How to Make Your Website SEO-Friendly?

Just having a good looking website is not enough to attract a lot of traffic. For your site to be shown on search engine results, you will have to respect the SEO rules. If your website is up to their standards, it will be placed higher on a search list. Things like keywords, tags and also site design can have a great impact on your website’s SEO ranking.

In this article, we will show you some tricks that will help you achieve more traffic on your website. Not that these points are not sorted by importance, since all of them are more or less equally important.

Use SEO Keyword and Usage on Images

Keywords are the source of your website SEO. It is your ways of helping the search engine determine what the key information on your website is. One of your keywords should be mentioned in the first sentence of the web page to help the search engine determine what the page will be about.

Keywords should be used a lot on your website. From h1 tags, title attributes, navigation, images, to meta description, even in folder names. All of this information should be relevant to the overall site. But do not stuff too many keywords as that could have a counter effect.

Usually, only the text on a website is optimized, but image optimization is important as well (even if not done as often). Images on your site shouldn’t be too large and out of the line of the page. It should be around 30 to 100kb in size and with 72dpi resolution. If you go much bigger than that, the web page will load slowly and it will lower your SEO ranking.

Also, alt text on the pictures must be relevant to the picture and they shouldn’t be too long. Like we noted, image positioning is also very important, as well as connection of the picture to the rest of the site.

Accessible Design

You website has to be accessible, and by that we mean that it can be viewed on all browsers and devices. It should have special tags to help it work on newer and older versions of browsers, because people use those popular ones (Mozzila Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera), and even those not that common, but still used (Internet Explorer).

Speed of the website is also included in this point, as a slower website will have lower search engine ranking, and will be affected by it heavily. If it is hard to navigate your website, it will have a negative impact on the traffic and the overall ranking. Images we mentioned before can add to this point as well.

Structure of your web pages is important, because a well-structured web site is much easier to go through.  So you must avoid having orphan pages (if a page is not properly attached to the web site structure) at any cost.

Your website should also be responsive in order to get higher rating with the search engine. If done well, with responsive layouts for the mobile devices, you will not have to duplicate pages and have a problem with the low search engine rating.

User Friendly URLs

Your URLs cannot be random and chaotic, since it will not help the visitor or the search engine know what the page is about. If, for example, your URL is ending in yoursite.com/id=243?64943, a search engine will be confused and your website will be ranked lower than it should.

There should be a clear name for the purpose of the current web page, for example .com/movies/action. This way search engine will have a viable way to categorize your web page and make it easier to find (which is the point of the SEO anyhow). Also, going too wild with the multiple categories can also have a negative impact on the page rating, so avoid making them too complex.

Use one or two keywords in the URL, for the page to be search engine friendly. If you have two words for the folder in the path name, it is always better to use hyphens (-), than underscores (_), since they are standard for that kind of path naming.

Also, any old and bad URLs should be 301 redirected, so that they don’t create confusion and create those pesky 404 errors. They will also keep the values they earned before they went down.

Social Media Integration

Because social media is everywhere today, and is extremely popular with almost every demographic type, it is important to be integrated with these websites for the sake of better results. They will make your website rank much better, since social media is highly ranked by search engines.

This will not only help with the high ranking with the search engine, but will also provide you with a bigger traffic on the website. It also helps with the site experience, because if you keep your visitors engaged, search engines will boost your traffic by improving your ranking in the search results.

 Limit the Usage of JavaScript

Since some websites use almost whole code for JavaScript, it will make work for search engines a lot harder, since it will have a problem with reading your website. Even though JavaScript can be visually compelling for the visitor of the website, it will not help search engines determine the nature of your web page. Because this slows it down, search engines do not rank sites like these high.

Beside that point, JavaScript is not integrated well on every mobile device and because of that you might lose a big chunk of possible visitors by limiting your website to a complex and hard to read mess. You should help the search engine, by limiting your JavaScript usage to some normal boundaries.

Not Too Many Flash Elements

Flash elements can be fun and useful thing to have on your web page, but be careful since excessive usage can distract your visitors and also lower your website’s ranking.  Flash is usually ignored by search engines, or frowned upon if done in huge quantities. So if you want your page to be SEO friendly, try to use Flash elements in rare occasions when they can really add something great to your web page.

