Sunday, 22 September 2013

25 Tips to Build an SEO-Friendly Website From the Beginning

Contrary to popular belief, search engine optimization begins at the same time, or even prior to the design and development of a website. On the one hand the user experience is developed, on the other the SEO strategy. Most companies wait for the entire website to complete before approaching a company for optimization. But that is like customizing an entire car and then realizing at the end of it that you wanted beige interiors instead of the leather ones. This only results in companies paying many times more and, not to mentioned, a ruined user experience. Here are some strategies that you should encapsulate within your entire design and development process for a website that is fully prepared for SEO from the word :

1) On each page, target one to three relevant keywords and phrases and optimize them.
2) Make sure the content is up to the mark, original, informative and interesting. Remove any duplicate content.
3) Make all the URLs readable by replacing blank spaces and underscores with hyphens.
4) Always use the relevant keywords in the Alt tag of images and resize all images according to the need.
5) Always use semantic markup only.
6) Make sure the linking on your website is immaculate and there are no broken links or images.
7) It is advisable to have a sitemap for visitors and sitemap.xml for Google.
8) Always have a robots.txt file in your directory.
9) Set up web analytics, Google and Bing Webmaster Tool for your website.
10) Once Google Webmaster Tool is set up, run all the major pages through its “crawl as Google” tool to make sure that the spiders crawl deep each time.
11) Reduce scripts, CSS and HTML to as low as possible and use CSS image sprites wherever needed.
12) Acquire services from a trustworthy and reputed server and set up automated backup.
13) Remember: there are no quick fixes. The long route is the strong route.
14) Do not use Flash.
15) Minimize the number of directories in URLs. Use subdirectories only when needed.
16) Add relevant information about the fold. Google and visitor, both are fond of this.
17) Use 301 redirects to your benefit.
18) Drupal users should install the Global Redirect module.
19) Add a head term in the domain name.
20) Use SSL certification only when needed, like secure pages, or else both the versions will be indexed and duplication occurs.
21) Auto-generated URLs from CMSs should be treated carefully, and redirected to the SEO-friendly URL using the 301 redirect.
22) To www or not to www, take a stand!
23) JavaScript should be avoided as a means of navigation if it cannot be easily crawled through.
24) The difference between absolute URLs and relative URLs should be clear in content authors minds.
25) Don't use auto-initiated carousels, animations or multimedia.
Keep these tips in mind and make sure that your website is Google's and other search engines favorite.