SEO for your Web Design and Development Project

Greg Kihlström

An important aspect of your website design and development process is how you will make sure it will be found after launch. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process used help Google (and others) index your pages properly and connect you with your potential customers who are looking for you and the things you sell.

SEO is a marketing endeavor of its own above and beyond your website redesign project, and it’s important that you make sure you have a long term plan for it. For the time being, however, we’re going to talk about some of the things that you should keep in mind while planning your new web design and development project.

Content Strategy

I’m sure it goes without saying, but the content on your website is extremely important when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. You need to keep a few things in mind. If your agency is writing the content, make sure that they are writing not only for your audiences, but also for Google. Over time, doing both has become easier and easier as Search Engines have become more intelligent and reward good content over keyword-heavy copy, but there are still best practices for writing for SEO. We don’t have enough space in this article to cover all of those, but recommend that you acquaint yourself with the latest trends there.


What you name your pages makes a huge difference in terms of SEO. Make sure that there is a plan to intentionally name all of your pages. Whether that means you have a CMS that names them well for Search Engines, or you have the ability to specify exactly what you want them to be named, make sure that you will have that flexibility.

Additionally, make sure that you think through any tagging or categories so that they will be search-friendly terms. This could be terms that apply to channels of your blog, or other items that are tagged on your site for easy sorting.

Coding Practices

The team who is coding your website should also have a good understanding of how to create a website that is easily read by Search Engines. This includes making sure header tags are implemented properly, as well as making other search-friendly tags show in the correct places.

Transitioning from Your Old Site to Your New One

As with many of the other technical items throughout our series on Web design and development, this one is something that your technology team will need to implement. Make sure that links on your old site are directed to their equivalents on your new site. These are called 301 redirects, a term that refers to a code sent to Search Engines that tells them the old page no longer exists and that they should look at the new page from now on.

XML sitemaps are another way to make sure Search Engines are finding your new pages correctly. This is essentially a list of all of the pages on your site that is made in a format that is easy for Google, Bing and any other engines to find.

Make sure your web agency is setting up an easy way for both redirects and XML Sitemaps to be generated by the CMS.

Ongoing Efforts

The ease with which you can manage content on your website will play a big factor in Search Engine Optimization efforts. In addition to the creation of good content, make sure that your SEO plan is an ongoing one. You can’t just “set it and forget it.” Instead, optimization of your site is a continual effort.


SEO is a critical method to drive targeted traffic to your website. Understanding the different components that make up Search Engine Optimization will help you both during your web design and development project, and well after its launch. We hope this helped you understand how SEO plays a critical role.

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

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Greg Kihlström
Greg Kihlström
SVP Digital