Search Engine Optimization, as we all are aware of it, is a process to optimize your website to make it come to the top for the business related keywords. Optimization comes into play when normally website is developed and is functioning.
SEO Checklist for New Website
The SEO Checklist provides the list of important points to be considered, from SEO point of view, while developing the website. The points are enlisted as under,
The first and the foremost thing to be considered for the optimization of the website is the domain name. The Domain name should highlight the name and the theme of the business. It's always good to have the business specific keywords in the domain. That is not necessary but from SEO point of view it's recommended.
Keyword research is an absolute must before developing a website. Decide which keywords to target and base the rest of the website around them. Make sure the chosen phrases are relevant to the website's content.
There are following things which should be taken into account while developing the website, as far as SEO point of view is concerned;
- Don't link to "index.htm" or "index.php". Instead, link to "/".
- Take clean URLs for the web pages. No capital letters, no spaces, no special characters.
- Use HYPHENS while naming the web pages (if required).
- Remove QUERY STRINGS from URLs. No question marks in URLs.
- Choose/Select business related keywords while naming the web pages.
- Redirect the Non-WWW version of your site using 301 redirection (Use only one mode of web-domain address, i.e., WWW or Non WWW, and be consistent.)
Create good content for the website. Having some of the text lines on your main page interests search engine spiders to better understand the concept of the page and also helps the visitors to know more about the website. It's always better to have some content on the home page of the website.
Anchor texts are the most important text-links which provides connectivity to the website. Anchor text has its relevant importance in the search engine listings and provides a valuable source for the page content. Put anchor text at the appropriate places on the webpage, but to keep in mind that there should not be too many anchor texts, as to be considered SPM by Google.
The Meta Data
- Unique Meta Title - Make sure that the Title is Unique on every page of the site. The title tag should not be kept same or empty for the pages of the website. The following points are worth noticing while creating the title for web page,
- Write an accurate, keyword-rich page title (with at least twice the repetition of the main keyword for the web page) at least 10 words (not more than this).
- Don’t include stop words (and, the, a etc.) in the title.
- Maintain the uniqueness of the title throughout the site.
- The title should properly convey the meaning of the web page.
- Don’t use lot of keywords to make the title look as spam.
- Meta Description - Create the unique Meta Description, for every web page, exactly describing the web page (or leave empty).
- Meta Keywords – Create the Meta Keywords on every page of the site, based on the web page (or leave them empty).
The Header Tag
Ensure every page has a H1 heading, and that the main body content is immediately after the H1, with no breadcrumbs or navigation in between.
Create a static sitemap (for users) and a dynamic sitemap (for the search engine spiders)
- HTML Sitemap is a great way to list all the pages on your website for your visitors.
- XML Sitemap provides a great way to help SE spiders to find all the pages in the website and determine their relationship/importance to each other. Create an XML sitemap and submit it to major search engines to provide a clear structure to your site.
Add Footer links with business related keywords. The footer links provide a very effective way to rotate the business related keywords, and help the search engine bots to crawl the inner pages if the top navigation is created in Java Script.
- Make sure to create a Top/Main (it may be left or right also) Navigation to list the business/services via your website.
- Every page on the site should link to least one of the page of the website.
- The home page should include a link to the Sitemap.
Layout & Design
- Call Java Script from an external file rather than dumping the code in the HTML file.
- Call CSS from an external file (if any).
- No unnecessary directories. Keep the files as close to the root as possible.
- Try to keep the theme of the site similar.
- Create a ROBOTS.TXT file, in order to restrict the search engine bots, from indexing certain files and folders.
Optimize the images, by naming them appropriately, with the alt tags. Naming provides a good way to circulate the business related keywords.
Create an analytics account and install the code on every page where you want to track the performance, preferably in GOOGLE ANALYTICS (as it's most informative and easy to understand and access, with lot of details). Web Analytics acts as an important source of information to refine the optimization and determine which changes provide the best results.
- Sign up for webmaster tools, in Google, Yahoo and MSN.
- Verify your website in the same.
Create a Blog
Search Engines love blogs for the fresh content, and more over blogs provides increased exposure to the business and a way so that a visitor can stay in touch with the site services.
Install a Social Book Marking Button
Some Useful Links