How to Make Your Website Search Engine Friendly
Are you looking to build a search engine-friendly website? Do you want your website to rank high in Google search results? If you are thinking that this is a herculean task, you’re wrong. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to build a search engine optimized website in terms of design and development. I will also briefly cover how to increase your rank in Google and other search engines.
The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design and Development
If you think that search engines can read websites as humans do, you’re wrong. Search engines have limited abilities in crawling websites and in interpreting content. This is why if you want to land high in search engine results, you have to structure web pages and its content well so that both search engines and humans can easily understand it.
First of all, make sure that your most important content is written in HTML text format. Search engines often ignore images, applets, flash files and other non-text content. However, you can also structure these files to be more SEO-friendly by:
- Providing alt text for images. You should assign images in gif, jpg, or png format and “alt attributes” in HTML so that search engines will know what your images are all about
- Supplementing your search boxes with clear navigation and links that are easily crawlable
- Placing text on Java plugins and flash content
- Creating transcripts for audio and video content so that their descriptions can be indexed by search engines.
You can actually check for yourself how your site appears in search engines. The tools that you can use include Google’s cache, SEO-browser.com, and the MozBar. These tools can let you see which elements are visible to search engines and which of them are indexable. You can also use tools like UpCity and SEMRush to get a better idea of your business!
Crawlable Link Structures
Search engines also need to see links that will lead them towards important content on your site, so you need to have crawlable link structures. A crawlable link structure will let crawlers browse content throughout your entire website. Don’t make the mistake of structuring your navigation so as to hinder the search engines’ abilities to crawl and access your pages. These crawlable link structures can get your website easily indexed by search engines and help you rank higher quickly.
Your link tags contain text, images or other objects which have a clickable area on the pages where viewers can engage and move to another page. The links are known as hyperlinks and they are the original navigational elements of the internet.
For example, in this link:
<a href=https://devcereal.wpengine.com>Cereal Entrepreneur Academy</a>
The “<a” tag indicates the start of a link. The link referral location tells the search engine where the link is leading. In this example, the URL https://devcereal.wpengine.com is referenced.
Next, the visible part of the link which is called anchor text describes the page where the link leads to. The linked page is about Cereal Entrepreneur Academy, thus the anchor text is “Cereal Entrepreneur Academy” The “</a>” tag closes the link to contain the linked text between the tags and prevent the link from covering all the other elements on the page.
Use of Keywords
Keywords are very important to search engine optimization. You should make your keywords very specific so that you narrow down the competition and land high in search engine results.
Here is where you should place your keywords:
- In the title tag at least once. Try to keep your keyword at the beginning of the title tag as possible.
- Once prominently near the top of the page.
- At least two or three times in the body text on the page
- At least once in the alt attribute of an image on the page
- Once in the URL
- At least once in the meta description tag
Title tags are also an important part of search engine optimization. They offer a brief yet accurate description of the page content. Search engines usually display only the first 65 to 75 characters of a title tag in the search engine results, so you have to keep it short. Your important keywords should also be placed close to the beginning. You should also consider branding, readability and emotional impact when creating your title tags.
Meta Robots control search engine crawler activity per page. The command “index/noindex” tells the search engines whether the web page should be crawled and indexed. The “follow/nofollow” tells the engines whether the links on the page should be crawled. The “archive” is used to stop search engines from saving a cached copy of the page. The “nosnippet” informs the engines that they should stop displaying a descriptive block of text next to the page’s title and URL in the search engine results. The “noodp/noydir” are special tags that tells search engines not to grab a descriptive snippet about a page from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) or the Yahoo! Directory for display in the search results.
Meta descriptions are usually short descriptions of what a web page is all about. They are the primary source of text snippets which are displayed in search result listings.
How you structure your URLs is also important in making your site more SEO-friendly. Keep your URLs short, descriptive and easy to remember. Don’t forget to use keywords in your URLs!
So, there you have it! You now know the basics of search engine friendly design and development. If you want to learn more about effective SEO techniques, feel free to browse our other articles in our blog or on our YouTube channel!