SEO Timeline for Website Development

Topics: SEO Tips, Web Development Written on May 1, 2015 by Surfaced Media

Modern web development is complex, and when programming a site from start to finish there are many steps that can easily get lost in the shuffle, including search engine optimization (SEO). A proper SEO timeline is a valuable and time-saving resource to use so you don’t miss any crucial steps. So here we go…

Pre-Development

This is the first step of any process when it comes to solid web development that’s going to be strong and well thought out. Before you do anything with the actual site you should discuss architecture, technical SEO, the need of an SSL certificate, and define your goals. Here is a loose outline of how your preliminary work should look.

  • If you’re re-developing your website, look at your old site in depth and see just what needs to be updated. Look at a performance analysis report so that you can see a baseline of what needs to be changed in future re-launches.
  • Be in contact with your content team. This means the designers, the copywriters, the owners of the site and more. Make sure you have your new structure laid out and that you know what you need to do. Your SEO fundamentals are determined by your content decisions so it is important to keep everyone in the loop and make sure that everyone is on the same page. You should make sure everyone knows what pages are going, what pages are staying, and how pages are being changed. Make sure you let your team know just what each page is going to do to further your page.
  • The structure of your site should help you build a site map that is going to meet your content goals and really help you thrive. You will likely revise the site map more than once so you should make sure you are prepared for changes.
  • Once you have your content in place and you know what direction you want to go in, make sure you take the time to really think about your keywords and the strategy you are going to be using with it. You want to connect your users with the site and you want to make sure that your goals are clearly defined. Take time to think about your keywords at this point rather than later in production.
  • Find any gaps in your knowledge as it pertains to the technical SEO. You need to make sure you are not duplicating content with your URLs if you are creating custom CMS, make sure that the right canonicals are in place, and make sure that if you are using WordPress, you are using the correct plugins to manage your on page SEO. Thinking ahead is the best way to be prepared for any issues that may pop up.

During Development

There are a few different aspects to keep in mind during development that can help make the entire process easier. You want to make sure that there are no surprises when it comes to the overall process and that you are not going to forget something then be confronted with it later. Here are some things to focus on during production.

  • Revisit and look at your keyword analysis. If you need a new strategy, you should take the time to go over it and to work it out quickly. You need to make sure that you are working with all your thoughts integrated into the existing content or to any new content that you are going to be adding.
  • Creating a post launch strategy is the best way to make sure that you are going to have a plan even after the process is complete. Figure out how you are going to drive traffic to your site, how you are going to get visitors to delve deeper into your site, and how you are going to keep them coming back time and again.
  • Check your SEO technical requirements and make sure they are in place before you launch.
  • Measure your site, this can be the make or break of any site. You may feel that you are working with a site that is perfect, but without having everything measured out correctly you can have a disaster on your hands.
  • Take quality assurance in your own hands. If you see a problem go and change it up and see what you can do.

Project Launch

There are a few different things that you may then need to do when it comes to the actual launch.

  • Review your SEO checklist
  • Set up tracking buttons, scroll depth, and any goals that you were unable to set up before the launch.

Post Launch

After your site has launched you will then need to do a few things to make sure that your content is in order and that you were successful as a web developer.

  • Monitor your data and compare it to your baseline metrics. Make sure you have our user experience data in hand.
  • Think about a post launch strategy. Figure out automation, find out what is going on, and figure out what you are going to do to keep up with necessary changes and what may need to be done to upkeep your content.

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