It is so much easier to build a web site the right way from the ground up, taking not only usability into account but search marketing as well. Otherwise you find yourself in what seems like a never-ending process of retrofitting, re-optimizing, re-designing, etc. This is good planning is key. Laying a good foundation will help ensure a successful web site.

Todd Mailcoat (aka Stuntdbl) has written an excellent article on this subject entitled 18 Questions Your CEO Forgot to Ask When Building Your Website. Todd states, "If you understand the IDEAL website and the value of each component that would go into it - you can understand how to balance financial and time budgets for the highest ROI on a project, and overcome the normal hurdles that every company faces." And so, a list of the top things to take into consideration when building a new site (or redesigning an old one). I'll give you the list in bullet point form but you'll have to read the article in full for more detailed explanation on each item, including additional resources and tools.

1. Do we have a brandable domain?

2. Who should we host with that will be reliable?

3. Do we need pretty urls and will we use subdomains?

4. What is our website’s business model and how are we unique?

5. Who is our target demographic and what will they search for?

6. What will the information architecture be like? What are the important top level keywords?

7.Which platform should we use?

8. How do we create a professional design?

9. How do we prove high credibility?

10. What ideas can we use for linkbait?

11. If we can’t create great bait, how do we buy, barter, and beg for links?

12. Where else can we advertise?

13.What will we use for tracking and analysis?

14. What will help increase conversions and/or actions and how can we provide users incentives to stay or return?

15. How will we keep administration simple for the entire staff to use?

16. How can we manage our reputation?

17. How do we make the site “cluetrain friendly” and build a strong community environment?

18. How do we scale and specialize for effective use of time?

Great list... click here to read article in full.

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Search Engine Guide > David Wallace > 18 Things To Consider When Building a Website

David Wallace is CEO and founder of SearchRank, an original search engine optimization and marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is experienced in search engine optimization and marketing, pay per click and pay for inclusion management, directory submissions and web site design usability. David is a frequent contributor to various search engine related forums, an active editor of popular directories such as GoGuides.org, Joe Ant and Zeal and has had several articles published on industry related sites. Since 1997, David along with his company have helped hundreds of businesses both large and small increase their search engine visibility and customer acquisitions.