Search engine optimization is a vital part of building a good website. Most people understand the importance of unique content and high quality incoming links in good SEO, but few people take the time to look under the hood. If you want your page to be as search-engine friendly as possible, you should start thinking about SEO during the web development phase.
A search engine friendly page should contain the following:
- A unique URL – ideally one that is keyword-rich. If all of your content is buried under complex URLS such as /index.php?postid=12345, then visitors may find it hard to remember the address of a page they liked, and search engines may not be able to index all your content.
- A single heading, marked with the tag.
- Keyword-rich subheadings and/or highlighted sections of text, marked with, and tags.
- Valid HTML or XHTML, and the correct DocType notice in your heading.
- A Title Tag and a Meta Description. Ideally, each page should have a unique title and description, and these tags should be keyword rich.
- All images should have ALT text, and a Title.
It should be possible to automate the production of unique title tags, meta tags, and other important page elements. You may be able to get plugins for your CMS that can do the job for you. If your site is hand coded, then you may want to look for a UK based SEO agency that can help you improve your page design.
The markup of your page is just one factor to consider when you’re working on SEO. Other issues to look at include:
Flash is Still Bad for SEO
While most search engines are getting better at understanding PDFs, images, and other rich media content, Flash is still problematic. That’s not to say you should avoid it entirely, however you should make an effort to ensure all of your content is available in a text/image format, as well as via a Flash interface. Doing so won’t just improve your SEO, it will also ensure that your site is accessible for mobile visitors and those on low bandwidth connections.
Sitemaps Will Help You Get Indexed
Sitemaps are an invaluable tool for SEO. Make sure you have one, and that you regularly update it with new pages. Add the location of your sitemap to your robots.txt file so that all search engines will know where to find it.
Put Your Visitors First
Google pays attention to how long people spend on websites that they visit via their search engine. If you have a lot of “bounces” (people who view one page, then leave), then that could harm your rankings.
Make sure that you focus on offering your visitors a positive experience, and delivering the information that they need to know. Don’t get so focused on SEO that you forget about your human visitors.
If you’re concerned about your bounce rate, or your rankings, then you may want to ask a UK based SEO agency to look at your site. The tweaks listed above will help your rankings a lot, but there may be other issues specific to your site that will need fixed if you want to reach the top of the search results for your chosen keywords.