Monday 28 October 2013

8 SEO do's and don'ts when building your new website

These past two weeks we’ve been updating our website. It’s been a very exciting process, we had a first peak at the new design last week. 

We started with a long list of SEO basics, we’d like to share 8 of them with you here.

These little nuggets of advice are for anyone who owns, wants to own, or is about to own a website, to help you make your website search engine friendly.

1. Don’t use images as buttons in your menu/navigation bar. Always use text in your menu as it will give the search engines an indication of what the pages they’re linking to are all about.

2. Don’t use flash and JavaScript. Stay away from flash and JavaScript in menus or anywhere as information presented this way is not easily understandable to search engines. Making use of CSS3 is a better option. This has the advantages of not only being search engine friendly but features build in CSS3 will be compatible with all browsers.

3. Do optimise your images. Image optimisation is often overlooked when building websites. Images should be compressed for fast page load times whilst keeping the quality. The naming of images is also important, especially for e-commerce websites with lots of products. Alt tags should be used to present the search engines with something different to read in addition to the image name.

4. Do get your SEO agency involved from the start. SEO considerations should be made at the design stage of a new website so involve your SEO agency right from the start to ensure the design and structure are search engine friendly.

5. Do tell Google you’re moving house. If you’re having your website upgraded, redesigned or rebuilt don’t forget to redirect the old pages to the new pages to avoid losing any existing search engine positioning that you may have.

6. Do create an html sitemap. Sitemaps help Google easily ‘crawl’ (or read) every page of your website.

7. Don’t duplicate content. Google doesn’t like duplicate content so avoid it. This means ensuring that your design company either removes any development version of your website or blocks Google from crawling it. There should never be 2 versions of your website online anywhere.

8. Do put the user first. When creating a new website, you must focus on the user experience. This is becoming increasingly more important to Google when deciding where to rank a website in its search engine results. If your bounce rate is high, Google won’t rank your website very high. In addition to creating an engaging user experience you must also build brand trust with your visitors.

If your web people acknowledge these 8 SEO do’s and don’ts it will really help Google to understand what your websites is all about.

And that’s exactly what you want.
Because if Google understands the ‘thing’ you’re all about it will position you at the top of its search results for that ‘thing'.

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