Clients often ask about the basics involved in achieving good placement on search engine results pages (SERPS), so we’ve put together the list below.
While some clients have both the time and experience to take on SEO, a developer with knowledge of best SEO practices can make sure that the items listed below are done correctly. Contact us to see how we can help with your SEO goals.
- Create unique titles for your pages related to the content on your page. Be brief as you only have 70 characters (this includes spaces) to work with.
- Use “description” meta tags to give both users and search engines a summary of the page content. Like titles, description content should be unique for every page. Again, be brief. With descriptions, you have 156 characters to work with.
- Forget the “keyword” meta tags. These have been abused by web developers over the years as have been depreciated. Don’t waste your time.
- Use “friendly” URLs with text that relate to your page content. A URL to a green dress on your website, for instance, might look something like mysite.com/dresses/green-dress.html. mysite.com?content-id=145 is a much less appealing URL with regard to SEO.
- Create a useful 404 file (happens when you have a missing page or broken link) that clearly guides users back to the site’s working content.
- Create good, unique content and direct others to it using social media (blogs, twitter, facebook, instagram, google plus and pinterest). Use keyword phrases (not single words!) in your page content, anticipating the words a user might enter into a search engines to find a page like yours.
- Pepper links to other pages within your site every 120 words or so. The text that links should use a keyword phrase specific to that linked page. “Click here” is not a good link.
- Use image “alt” tags that are descriptive. Google can’t see an image, but it can read the alt tag and index what that image is of.
- Create both an HTML and XML sitemap. HTML is for users and the XML version is a text file for the search engines.
- Use heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6) correctly. H1 tags are most important while h6 are the least. There should be only one h1 tag per page.
- Create a robots.txt file. This file tells search engines what parts of the site they should access and what parts they should ignore.
- Don’t stop. SEO is an ongoing adventure, not a one-off.