2 – Design for content discoverability
In order for content to be crawled and indexed by search engines, it needs to be discoverable. Search engines, though sophisticated, are limited to discovering content through links. If the proper links to your content don’t exist, or they’re buried or broken, your content won’t be discovered and it will be impossible to get your site’s pages to rank.
Your goal from a design perspective is to create a site architecture that is intuitive for users to engage with, while your goal from an SEO perspective is to create an architecture that allows pages to be crawled and distributes internal links judiciously. Fortunately, these goals are aligned and can be achieved simultaneously. Prioritize your most important content high up in the architecture – this will include top level service or product categories, which should also map directly to your priority keyword themes. From there, create subcategories and individual product or service pages.
3 – Plan for high quality content
The content on your website is what tells search engines what each page is about. Where it once was enough to stuff landing pages full of keywords to achieve rankings, modern SEO is all about quality content.
In order to create content that can truly be called high quality; you need to begin planning for it before the design phase or redesign is underway. For each page you’re creating you should ask yourself: what purpose does this page serve? What do users want/need to know about this topic? What types of content are necessary to convey our message as effectively as possible? The answers to these questions should be used to inform the design of the site because the design of it must be conceived to accommodate the content you’ve deemed necessary. The alternative means wedging content in after the fact, when ideas about the design may have already become entrenched and difficult to alter.