Updated December 2020
We often get asked the question about Search Engine Optimization and what’s included when we build a website, and what are ongoing services that cost an additional fee.
Often times unscrupulous development or marketing companies will charge you for “on-going SEO optimizations” on your website, when in reality they aren’t doing anything.
We build WordPress websites and each of those is optimized for ranking well in the search engines.
Once the website is built and properly structured, updates to your site for SEO will be extremely minimal (and really only made when new content is added, or you want to change your SEO Keyword Strategy).
On-Site Optimization Should Come Standard
Our WordPress Framework, Hedorah, is built and updated consistently with all necessary improvements and enhancements to meet the needs of all modern web browsers (how people search and find your content).
Hedorah is a WordPress theme builder that accounts for all browsers, operating systems, devices, and it loads fast too!
The infrastructure and code hierarchy are already accounted for by virtue of the use of WordPress, the Premium Yoast SEO plugin and our Framework.
WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines. Its features and functions guide a search engine through the posts, pages, and categories to help the search engine crawl your site and gather the information it needs to include your site within its database.
WordPress comes with several built in search optimization tools, including the ability to use .htaccess to create apparently static URLs called permalinks, blogrolling, and pinging.
Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users.
It incorporates everything from a snippet editor and realtime page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your page’s content, image’s titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
In fact it’s so good, we wrote an entire blog post about how to use it.
The Hedorah Theme
While WordPress establishes the right infrastructure, Hedorah adds the right customization of design to enhance the User’s Experience on the site.
The Hedorah Framework and its associated block plugin gives you all the tools you need to manage the front end look of the site.
It’s born out of the necessity for a perfect mobile experience while also attending the needs of all other devices and screen sizes.
There are a few items of content that every page on your website absolutely needs.
You’ll either pay your developer to create your Title Tag, Meta Descriptions, Content, and Image Alt Text, or you’ll provide that content to us for inclusion on the site.
These pieces of content are essential when trying to rank pages on a website, and should be included in any website build.
The title tag is an HTML title element critical to both SEO and user experience that is used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document.
The title tag is displayed in two key places: Internet Browser – Title Tags display in the top bar of internet browsers.
Search Result Pages – Search engines display title tags in their results along with another less important on-page factor, the meta description tag.
A meta description is an HTML and XHTML element that describes your page to search engines.
While the perceived (and real) importance of meta data has depreciated, the attribute still plays a significant role in SEO rankings.
The page content must be specific for exactly the topic in question. It should align perfectly with your Title and Meta Description.
Don’t wander off on tangents, stay on topic!
Add value and make the message clear, interesting / entertaining / useful. Properly use Headers (H1 – H6) tags in the text.
Think of these like your topic headlines, but they should use the Keywords you’re hoping to rank for.
While you’re at it, make the page look great!
Image Alt Text
Alt text (alternative text) is a word or phrase that can be inserted as an attribute in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document to tell Web site viewers know the nature or contents of an image.
The alt text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image. Simply put, each image must have alternate text to describe the image).
Considerations (301 Redirects)
If we’re rebuilding a site we always make sure all of the pages you have on your old site are redirected to the correct (new) pages on the new website.
This process is a called a 301 redirect. We’ll want to ensure all pages are properly 301 redirected, so your site doesn’t lose any ranking juice it has already gotten from Google.
Every website online resides on a sever (or servers) and in order for them to be found online via search engines a few things need to take place.
WordPress & Plugin Settings
Ensure that all WordPress settings (in addition to the SEO Plugin) are configured to allow access to spiders / robots!
Sounds cool! + The sitemap get’s created, which is important!
Web Crawler / Robot / Spider
A web crawler (also known as a web spider or web robot) is a program or automated script which browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner. This process is called Web crawling or spidering. Many legitimate sites, in particular search engines, use spidering as a means of providing up-to-date data.
An XML sitemap is a document that helps Google and other major search engines better understand your website structure while crawling.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is the tool for Google to communicate with site admins. Google Webmaster Tools helps to identify issues with a site.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Similar to Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), Bing provides data for site owners to use to address potential search issues, and serves as the tool for Bing to communicate issues to site admins.
Every Web Build
These are the basic SEO services that should be included in every website build. If you’re reviewing a potential work contract with a development firm, and these items are not included, that should be a red flag.
If the contract includes additional items like “Ongoing website SEO updates” or “Keyword updates monthly”, then the company is trying to take advantage of you.
Ongoing SEO Services
When you’re considering your marketing budget, you’ll want to understand that there is more to SEO than simply structuring your site correctly.
A properly built website is only the first part of your battle.
Once your site is structured the way Google likes it, you’ll need to create a Backlink Acquisition Strategy, Ongoing Website Content Updates (mainly through blogging or news items), and Social Media Marketing.
These are the items that you will be paying a firm to complete for you on a monthly basis. And this is the meat and potatoes of how you get your site to rank in Google.
Talk to an SEO Professional
Want to ask specific questions and get advice? Reach out to us today and we’ll help coach you on how to get your digital marketing strategy just right. No obligation or cost!
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