Things To Remember, While Coding A Website, To Make It Search Engine Friendly
Written by Amit Pankaj on July 29, 2009
Over 80% of consumers use search engines to find products and services.
These days, no website owner can afford not to have a search engine friendly website. There are a lot of things which one should do to achieve high ranking like search engine friendly code, Link building, submit website to various directories, Sitemap, Meta tags etc.
Writing quality code is the first step in making website search engine friendly. In this article we are covering the points which should be taken care of while coding the website:
1. Use HTML for the content as much as possible. Avoid Flash, images, or other non-text formats.
Simple and cleanly coded website always rank higher than the flash based website. The non-text formats must be avoided in order to yield greater website accessibility. Not only the website becomes accessible to larger audience (Visually impaired or cognitive impaired users) but also can be accessed by a range of devices. The search spiders quickly spot the HTML coded and search engine friendly pages. Other advantages of using HTML are: faster loading, Cascading Style Sheet removing access load from server, browser compatibility, easy updating and maintenance.
2. Avoid login functionality to access the page unless it’s required. Search engine cannot index the page that requires login.
3. Do not use frames.
Using frames are considered to be a blunder by webmasters. Frames generally are not indexed by various search engines. Indexing leads to display of the embedded web addresses in frames, as the users are unable to navigate through the search results. Frames also create problem while printing, refreshing or bookmarking the webpage. Frames are becoming obsolete with the advent of AJAX and DIV layers.
4. Navigation should be in plain html. Avoid using flash.
Easy, simple coding in text like HTML facilitates the website to be ranked higher by the search engines.
5. Keep URL as short as possible. .
URL or the domain name is the essence of your website. Going by the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) rule, the URL ought to be short as it would reduce the chances of misspelling and confusion by the visitors.
6. Static URL is always preferred over dynamic URL.
The search engines are able to index the static URLs in a comfortable manner than the dynamic URLs. Search engines can not access the dynamic and thus the websites lose on their market positioning.
7. Do not use numbers in URL.
Use of numbers in URL must be avoided to circumvent any confusion.
8. If possible, use keywords in URL.
Use of keywords communicates the basic crux of the website to the visitor and also invokes interest in the website, forcing the visitor to go through the website.
9. Separate words using Hyphens in URL.
Use of hyphens should be made clear in the URL else it may puzzle the visitor. Two words should be separated with the use of a hyphen as the search engine reads it as two words.
10. Always use lowercase in URL.
To maintain consistency and avoid any confusion, always use lowercase in URL.
11. Always add alt attribute for images, flash, audio & video file.
Alt attribute are a must while using images, flash, audio and video files as they are alternative names of the images and describe the files. The alt attribute basically lend a caption for such files and helps in search engine ranking.
12. Use Anchor text in links
The anchor text links are powerful tools for site optimization. Anchor text links provide a theme for the entire website.
13. Limit the length of title tag to 65 characters (including spaces) or less.
Different search engines accept different standards. Hence, to be on the safer side, it is important to limit the length of the title tag between 50-65 characters.
14. Incorporate keyword phrases in title tags.
Including 2-3 important keyword phrases of the website in the title tag facilitates good rankings by the search engines. However, the title tags must not be over burdened with keyword phrases as the chances are that the website would be blacklisted as spam. Each page with its own keyword phrase lends higher readership.
15. Add Meta tags in the code.
Search engines use meta-tags to identify the objective of the website; therefore, meta-tags help in optimizing the website. The search crawlers determine the relevance of the meta-tags with respect to the content of the webpage.
16. Add Header Tags i.e, h1, h2, h3 etc.
Header tags as the name itself suggest are used to incorporate the headings in the text. The h1 header can be used to determine the main keyword and the h2 header tag can identify the next relevant keyword and so on.
18. Optimize images for fast loading
Larger images must be broken into smaller size images which enable uploading smaller images simultaneously and faster. Cropping unnecessary portions and reducing the image depth also help in loading the image faster.
19. Try to keep page size as low as possible
Lower the page size, lesser time will it take to load and thus would not distract the visitor from the website. Sometimes pages with larger size take ages to load and divert the potential user or client.
20. Validate your markup & CSS against w3c standards
Validating markup helps to identify the flaws or wrong coding on the webpage. The W3C standards are laid down to determine the errors and make the code neat & tidy.
Amit Pankaj works as a Senior Technical Writer with XhtmlCssCode. He specializes in Social Media, Content Management and SEO. XhtmlCssCode shares information and insight on PSD to HTML Conversion and integration with 3rd party CMSs like WordPress, Magento, Drupal and Joomla. Subscribe to our Blog RSS or you can follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, also on Linkedin for updates on HTML Conversion Service.