My top 37 points your website needs from the offset to be SEO friendly…

 

Read my top 37 points your website needs from the offset to be SEO friendly…

  • Meta title – Well written, includes your keywords and less than 66 characters including spaces.
  • Description – Again, well written and unique to the pages content. Also keep to 160 characters or less including spaces.
  • Keywords – Use no more than 5 separate keyword phrases.
  • Canonical tag – A great way to tell Google which is the main page if a page can be accessed via two methods (example, about/ and about/index.php).
  • Direct URLs to internal links, style sheets and images – Use full URL paths to help the search engines find pages and other elements.
  • Clean website code – Don’t stuff website code with comments and line breaks – streamline everything.
  • Optimised images – See a previous article – click here.
  • Well written H1, H2, H3 etc – Don’t stuff with keywords, keep them clean, readable and user focused.
  • Unique and link worthy content – Like headings, keep the content aimed at the user, it will rank better and receive more links.
  • Good internal link structure – Link to internal pages with relevant keywords, a max of 3-5 per page including footer links works best.
  • ALT tags on images – Add short (5 word) descriptions to images – DON’T keyword stuff.
  • Title tags on links – Add descriptive information to links, but again, DON’T keyword stuff.
  • Text friendly navigation – Create a readable navigation which the search engines can follow.
  • Social feeds – Add Twitter and Facebook feeds on site to increase awareness.
  • Sitemaps - See a previous article - click here.
  • Blog – A great way to connect with customers, spread news and review products/services.
  • RSS Feed – A great little element for web users to keep up-to-date with ever changing websites.
  • No broken links – Check your website for broken links, the search engines don’t like these.
  • No duplicated content – ALWAYS write unique and quality content for your website users.
  • No Flash elements – Avoid flash elements because the search engines can’t read flash elements.
  • Minimal Java/jQuery – By all means use the technology but keep it sparse, remember load times are a factor.
  • Text based contact details – This is a must for accessibility, usability and screen readers.
  • Text based address (good for local SEO) – Google will use your contact details against local information.
  • Solid site architecture – Structure all of your pages and content in a hierarchy, don’t place all of your web pages in the root.
  • Good filenames – Use solid filenames which include a good amount of keywords, but DON’T stuff with keywords.
  • Good folder names - Use solid folders names which are descriptive and include a  good amount of keywords, but DON’T stuff with keywords.
  • Breadcrumb trail – Great for usability, accessibility and keyword placement on page.
  • Avoid iframes – Avoid iframes at all costs because the search engines do not like these and they are used in a few techniques which are black hat.
  • Defined DOC type – Tell Google about the page and the language it is in.
  • Primary domain with keywords – Try and purchase domains which contain your primary keyword.
  • Minimal external links – Avoid excessive linking to external sites, this could result in low search engines scores and low rankings.
  • No follow on external links – Following on from the above, if you have too link to many external sites, always add no follow on the links.
  • Robots.txt file – A great way of telling the search engines about folders and pages you don’t want them to crawl.
  • .htaccess file for redirections and newly located content – If you’ve had a redesign, restructure or even moving domain name, always use 301 redirects to carry links through and retain good rankings.
  • Fast site load times – Keep code and any external elements streamlined to keep the website load time fast.
  • Avoid inline CSS styling – All styling should be in the CSS so to keep filesizes down and speed up.
  • Avoid site code comments and notes – This can increase load times and has no SEO benefit.
This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

3 Responses to “My top 37 points your website needs from the offset to be SEO friendly…”

  1. [...] permalink Not sure if this will help but came across this earlier today: 37 points your website needs to be SEO friendly | Dave Cain [...]

  2. Andy Morley says:

    Nice post Dave :)

    Would Valid HTML & CSS be an additional point to add?

    XHTML 1.0 Strict / Transitional in the Doctype, I guess you have brushed on this already by declaring a DOCTYPE.

    Is it worth noting that the code should validate to those standards specified in the DOCTYPE?

    All in all a good post :)

    Cheers – Andy

    • Dave Cain says:

      Thanks Andy, the point about valid HTML/CSS I raised in this post I did here. I believe it will become more of a factor with Google becoming more socially aware and user focused.

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