Search engine optimization (SEO) is often put off until a website is up and running. While it is possible to optimize a website that already exists, there are many benefits for considering SEO as a primary part of the website creation process.
The following are six important aspects of SEO that you should take into account when creating a website.
URL structure is vital for SEO. Use static URLs that clearly indicate what the content is of the page is all about. This means using descriptive URLs that contain keywords that both visitors and search engines can easily identify. Visitors reading can easily guess the content on the page by looking at the URL.
Google recommends the use of dashes in URLs that contain multiple keywords as opposed to the use of underscores as separators. It is important to avoid the use of ID numbers and other irrelevant characters in the URLs. This will be much appreciated by visitors as well as search engines, which prefer the use of simple and short URLs that clearly indicate the subject matter of the page.
Poor URL structure: www.website.com/234/870/?%7w
Good URL structure: www.website.com/good-url-structure-guide
- Responsive design
We're moving into the so-called mobile era. More people are using mobile devices to access the internet and search for information. Employing responsive design ensures that your website can be accessed properly regardless of the device used.
Some people prefer to have a dedicated mobile site. However, this can be tricky especially when it comes to dealing with duplicate content on the two sites. However, responsive design helps to avoid this.
Changes made to Google's algorithm early this year, have meant better ranking for websites that provide good user experience for mobile users. A mobile marketing strategy is therefore no longer an option for websites.
- Choose your ccTLDs carefully
Google gives country-code top level domain names (ccTLDs) priority when determining the ranking of websites. Google's strategy to geo-target results means that choosing the right ccTLDs is vital for better ranking and visibility. This is significant as a trust indicator and establishing your site as a local authority in local campaigns.
- Use simple site navigation structure
The navigation structure of your website should be as simple as possible. It's important to limit the number of redirection levels to no more than three. Although search engines and visitors will follow long redirect jumps, search engines recommend not using this practice. The biggest trouble with this is that visitors and search engines alike are slowed down with these long strings. Therefore, ensure that visitors and search engines can find what they're looking for in the shortest time possible.
- High quality and fresh content
The Panda update to Google's algorithm enabled the search engine to crack down on low quality, thin content as well as duplicates. The quality and length of the copy on your website is vital for better ranking. Google likes fresh, well-researched content and so will visitors to your website. Consider integrating a blog that you update regularly to your primary website.
- Optimized images
Including images in your web copy will draw and retain the interest of visitors. Ensure that you use the minimal size (20 - 100kb) for images to preserve a good experience for your users. Resize the images instead of having them shrunk in the source code. The latter will slow down the page loading time. Also, be sure to incorporate all image text.
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