Let’s admit it, we are all suckers for quick tips, whether beauty or cooking or DIY. So why not when it comes to web design and SEO knowledge. SEO or search engine optimization is essential to improve visibility of a website or a webpage on search engine results.
Almost everyone in the web design business has some basic knowledge about SEO, but do you know that some easy cues could take you from being a beginner to a pro? Well, here are 55 tips that you can begin to practice slowly on your own web pages and witness the difference they make to your ranking.
- Understand the main requirements for SEO. They are simply content, links, reputation and popularity of a site.
- User-friendly website. Ensure than your users find it easy to access your website as this will help in link building which, in turn will add to the popularity and eventually improve rankings.
- Show generosity in giving out links. When it comes to links follow the simple rule of ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’. Give out links generously when you think it will benefit the user.
- 4. Unique content with quality. Unique content and quality content are two different things. Information on your website needs to not just be good quality but also different from what similar sites have.
- If using flash, use alternate text too. Search engines do not favour flash so if you must use it, add alternate text as well for description. This should especially be avoided on the home pages. Instead, focus on text and also text based navigation or your site.
- Links from other sources. Some of the most valuable links that you may get could be from sources like newsletters and not necessarily from other websites.
- Paid links are not relevant. Paid links will not benefit you at all, so best not to bother with them at all. It is better to get 1-2 links from reputed sites rather than plenty from link farms. If you suddenly add 100 links at once it could appear to search engines that you may be buying them and this could be misconstrued as spamming.
- Favor links from .edu and .gov sites. Search engines give importance to links obtained from .edu and .gov domains as they have more credibility because they are difficult to obtain. If possible try and get them to link to your site as this will give your site more credibility.
- Use link baiting well. This is not something negative and link baiting can also include good content used positively. However, be careful of going overboard.
- Single keyword phrase. Focus on one single keyword phrase per page. Avoid using several keywords for optimizing the page.
- Call to action. Call to action of your website should be absolutely clear or your SEO will be useless.
- Focus on SEO regularly. Your SEO is not a one-time process. The search engine scenario changes continuously hence, focus on optimization of your site on a regular basis, daily if possible.
- Encourage influential bloggers and reputed sites. Bloggers that have made an impact or sites with authority who may want to link with you or use your images and content should be encouraged and catered to.
- Owners should blog. When the CEO or the owner of a company takes personal interest and writes blogs it will add to the value of the website. Personal inputs by the owner of the company are priceless. Interaction between the readers and the owner will result in your credibility reaching new heights.
- Give preference to text. Text is always preferable when it comes to web design. Even if you’re keen on using java script in drop down menus or image links, always put a text link on your page as well, for the spiders to catch on.
- Write meaningful content. Viewers might be attracted by your site’s aesthetics, but they will stay for the content. Be sure to have well-researched, easy to read and quirky content that will be, above all, of use to the audience you wish to connect with. Test various headlines to see which one will catch the eye.
- Links are equally important. A good network of back-links is a great idea too, but don’t go overboard. Only include links to other sites which are logically connected to yours.
- Page rank is not that significant. PageRank, according to Google, is more or less unimportant. Don’t let the stats bother you.
- Unique title tag. A unique & optimized title tag with keywords on every single page of your site is imperative. It is recommended that you include the name of your company at the end since it will get few searches unless you are a household name.
- Regular updating of the site. Update your site regularly as new, fresh content can help improve your rankings. It also lends a modern, relevant feel to your page.
- Links for the user’s purpose. When you create links, insure that they are serving the user’s purpose. Use keyword phrases when it comes to linking your site. Be precise and direct.
- Use full search phrases instead of single keywords. It is to your advantage if you focus on full search phrases rather than single keywords. This will help you get discovered in local searches.
- Keep in mind SEO when designing your website. Keep your website SEO in mind. Be sure to not include too many fancy features like flash or images, and include more text as spiders crawl text only.
- Appropriate use of keywords. Search smart keywords for your website optimization and include them in everything on your site like in text links, domain name etc.
- Canonicalization issues. There could be canonicalization issues present–whether your site redirects from a non-www domain to a www domain. Decide which one you want to use and make sure you 301 redirect the other one to it.
- Link to homepage. Be sure to check the link to your homepage throughout your site. If, for example, index.html is appended to your domain name, you’re splitting your links into internal and outside links, like domain.com/index.html and http://www.domain.com respectively. Remove the index.html at the end and remember to always link back to your domain.
- URL file extension. Don’t be too worried about your URL file extension–as far as your SEO goes, you can use extensions like .html, .htm, .asp, .php etc. and it won’t make a difference.
- Ensure website crawling. This can be done by submitting your sitemap through Google webmaster tools.
