SEO – 10 Top Tips for Search Engine Friendly Web Builds
“Ground-Up” SEO – 10 Top Considerations for Search Engine Friendly Web Builds
Implementing SEO recommendations shouldn’t be an after-thought; it should be at the forefront of every web developer or webmaster’s mind. Here guest author PackNet examines some of the most important SEO considerations to make when developing a new website.
Due to unawareness, ignorance or perhaps just lack of consideration when developing new websites, a lot of companies seem to be missing the fundamental basics in terms of search engine optimisation. Implementing search engine friendly ‘best practice’ guidelines is much easier in the initial stages of a project, and even better if they can be done during the development phase.
Features such as page/URL structure shouldn’t be governed by guess work, but should be the result of an in-depth analysis of the opportunities available within a sector. If all new websites took the ‘right’ approach to ensuring the development was done in a search engine friendly manner, then there would be a lot more higher ranking pages for authoritative websites than there currently are.
Below are 10 top SEO considerations to make when developing a new website.
1.Page Structure/Hierarchy – As mentioned above, the structure of a website should not be guess work. Keyword, competitor and industry research should be carried out at the planning stage to understand how users are searching for the data they require, and whether there are any uniformed approaches that you should be taking. Visualise the page structure on paper and then portray this on to the website from the beginning. Having a well-thought out and logical page hierarchy allows the search engines to crawl your content much more efficiently.
2.URL Structure – As with the page structure, considerations have to be given to the structure of the page URLs within a website. For example, a bad URL structure could be:
Whereas a much better URL structure would be:
A logical and hierarchical page URL (reflecting the structure) provides both users and search engines with a clear indication of what the content is about. It is also beneficial to include keywords within the URL structure wherever possible.
3.Content Strategy – If you are rebuilding a website, or building it for the first time, then there is a great opportunity to attract a number of users through targeted content which is centred on key phrases (derived from keyword research). Through a content strategy you can understand which pages would benefit most from quality (and quantity) of written content, and can also give you ideas of how to best-cater for visiting users.
4.Internal Linking – A large challenge in optimising a website can be getting all of the content found – especially within larger websites. Links to a website are essentially like ‘votes’, which help to increase the visibility and authority of a specific page – and internal linking works in a similar way. Through the use of internal linking between pages with specific and relevant anchor text, you can boost search engine visibility for each of the core pages on a website.
5.Sitemaps – Sitemaps on websites are a useful way for both search engines and users to see a complete list of all of the pages on a website, especially if there are a lot of them. An XML sitemap should be created and submitted to Google, Yahoo and Bing Webmaster Tools. The XML sitemap doesn’t necessarily have to be linked to from your actual website (except for the in robots.txt file… which we will cover shortly). Along with an XML sitemap, a HTML (or ‘static’) sitemap should be created and linked to from your website (usually in the website footer). This HTML copy of the website is something that should be styled to fit in with the rest of the website theme, and is a place where users can visit to see a complete list of pages.
To be continued…
Yes, this is the point where we leave you all hanging. Part two in our series of ‘ground-up’ SEO will be available very shortly, including more considerations to make when developing a new website with ‘search engine friendliness’ in mind. In part two, we will be looking deeper into the more specific recommendations for on-page optimisation, to improve search engine rankings and visitor retention.
Author: PackNet – A leading provider of VoIP phone systems and VoIP reseller solutions, and have recently redeveloped their existing website with search engine optimisation fundamentals in mind.