Usage of HTML5 and Proper CSS

HTML5 is the latest version of the language and is really user-friendly towards search engines. It offers many descriptive tags that will help SEO a lot in figuring what the page is all about. Also, its elements are easy to read for a search engine, so it will go a lot faster than normal. So if you are using the old HTML code, the right thing to do would be to update it and make life easier for yourself.

If you are an old-school developer, be aware that HTML frames are not the way to go and will have a negative impact on the site rating. Same goes with tables that are now obsolete in that way, since CSS can now be used to create table-style layouts.

Invalid CSS code doesn’t necessarily change your rating, but can be harmful if the web page breaks for the visitor. So it will not directly affect your rating, but will lower the traffic, which can lower your rank.

Also, on the note of code: A great thing to do would be to create XML Sitemap that will provide huge help to the engines in helping them understand the website’s structure. With it you can determine which pages of your site are important, and which ones are not.

Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Every page on your website should have its own unique title tag. It will help differentiate each page and will represent each page. Try to keep it short with around 30 to 50 characters.

Meta description is similar to the title and should be written in your own words for the best effect. This text will be shown in the little preview on a Google search page. It shouldn’t be too long, maximum 160 characters are more than enough to get your message about the website.

Using HTTPS Encryption

Not so long ago, HTTPS encryption was used only for web stores and websites where you needed to protect sensitive data (ex. credit card numbers). But currently, as the threats on the web are growing, so is the need for protection of personal details. That is why Google is pushing that HTTPS should be used everywhere, as an extra layer of defense. It also shouldn’t reduce the speed of the website, making the most out of it. Almost all major websites have already implemented this step, as information is getting more and more valuable from day to day.

Also, similar to this, you should renew your security certificates, so that they do not show warnings to the visitors of your website.

Declaring DOCTYPE

This might seem like a meager thing to warn about, but if it’s done wrong, it can lower your rank a bit. Doctype is useful as it helps the browser translate web pages on your site. If there is no declaration, the browser must guess and that takes time and can sometimes miss or get something wrong. It is a small piece of code that saves a lot of time and trouble.

No More Printer-Friendly

This is one of the old-school things that are no longer necessary. You do not need a “printer-friendly” button on your website, since it is now done in CSS as a cleaner and faster solution to that problem. So any button like that will cause red flags during engine search.

Proper Page Linking

Because linking on sites is being used on almost every page, you should make your links clearly visible. Besides regular underlining, links have to be different in another way, since mousing over to figure out if the text is link is not effective.

Those links should always be absolute, even if the relative ones are easier to manipulate with. But relative links can be interpreted wrong or even scraped. Absolute links are greater, especially when making site navigation.

You should be aware that a single page is not supposed to have more than 100 links on it. Control your link usage and create them only when necessary.

Mark the Pages that Shouldn’t be Checked

By creating robots.txt, you can control which parts of your page should not be accessed by search engine robots.

This is helpful when you own a web store and don’t want Google robots to add products to your cart because they followed a link. Mostly these pages won’t be shown in the search result, unless there are signals somewhere that tell them about the page’s value.

Increase Page Load Speed

Quite a logical thing is to improve loading speed for your pages. Try to shorten and work on your code so that it can be practical to use. Anyhow, the goal of any developer is already to make his website faster, but with achieving this, you will also get much higher ranking with the search engines. So it’s a two for one kind of deal.

Focusing on the Structure

Structure of your website must be clear and understandable, as it will ease the job of the search engines that crawl through your pages. Try to implement structured data around key elements. This will also affect how your site looks when shown on a search result page and what information is available to see.

Text Readability

It might sound trivial, but texts on your page must be readable. Some things that should be looked after are: sentence length, frequency of passive voice and number of syllables per words.

The content you are putting out should be understandable, with no syntactical or grammatical errors and with a proper sentence structure. Depending on the targeted demographic, these rules should be applied accordingly.

Summary

As you may have already noticed, SEO will be kind to you as your website quality goes up. Factors like design and ease of access are important for the search engine and only websites that are well done will reap the rewards it has to offer. So we hope that this article was useful and that it provided some insight into the world of search engines.

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David Cross

David is the chief editor at WebHostingMedia right from the beginning. He has a great passion for building and managing websites and creating helpful content. He is also interested in programming - currently learning python.