Maybe it’s your company’s yearly planning session, or maybe the meeting is being called because your website is in dire need of a refresh.
Whether the goal is to help form a new layout for the website, or to start creating the content calendar for the year, the planning sessions will naturally have product heads, key executives, and marketing managers in attendance.
As your company conducts this careful planning process and dreams up the site’s future, there’s one other important voice that should be at that table: your SEO expert. Whether this is an in-house individual or an external SEO agency or consultant, the knowledge this person can provide will have a critical impact on the site’s ultimate success.
Here are five ways that your go-to SEO expert can positively affect the outcome of your website project:
1) Ensure that your site has a design that’s search engine friendly
Just as it’s the job of your designers to ensure that the website is inviting and communicates elegantly with users, your SEO expert’s responsibility includes making sure the site communicates all the right information to search engines.
Your SEO lead can help tailor a site design that delivers essential company/product information from the homepage, in a way that assists search engines in efficiently learning all they need to know about your site. By doing this, your SEO expert sets the stage for your site to be viewed more favorably when it comes to organic search rankings.
2) Discover and make the most of content opportunities
Your content specialists ought to work hand in hand with your SEO expert to craft content that has legs and delivers business value. The right content selection process can lead to subject matter that works for you, naturally pulling in traffic by providing desired information on the correct topics.
Your SEO expert can really help inform this process, identifying those content opportunities that will bring in new customers and then optimizing that content so that it receives the visibility it deserves.
3) Optimizing updates to page content, metadata, and locations
When making any changes to the structure of your site, make sure your SEO expert is involved.
How your site is designed to move visitors from page to page – and the content and metadata within those pages – have a determinative effect on how search engines value your site. Your SEO expert can inspect the user flow of your site’s pages and suggest any content changes that would be beneficial.
Your expert might also take the opportunity to rewrite metadata and update pages to follow the best practices for heightening visibility in search engine queries.
4) Utilize the possibilities of off-page content
From videos to presentations and beyond, remember there are opportunities to gain visibility for your brand away from your website. In certain cases – which your SEO expert should be able to recognize – these pieces of content can ultimately contribute to your brand’s SEO by enhancing your overall presence in search engine results.
For example, a video screencap displayed in search results can capture clicks and attention, and ultimately increase traffic to your site.
5) Execute large-scale SEO initiatives
When making preparations for a site redesign, it may also be an optimal time to pursue major SEO initiatives.
Some site-enhancing projects worth considering: adding HTTPS to make the site more secure (and trustworthy for visitors), or adding schema markup where appropriate – likely for videos, recipes, products, etc. – to enable search engines to provide users with more informative results.
Kevin Gamache is Search Strategist at Wire Stone, an independent digital marketing agency for global Fortune 1000 brands.