10 S.E.O. does and don’ts for Web Developers

There’s no point in having a website if cant be found. Here are 10 basic tips for developing a Seach Engine Optimised Site in the form of 5 dos and 5 don’t. Here we deal with the more technical side of SEO, the basics that its important to get right before we can start thinking about targeting keywords and content

Do

1. Make your domain name as descriptive as possible
Your brandname if your brand is somewhat established to the point where people will search for it. If you trying to build your brand try something like the service you are offering and the location e.g. webdesign-cork.com . This will give you a head start with user searching for webdesign ini the Cork area.

2. Use Propper HTML formatting
Make sure to use tags where applicable. Do not use tags to format heading text. This will not be recignised as a heading by Google, this will also involve including CSS in your html file which is not ideal, as we will discuss later.

3. Meta Tags and Title
The title tag is very important, it is the first piece of content that the spyder sees. This should included your targeted keywords and be less then 60 characters long. The next most important tag is the meta description, this should be a brief decription of the site in less then 160 characters and should also include keywords where posssible. The meta keywords can contain as many keywords as desired seperated by a coma (,)

4. Use Descriptive URLs
Use search engine friendly URLs with a well laid out site. Each page has its own URL with the page title contain within it. E.G. a who we are page located under an about us page should have a URL like so webdesign-cork.com/aboutus/whoweare.html

5. Include an xml sitemap
xml-sitemaps.com will generate an .xml site map for your site for free. You can then upload this to your root folder where Google will see it when it comes to spider your site. This make life easier for Google and as a reward for your cooperation Google will rank your site higher then those without sitemaps.
Don’t

1. Use Flash
Flash will be seen as large blocks of code by Google, it will not be considered as relevant content. It will also make your page slower to load and will not work with ipads or iphones both of which will hurt your page ranking with Google.

2. Use images in place of text
Try to use html text as much as possible and css to style the text as desired. You can overlay text over images with CSS to give the effect of text within the image while still being readable by Google

3. Include JS and CSS in the webpage
Link all CSS and JS files in the head of the document and keep the body free for content. Google sees script and styling as irelavent rubbish that it has to sift through to get to the content. Keep your .html file as content dense as possible

4. Stuff
Do not stuff your content area with a list of keywords you think will help get you found. Using unrelated keywords will negitivly effect your search ranking. You may think that using popular keywords will help you but this is not the case. If you write an article about local tourist atractions and you include keywords like iPhone this will not help your ranking as the spider will see it as unrelated.

5. Forget your copyright footer
Include a copyright footer on everypage, including © symbol (Hold down Alt and type 0169 on the number pad). This protects your content legaly and lets Google know that the page is original content giving it the edge over non copyrighted conten.

We have covered 10 basics points to remember when developing a Seach Engine Optimised Site. These are the basic steps taken to ensure that a site can be seen and understood by google. The next step is to target keywords and tailor your content to get seen for the keywords you want to be found for.