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Development of SEO Friendly Page

Google is still the most popular search engine. So, it would not be a bad idea to develop pages following the guidelines from google, but also keeping in mind about other search engines like yahoo, bing etc. For your convenience, I have summarized google starter guide. Please find it helpful. Again, don’t assume this guide is only for developers and programmers. I always keep in mind, “Knowledge enlightens against ignorance.”

    Create unique, accurate page title.

·         Indicate page tittles by using title tags.

o   Page title contents are displayed in search results

o   Use <title> tag and place it within <head> tag of html document.

o   The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/business and could include other bits of important information related to your business.

·         Best Practices

o   Accurately describe the page’s content.

o   Create unique title tags for each page.

o   Use brief, but descriptive titles.

·         Page titles are an important aspect of search engine optimization.

         Make the use of the “description” meta tag.

·         Use description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary of what the page is about.

·         A page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about. <meta> tag is places inside the <head> tag of your HTML document.

·         Search engines like Google might use them as snippets for your pages.

·         Best Practices

o   Accurately summarize the page’s content

o   Use unique descriptions for each page.

        Improve the structure of your URLs

·         Simple-to-understand URLs will convey content information easily.

o   It leads to better crawling of your documents by search engines.

o   If URL contains relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.

·         URLs are displayed in search results.

·         Choose a URL that will be easy for users and search engines to understand.

·         Best Practices

o   Use words in URLs (Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them).

o   Create a simply directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know here they are at on you site.

o   Provide one version of a URL to reach a document.

§  Setting up a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLS to the dominant URL is a good solution if you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs.

     Make your site easier to navigate

·         The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It also helps search engines understand what content the webmaster think is important.

·         Plan out your navigation based on your homepage.

o   You should think about how the visitors will go from a home page to the specific content.

·         Ensure more convenience for users by using breadcrumb lists.

o   A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page.

·         Allow for the possibility of a part of the URL being removed.

o   Instead of using the breadcrumb links on the page, a user might drop off a part of the URL in the hopes of finding more general content.

·         Prepare two sitemaps: one for users, one for search engines.

o   A site map (lower case) is a simple page that displays the structure of your website. Visitors may visit this page if they are having problems finding pages on your website.

o   An XML Sitemap (upper case) which is submitted through Google’s Webmaster tool, makes it easier for google to discover the pages on your site.

·         Create a naturally flowing hierarchy.

·         Use mostly text for navigation.

o   For navigation, the focus should be on simplicity and use of use.

·         Best Practices   

o   Put and HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML sitemap file.

o   Have a useful 404 page.

§  Having a custom 404 page that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user’s experience.

     Offer quality content and services

·         Creating compelling and useful content will influence your website more than any of the other factors.

·         Google AdWords provides a handy keyword tool that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword.

·         Write easy-to-read text

·         Stay organized around the topic

·         Create content primarily for users, not search engines.

      Write better anchor text

·         Anchor text is the clickable text that tells users and google something about the page you are linking to.

·         Both users and search engines like anchor text that is easy to understand.

·         Best Practices

o   Choose Descriptive text

o   Write concise text

o   Format links so they are easy to spot

o   Use anchor text for internal link too.

      Optimize your use of images

·         Use “alt” attribute to specify alternative text for the image if image cannot be displayed for some reason.

·         Store files in specialized directories and, manage them, using common file formats.

·         Best Practices

o   Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text.

o   Supply alt text when using images as links.

o   Supply an image sitemap file.

      Using heading tags appropriately

·         Use heading tags to emphasize important text.

·         Best Practices

o   Imagine you’re writing an outline.

o   Use heading sparingly across the page, but avoid excessive use.

     Make effective use of robots.txt

·         A “robot.txt” file tells search engines whether they can access and therefore crawl parts of your site. This file, which must be named “robots.txt”, is places in the root directory of your site. Reference to robots.txt generator for more information.

·         Best Practices

o   Use more secure methods for sensitive content

§  Don’t feel comfortable using robots.txt to block sensitive or confidential material. Encrypting the content or password-protecting it with .htaccess are more secure alternatives.

    Use of rel = “nofollow” links

·         Make sure you have solid measures in place to deals with comment spam.

·         Setting the value of “rel” attribute of a link to “nofollow” will tell google that certain links on your site shouldn’t be followed or pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked to.

·         Linking to site’s that google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your website.

·         Using “nofollow” for individual contents, whole pages.

o   If you want to nofollow all links in your page, use can use “nofollow” in <head> insdie robots meta tag.

§  Example: <meta name= “robots” content= “nofollow”>

      Notify google of mobile sites

·         Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately. Remember that Mobile sites not only use a different format from normal desktop sites, but the management methods and expertise required are also different.

·         Verify that mobile site is indexed by Google.

o   If your website does not show up using  site:operator , your site may have the following errors.

§  Googlebot may not be able to find your site

Ø  Create a mobile sitemap and submit it to google to inform sites existence. A mobile sitemap can be submitted using Google webmaster Tools.

§  Googlebot may not be able to access your site.

Ø  Allow any user-agent including “Googlebot-Mobile” to access your site.
 SetEnvlf User-Agent “Googlebot-Mobile” allow_ua

·         Verify that Google can recognize your mobile URLs

o   Redirect mobile users to the correct version.

o   Switch content based on User-agent

     Know about social media sites

    Reach out to those in your site’s related community

     Make use of free webmaster tools

·         Google Webmaster tools

Ø  http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Ø  http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html

 

Please refer to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) through my lens.