Basic Features for SEO

Michael Bergbauer - November 21, 2011

Behind the scenes, there are a lot of components that keep a website up and running. It’s possible, and maybe even practical (depending on your business situation), to launch and run your website without many features enabled. Doing so will give you a functioning website, but it won’t give you an optimal one. Here are just a few examples of features you should be using on your site for SEO:

XML Sitemap: Take a look at any well-optimized site, and you won’t have to look far to find a sitemap. It’s one of the most basic features you can add to your site for optimization. The sitemap let’s search engine bots crawl your site more easily by providing a list of available URLs. Making your site easier to index helps it rank better. If you run a large website that updates frequently, you will want to make sure that your CMS is set to automatically update the sitemap when new content is posted.

Robots.txt: You’ll want a robots.txt file for identical reasons as the XML sitemap — to help crawlers do their job more efficiently. Google places a limit on the number of pages it will scan for your site. This can be problematic if you are running a large site — Google will never look at some of your pages. Furthermore, you can not tell Google which pages to index. You can, however, tell them which pages to ignore by using a robots.txt file. This increases the chances that Google will index only the important pages of your site.

Google Analytics: Although not necessary for the operation of your site, a Google Analytics account is necessary from a marketing perspective. If you want to manage your growth and impact on the Internet, or the success of a campaign — the best way is through analytics. Furthermore, the sooner you set up an account, the sooner you can begin collecting data to refer back to when running future campaigns.

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