Whether you are designing a website for yourself or for a client, you want to make it as SEO friendly as possible. No matter what changes may happen with the internet in the future, most people still use the search engines to find what they’re looking for online. This means that a site has to be well optimized if you want people to find it on the search engines.
Search engine optimization has definitely changed in the last few months as Google introduced Panda and Penguin updates. This has created some confusion among website owners regarding SEO.
Some people are even claiming that SEO is obsolete, which is certainly not the case. As long as there are search engines, there will be methods to help a site rank better. The question is, what are these methods right now?
There are two main types of search engine optimization – on page and off page. Both are essential if you want your site to rank well.
- On page SEO refers to features that are on your website itself, such as layout, applications, images, content and so forth.
- Off page SEO is mainly about backlinks, so these are tactics that must be done from other locations to help your website.
The tips we’ll be sharing here are a combination of on page and off page SEO strategies. Our tips will also be search engines friendly.
Make Sure Your Website is Loading Fast
This is crucial for SEO and to attract traffic to your site. Many people won’t wait more than 6 seconds for a page to load. The search engines also penalize sites that are slow loading.
Avoid features and applications that slow down a website. These include large images, plugins (if you’re using WordPress) and Adobe Flash.
Tips: Always host with a good web hosting company. This is because only a good web hosting company can give you a stable server with good uptime and speed! Read our article – how web hosting can affect your SEO.
Use Keywords Strategically
Keywords are as important as ever. The keywords you choose to emphasize on your site will determine the kind of traffic you get and how targeted it is. That’s why your first priority is to do the proper keyword research. Make sure you are using keywords that will attract the best kind of prospects for your (or your client’s) site.
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, make sure you use them in the appropriate places, such as:
- Website and domain names
- Post and Page titles
- Meta description and keywords
- H1, H2 and H3 tags
- First and last paragraphs of website copy
On the other hand, don’t overuse keywords in a way that sounds forced or artificial! You will find that using your primary keywords is natural as you write page and post titles, headings, copy, etc. There’s no need to put the keywords in every sentence, as this will only harm your SEO efforts and reduce the quality of your site.
Incorporate Social Sharing
You want to make it easy for your visitors to share your content on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and etc. Social sharing buttons allow people to share any of your posts with their friends and contacts.
Social sharing can bring more traffic to your site and increase it’s value in the eyes of the search engines. As more and more web activity centers around social media, it’s essential that you take advantage of this by encouraging people to share your content.
Sitemap is a special document that lets the search engines know about all of the content on your site. When you have a large site, sitemaps help to get all (or a high percentage) of your pages indexed.
Without sitemaps, you may only have a couple of your pages indexed. This can make a big difference when it comes to traffic, as you want to rank for as many keywords as possible!
There are several types of sitemaps, and all can be useful in telling the search engines about your site. If you use XML, HTML, URL List and ROR sitemaps, you’ll be giving the search engines a good number of choices for locating your pages.
Make Your URLs Search Engine Friendly
The kinds of URLs that you use for your posts and pages can have an impact on your site’s SEO. Consider the following two examples:
The first URL ends in a random number, while the second has the name of an actual product – iPad Mini. It doesn’t have to be a product, of course; it could simply be the topic for a page or post. The point is that the search engines can then find this URL because it contains relevant keywords.
You can see search engine friendly URLs on this website too, as we have optimized the URLs so that the search engines can recognize them easily.
Use SEO Friendly Internal Linking
If you want the search engines to index your pages, you have to make sure your entire site can be easily navigated by the search engines. One important factor to remember in this regard is to use text links rather than flash based ones.
Flash may look impressive, but search engines can’t read it so it won’t do you any good for SEO purposes. Flash also can’t be accessed by people accessing the web from mobile devices, so your site won’t be easy for them to navigate either.
It’s also a good idea to use a certain amount of internal linking on your site. In other words, have one post or page link to another on your site. This is good for several reasons. It encourages visitors to visit more of your pages and thus reduce your bounce rate. It also gives more of your pages link juice!
Keep SEO in Mind as You Build Your Site
The above are some of the main tips to keep in mind as you build your website. Everything you do has an effect on SEO, so always remember the search engines as you create or make changes to a site. Of course, at the same time you should always make your site visitor friendly as well!
You might also be interested to find out how your web hosting can affect your ranking in the search engines, especially Google. This is weird, but you just have to read our article to find out.