- Common issues with AJAX, frames and flash. Frames, flash and AJAX all have a similar problem and do not allow you to link to a single page. Try excluding frames completely and also look for alternatives to flash and AJAX.
- Quality link building. It is important that quality is given precedence over quantity when building links. A single useful link will work much better than a large number of poor quality random links.
- Use contextual keywords. The text around your links needs to integrate your keywords. So make sure your links have relevant text around them.
- You need a blog. Your site requires a blog if you don’t change your site content often. Search spiders work best with fresh, updated text, so post a blog at least once a month if you want your site to be crawled.
- If on shared server, do a thorough check. If your site is using a shared server, there might be a chance of it ending up on a proxy with a spammer or a banned site, whose negative image could influence your rankings. Thus, conduct a blacklist check to be certain.
- Absolute links. Having absolute links will help avoid link navigation problems on your website.
- Differentiate between blog title and its title tag. There should be a differentiation between the blog title and the page title tag.
- Search engine like it simple. Be careful to not inundate your text with keywords and make your content sound keyword stuffy. Search engines prefer simple language content, just as we do, and its algorithm can spot the difference.
- Optimize images with keywords. Try and integrate your keywords into captions for the photos on your website. It will help improve SEO immensely.
- Optimize keyword phrase in title tag. It is important to place keywords in the title tag, preferably right at the beginning since it is the most important tag in your webpage. This will help the phrase to be picked up by the search engines. The title and description should be rich in keywords.
- Submit videos to other sites. Do not rely completely on search engines like Google for your videos to be noticed. Instead submit them to other sites like Vimeo or Yahoo too.
- Don’t rely only on your sitemap to be discovered. Search engines should be able to find your site on their own rather than you having to rely on sitemaps. This can be achieved through better navigation and linking.
- Back links from a high PageRank site are valued more. Links from a high ranking site are invaluable as they indicate high trust and carry more weight. These are tough to get though.
- Use 301 permanent redirects, if moving your site. If changing your domain name, make sure you apply 301 permanent redirects to your pages so that search engines know where the content they saw previously moved, and also retain the value of the original page.
- Better knowledge of social media for SEO. Social media is considered important for SEO, therefore, basic knowledge of the same is recommended. The more you know about Facebook, Twitter etc., the more your chances of competing on search engines.
- Create a video sitemap. If you want to increase the chances of your videos being seen by search engines then it is best for you to create a video sitemap. Also, list it in the Google webmaster account of your site.
- Special attention to text around your images. Search engines rank images based on the text surrounding them. Hence it is advisable to pay attention to the text and the headings on your images.
- Video content should comprise of keyword rich text. Just like with images include text with keywords for your video content. The usefulness of the video for a search engine will depend mainly on how well you have phrased your surrounding content for the query.
- Enable enhanced image search for Google account. Increase the chances of your images being spotted on the blended search results by enabling the enhanced image search on your Google webmaster account. Google finding your photos will help with your SEO.
- Use words like image and picture with photo descriptions. Search engines prefer not just keywords but an additional word like image or picture in the photo captions or photo alt descriptions.
- Increase the range of services on offer. Do not limit your site to just quality and unique content. Add videos, images, social content and even news if you can, to your site to make it look aesthetic and capture the interest of the user.
- Add sharing options to your site. Whether your website or blog, it’s a good idea to allow visitors to share your content through social media, reviews, ratings, feedback, comments etc.
- Server header check. This is necessary to insure that you receive a 200 ok response or a 301 redirect if the URL has been moved permanently. Anything else means the URLS have not been set up properly or are not used consistently.
- Linking page cache date should be recent. Conduct a regular cache date check for the pages which link to you. The more recent the date, the more beneficial it will be for your website to receive a link from this page. If the cache date is over a month old then it does not hold much value.
- Optimize separately for Mobile and Web. Your website should be independently built and optimized for mobile and web viewing, since search results on mobile and web are different.
- Keep your website's images lean. Make sure you optimize the images on your website for fast loading, since the speed of a website adds SEO value as well.
- Check for broken links. Make sure you check your website monthly for broken links, since Google devalues websites that have too many broken links. Find them and fix them.
Armed with these 55 quick tips of what you can and cannot do for your SEO, it should be a cakewalk for anyone to get better rankings for their website. At times you could think you are doing everything right but not seeing any noticeable change in the rankings. These tips will allow you to reach your goals and keep you ahead of the competition.
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Yes, it’s possible! Motivated by innovation, RedAlkemists believe they can help take your business to the next level. In an ever-evolving online environment, our vision is to keep “Shaping a holistic digital presence for businesses through innovative processes.”