at the top of this passage – who needs school? – everyone does. Clients. Vendors. It just doesn’t exist (schools don’t know how to keep up with our industry).
SEO Friendly Content Structure
As a web writer, a major contribution to projects I work on is that I make the structure SEO-friendly. The “content architecture” of a website is a crucial part of a strong SEO campaign for many reasons including these three big ones. First, focused pages do best in search. So creating a site plan that has individual pages focused on different products or services – or on ways of searching for them – is important. Second, clever search optimizers (and site planners) will want to go beyond just your core offerings to include pages that might lead very interested users to you in another way. This site for example has case studies that draw prospective clients and partners who may end up here by searching for project examples in industries where I have worked. And third, the content organization on each page can also be important for search. Search engines read a page in a certain order and placing emphasis on certain aspects including titles and links, but also on content in certain places. If you want to stack the deck as much as possible in your favor, you need to know these things and take them into account.
Website Planning Case Studies
Here are a few Success Stories of projects I have planned. In some cases I was brought in just to do the planning and content organization (and usually the SEO). For some of the (mostly smaller) projects I also managed the site development and directed the developers to get the result I wanted.
- Mont Blanc Ski Resort – I first directed the development of this site (and the addition of an SEO strategy) over a decade ago. It has changed many times since and now each time it does, I work with the development team to update the SEO and add new content and features to keep the site on top of Google. The site holds top spot for hundreds of search terms in two languages.
- Goody Baskets – I created the content structure and wrote the script for this website, ensuring that there were strong pages for the many different kinds of searches, important events, and common phrases. The site holds top spot for most of its target terms when searched locally, or abroad.
- Gestion LRM- I created the plan for this website incorporating six facilities into one, each with its own home page, and each with its own SEO plan. Having very distinct site sections (one for each facility) help users (family members and caregivers) find the facility they want, give the facility team a sense of ownership, and also provide a good foundation for SEO.
- The House Whisperer – I led this project, for a local cleaning company creating the plan, the script, and directing its development. The site dominates most regions of a a metropolitan market against dozens of competitors. See also a related project, for Saronet commercial cleaning in DDO, Laval.
Part of the enjoyment of what I do is that every project is a unique challenge. No matter what the business, a clear structure that makes the user and Google both happy produces a better outcome.