Website Design and SEO
This is the second part of our DIY SEO series, so if you missed the first part have a look at DIY SEO Part 1 first, as this explains some of the basic principles to consider before you get started on the design. This article assumes that everything is being done from scratch, so refers to creating various tags etc, although it can equally be used to go through the various page components of an existing website to make sure they are all done right.
So, you should now have a list of keywords, some copy for the pages and an objective for the website, you don’t need text for too many pages yet, this can be done once the basic site is up and running and being indexed by the search engines.
First things first, you need a URL, this is the address for your website, the one which you can see at the top of any web page. The easiest thing here is to buy your domain from the host, it means you don’t need to set DNS nameservers. You need to get something as short as you can, but incorporating your most important keyword if possible. Ours is eco-seo, that’s because we are an eco friendly company who do SEO, it was a no brainer for us. I will write a full post sometime on how to chose good URL’s, it’s just finding the time!!! If you want to have a brand name that’s fine, just consider that having keywords in there will make things a bit easier further down the line.
Now you need to decide if you want a typical website with a few static pages or something more interactive with a blog. I would suggest if you are just starting out that you use a content management system or CMS, there are loads available but I personally prefer WordPress (this blog was created using wordpress). This will enable you to easily access the site to make changes and means you don’t need any software such as Frontpage or Dreamweaver, or even to learn how to write html code (the language of the web) if you want to keep it simple. There are also thousands of templates available for free download, but do be a bit careful as most of these are produced so the author will get back-links to their own site or “sponsors” so you could well end up with a site which pumps all your link juice out to them, so spend a few quid (or bucks if you are in the US) and find a premium template which suits your needs. You will probably also find that the author will offer technical support for it too, free ones rarely come with any kind of support.
Installing WordPress and Templates
There are plenty of resources available online for helping with a WordPress install, so I will keep this brief. Log in to your hosting account and find a section to install extras, add features, or something similar, look for wordpress and run the auto installation (most half decent hosts will have this option), make a note of your login and password and it will install it for you. If this option is not there, you will fist need to set up an SQL database through your hosts control panel, then go to the WordPress site and download the installation, then get a free FTP client and upload it to your host that way, there are plenty of instructions on the WordPress site if you don’t know how to do this.
If you now go to your URL on the web, you will see a very basic website appear, well, it’s actually a blog.
You now need to update the template you have decided to use, to do this you must first log into your wordpress installation, so go to mywebsite.com/wp_admin and enter your user name and password. Now click on appearance on the menu to the left, then Themes, and click on “Add New” at the top of the page, browse to your downloaded template file and let wordpress install it for you. Once installed you will see it listed at the bottom of that page, simply click on “activate”, your new website is ready to start optimising.
This is just the simple version of how to get up and running, I will be adding more posts soon which will go into much more detail on specific topics.
Part 3 will also be out soon, so why not bookmark this site and check back often.