Needless to say that every business with a website should make Search Engine Optimization, that means trying to get a site as high up as possible on Google search-results page. Below is a checklist that all web developers should have imprinted in the back of their minds when building websites. These elements are easy to forget and painful to rectify once the website reaches scale. Therefore, it’s far better to implement them right now than fix things later.
Mind Your Redirects
There’s often a necessity to move content around on a site, and that’s where redirects come into play. In other words, redirects are tools that allow developers to divert a user from an old URL to a new one. There are five basic types of redirects: 300 – multiple choices, 301 – permanent move, 302 – temporary move, 303 – a redirect using a GET method, 307 – new redirect for temporary move. Among these types, however, the most important are considered to be 301 and 302 redirects. Thus, 301 redirect should be used in case you want to:
- Take a page down
- Move a page or entire site somewhere else
- Point users to the original page when you take down duplicate content
302 redirect if preferable to be used when:
- A page is temporarily unavailable
- You want to experiment with moving to a new domain without damaging history and rankings
- You need to send users to a temporary site while the old one undergoes renovation
Pay Attention to Site Speed
This should definitely be high on the list of priorities for the developers. And it’s not just because the site speed is listed as one of Google’s ranking factors, but mainly because a fast site is better for users and conversions as well. Naturally the faster the site the higher potential score you will get for this one part of their algorithm. If the site speed is of concern, webpagetest.org is recommended to be used in order to compare your site with some competitors.
Remove Duplicate Content
In short, Google aims to provide its users with better experience and thus requires unique and valuable content. One of the ways it performs this is by penalising sites that contain duplicate content. So, make sure not to use the content from other websites in Google’s index, and don’t allow the content on your own site be duplicated. Content duplication can confuse a search engine and make it harder for Google to decide which one to rank so both will probably suffer. In case the duplicate content is a must on your website, make use of rel=canonical to let the search engines know which URL should be considered authoritative.
Consider URL Structures
As the first thing that search engines see, a site’s URL is a determining factor in the effectiveness of the SEO. The first step in making a page easier to find is writing a proper URL. In order to maximize the page’s potential, it is recommended to write the URL in this order: Protocol > Subdomain > Root Domain > Top-Level Domain > Subfolder > Page > Parameter > Name Anchor. Writing URL this way organizes the content and preserves domain authority. If website users can look at the URL and remember why they have it in a list without needing to click into it, that is a big win. So, instead of domain.com/?page24&num=4197&fs=thur34&q=dr476, it’s far preferable to have the URL that contains the page’s main keywords, e.g. domain.com/running-shoes/.
Maximize Crawler Access
Search engines employ “bots” or “spiders” that crawl through the sites and look for useful content. Due to the fact that crawler access implementation is not a one-click affair at all, it is a frequently overlooked element of SEO. Don’t think that Google has every piece of information on your site on record. It has quite limited resources and that’s why must be selective about which pages to crawl over. Therefore, make sure that you are not wasting your crawl allowance limit on pages which you do not care about. Try to make sure that when Google does crawl your site, they are spending time the important pages of your website. There are a number of ways to do this, but the best way is to provide a solid site architecture.
There are many other techniques involved in getting good search engine rankings, but keeping the 5 elements described above will definitely give you a solid head start.
Hopefully, the post has whetted your appetite to leave your current CMS in favour of more sophisticated one and aisite automated migration service is exactly what you need in this case. So, don’t wait up – try it now!