Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Things Web Developers Should Know About SEO

About to build your first (or next) website? You definitely should take your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimalization) in mind! These are the ten things that should be considered when developing your next online project.

1. Keywords must be included in the title tag

Title tags are an essential component of the search engine ranking process. Therefore, it’s vital that you use the most important keywords in the title. Remember: it’s not enough for a search engine to include your site in its results; your site must also attract people by having an appealing and unique headline. Make sure the title isn’t too long either.

2. Make the most of your robots.txt


The contents of your robots.txt file will dictate which parts of your site are targeted by search engine spiders, so it’s vital that you put a lot of effort into writing this file.

3. Use the ALT attribute properly

Be very careful when you use the ALT tag. Ensure that its content relates directly to the image that it’s describing. If you use non-relevant keywords in the ALT attribute, Google will pick up on this and push you down the rankings.

4. Use your anchor text wisely

Don’t use generic text like ‘click here’ when writing your anchor text. It’s very important that the anchor text describes exactly where the link is going. This is the case whether it’s an incoming or an outgoing link. As this anchor text tells search engines where the link is going, it’s obviously beneficial for you to include relevant text.

5. Ensure you use high-quality links

You don’t want just any old back links; you want quality back links. Links to your site from low-quality sites will reduce your page ranking and, naturally, links from high quality websites will boost your page ranking. The same goes for outbound links. Google will punish you for linking to junk sites so choose the sites you link to very carefully.

6. Use your header tags properly

Remember that search engines only read basic HTML so always adhere to HTML guidelines and rules. For example, you should only use one tag per page, but you can use an unlimited amount of the other tags.

7. The first paragraph on each of your web pages is vitally important

When a search engine scans websites for results it looks initially at the first paragraph and views it as a sort of summary of the rest of the site’s content. Therefore, you should always use the right keywords in the right places i.e. in the opening paragraph.

8. Check the accessibility of your website

It’s essential that your site’s functionality is problem-free. If it’s slow to load, if there’s a problem with the coding, or if there’s any fundamental error like broken links, search engines will have problems locating it, and visitors will have problems using it.

9. Optimize your URLs

Ensure that your URLs are descriptive. Otherwise, users and search engines alike will have no idea what the page they’re being linked to is all about. If you’re using dynamic URLs ensure, if possible, that you keep the parameters to less than two.

10. Site Usability

Make sure that your website is attractive to visitors. If navigation is awkward or if you have a visually unappealing design or if it’s overloaded with tacky ads then you will not encourage quality site owners to want to link to your site, nor will you encourage customers to purchase from you.
If you plan to hire a web developer to manage your project, you might want to perform a background check to make sure that they are legit and that their portfolio reflects reality. You can do this by using the various background check services available on the web.

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