Most web designers and developers are savvy enough to know that building a website with SEO in mind is a lot easier than implementing SEO changes once a website has been up and running. What are some basic steps that one should employ when building their website.
Firstly, it’s extremely important to carefully plan your content and meta data well ahead of time, even before all of the aesthetic considerations. Knowing what the primary keyphrase is for all of your top level pages before you start to write the content will make it easier in the long run. Also, writing all of your titles, descriptions and keywords in advance will save on having to create them in the future. Content and meta data writing can be very time consuming, especially if SEO is an afterthought.
When developing your SEO strategy, you should also remember to actively seek out inbound links. Set aside some time to find industry leaders and hub pages that would bring you quality traffic and pass on some of that valuable “link juice” to the website.
Duplicate content can come in many shapes and sizes. For instance, there can be duplicate pages, duplicate domains and lack of canonicalization. What most people often don’t realize is that one of the most common and easiest to fix forms of duplicate content can be the meta titles and descriptions. It has been said that by simply tweaking ones title tags, a site can gain significant positions in the search engines.
Titles tags are probably the most important of the meta tags for two reasons: search engines weigh them very highly and users can actually see them as they appear in the browser window and in the search engine results pages. Making these unique, at least on the top level pages, can make a world of difference to a website’s ranking possibilities. People need to understand that the search engines can actually choose to display a different title tag to the one that’s on the website if they feel the one they choose is more appropriate. Constructing title tags so that they are at an appropriate length (70 characters or less), and making sure they are unique, relevant and have the primary keyphrase for the page will ensure that you choose what content is displayed in the SERPs, not the search engines.
Last week, Google officially announced on their blog that “we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.” What does this mean to webmasters and practitioners of SEO? Not much really, when you take into account that most good SEOs already consider site speed to be a huge part of their optimization efforts. After all, the quicker your site loads, the easier it is for the search engines to get to the most important pages on a site. Site speed is obviously also good for user experience and keeping those bounce rates at a low level.
However, the reason it may be more prudent for the less fastidious SEO to speed up page load times is that the load times are now part of the algorithms in that even if you have a site with great content and inbound links, if your pages take forever to load, Google may see fit to not rank you as high. What are some of the basic housekeeping tips to speed up page load times?