Introduction to Search Engine Optimization

Design Basics for Websites

As we have been continuing with this series on Search Engine Optimization, we’ve covered a lot of information. In this post we’re gonna learn about how to optimize a site for SEO to fully index the website.

optimize a site for SEO

There are many parts to a website that need attention when you’re designing your site. Let’s learn more about them.

As we learned before, search engines crawl websites to index sites for engines to display in search results. Therefore sites should pay attention to the following aspects of their websites

Content that’s Indexable

The most important content that you have on your website should be found within HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language. Content that is in other formats like flash, javascript code, or other non-text forms can’t be indexed by search engines.

You can add ALT text (a textual description of images to let search engines know what is on the pictures), and provide supplemental text for flash or java files and code and transcripts for audio content and video. This is one way to optimize a site for SEO.

Link Structures that are Crawlable

Because search engines crawl websites, it’s important that websites be easily crawlable via links. If a page on a site isn’t linked anywhere on the site, then the search engine can’t find and index the site. Every page on the site needs to be able to be accessed if the page needs to be indexed by a search engine.

Now, there are ways to prevent crawlers from following your links, by putting the “rel=”nofollow” attribute in the link. It effectively says to search engines, “none shall pass” and the page the link goes to is not indexed. While this is a way to design a site, this may not be the best way to optimize a site for SEO.

Keywords

The bulk of what you do for your site revolves around Keywords, Keywords are the terms that you want your site to rank for. Keywords could be “bourbon”, “wine” and even more specific terms like, “small batch bourbon”, etc. And, obviously, it’s important when constructing your site to consider keywords when writing content for it.

When writing your content for pages, you should consider the following to optimize a site for SEO:

  • Place the keyword in the title tag, or in the title of a blog post
  • Insert the keyword prominently on the top of the page, or in the first paragraph in a blog post.
  • Type the keyword a few times in the body copy of the page. this depends on the length
  • Insert the keyword once in an ALT tag for any images.
  • Type the keyword in the URL for the page
  • Use the keyword in the meta description of the page

Link Structure

To make sure that search engines have a good idea of what your pages are of, make sure that your links contain the keyword, but are also short as possible, and are static, in that they don’t change. Changing links are horrible for SEO.

A particular problem exists when sites may have the same content on the site, like a printer friendly version of a blog post. A search engine will be confused when they see both versions, so you’ll need to create what’s called a canonical url. It’s the way to make sure that every piece of content has one and only one URL.

Conclusion

Following the above, you’ll be able to optimize a site for SEO so they can find and index your site with ease. This is about all you’ll need to be able to rank in search engines like Google or Bing.

Read other posts in this series of search engine optimization:

An Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (1 of ?)
Search Engine Optimization: How Search Engines Work (2 of ?)
Search Engine Optimization: How People Use Search Engines (3 of ?)

Question: What techniques are you using to optimize your site for search engine optimization? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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