SEO: During Website Development
During website development, you should request your web designer/developer/project manager to keep in mind SEO friendliness of the website. There are several factors to keep in mind:
Responsive Design: If the budget permits you should have a responsive design, it helps in targeting a wider base of audience.
Website URL Structure: This refers to the URLs of your sub-pages and sub-sub-page, blogs, etc. For example:
Sub Page URL: /samsung-galaxy-s5/
Sub Sub Page URL: /samsung-galaxy-s5/price-in-india/
Sub Sub Page URL: /samsung-galaxy-s5/specifications/
Blog URL: /smart-phones/samsung-galaxy-s5-review-2014/ (category/blog-tilte)
Consult your SEO Manager regarding the suitable website structure to use. The basic idea is to use keywords in your URLs wisely.
Use of Tags: Provide title tags, description, alt tags for images, for each and every page individually, so that when the person uploads the content, it is uploaded with all SEO elements correctly.
H-Tags: Ask them to design the layout in a way that it respects the heading hierarchy, i.e. main page title should be H1, the sub-heads H2, etc.
Internal Linking: Adopt the practice of making good use of Anchor Texts for interlinking the content within the website.
Optimize Image Size: Optimize image size, if you can get away with a 50KB version of the image, don’t use 500 MB version. Also, define the width and height attribute of the images wherever it is ued. Ex: <img src=”image-url” width=”200px” height=”200px”/>
404 Redirects: Setup 404 Redirect, so that if any broken link appears it should go to proper page.A broken link nowhere to go degrade the ranking of the website.
Use nofollow: Use nofollow in header so that any external link are not followed by search engine from your website.
Robots.txt: Use robots.txt to block bots to index any directory/folder that you don’t want to get indexed.
.htaccess: Configure .htaccess file for canonical URLs and other configurations to load website faster.
SEO: After Website Development, Before Final Launch
Checklist of things to consider before opening the website for search engines.
- All pages have proper Title Tags (within 65 character limit and targeting the keyword)
- Check for duplicate content, you can use copyscape.
- Content is optimized for target keywords for every page
- No Alt Tags are missing.
- There are no broken links
- 404 Redirect is set
- Canonical URL is set
- URLs are optimized for target keywords
- Create Google Analytics Account and Install Google Analytics
- Create Google Webmasters Account and verify domain
- Create XML Sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster
- Check Google Webmasters tool for 404/500 errors and for other issue like mirror content, etc.
- Integrate social media if it is in your scheme of things.
- Claim your business/brand name of Social Media Websites (even if you don’t want to use, atleast block them so that no one else uses it to damage your reputation)
- Check website speed on gtmetrix, and see if there is scope of improvement in the ratings.
SEO: Ongoing Activities
Analytics/Monitoring: It is important to monitor your website visitor’s activity on your website. Analytics tools provide you good insight into your visitors activity pattern, like which content is read most, which is the worst performing pages, etc. This way you can learn what works well on your website, and which areas to improve on.
Content Building and Promotion: You should constantly add valuable content on your website in form of new blog posts, or new pages about service offerings, latest news about your business, industry reviews, etc. Get account on 1 or 2 good article submission sites and keep posting some articles there as well. Share the blog posts and the articles on your social media pages.
Link Building and Link Removals: If you have done any sort of link building in the past or recently (in form of directory submissions, social bookmarking, bulk article submissions, etc.), the chances are they have not yielded the required results, i.e. rankings. The reason is Google Search Algorithms are smart enough to identify the desperate but mindless efforts to gain search rankings.
Google has even provided Disavow Links tool so that you request Google Webmasters not to consider the bad backlinks created in the past or by some link builder.
The idea is to create links that looks natural, i.e. they should originate within the content area which is relevant to your article/page/post.
Social Media Marketing: Google draws a lot of conclusion from the activity and response on your Social Media Page, so make sure to create right environment on your FB page and get good number of likes not only for your page, but also for the content that you share on it.