10 SEO Tips to Remember When Building Your Site

Jul 17 2010 by Mark Cronin | 55 Comments

10 SEO Tips to Remember When Building Your Site

Let us assume that, just like everyone else, you are building a website–after all, the Web is where it is all happening now. As soon as your website goes live–and especially while you are still in the design and development phase–you need to make sure your site’s content will be found through search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing where many people go to look for information.

Whether you’re starting a blog or deploying an e-commerce solution for your clients, it’s a good idea to keep in mind some good web development practices that will enhance your chances in search rankings.

This article follows up on a previous Six Revisions post called 9 Ways To Improve the SEO of Every Website You Design, sharing with you a few more tips for improving the search engine optimization, semantics, web accessibility, and interoperability of your web designs.

1. Use Flash Wisely

Don’t call me patronising–it goes without saying–but try not to use Flash when HTML/CSS should be used. Flash has its place on the Web: it’s great for interactive components such as sophisticated learning activity games with audio and video, and 3D animation. It’s better served as components of an HTML/CSS site than as the technology that powers the entire site. For example, check out Kongregate, a popular social Flash gaming site. Although Flash is their bread and butter, they still use HTML, CSS, and server-side scripting to power their site functionalities.

Use Flash Wisely

Flash can be SEO-friendly and web accessible, however, it’s more difficult when compared to using open web languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

2. Use Gracefully-Degrading JavaScript for Hidden Content

If you are hiding and showing content on a web page, it’s best to use JavaScript so that the content is still within the web page’s markup. This is not only good for web robots such as search engines, but also great for those that use screen readers.

Use Gracefully-Degrading JavaScript for Hidden Content

A good test to see whether hidden content on a web page is viewable by web crawlers is temporarily disabling JavaScript and determining if you can read your hidden content. You can do this from within your browser settings, but more conveniently, you can use a browser plugin like Web Developer Toolbar.

3. Name Your Image File Names Accurately

It is easy to forget how important images can be for SEO and web design alike. Name the actual file correctly by giving it a key term (e.g. yellow-banana.jpg and not some random name like img2gtc92.jpg) because this gives your site assets extra context. Make sure that you give the alt property of the image similar key terms and a decent and succinct description–aim to keep it 10 words or fewer.

In addition, Google Images is another way to get traffic to your site, and if you name your image files well and give them excellent context through their alt property, you will improve your chances of showing up in Google Images results.

4. Don’t Drown Your Home Page with Links

Internal linking–hyperlinks that point to other web pages on your site–is important, so try not to have more than 150 links from page to page so that you don’t dilute your web pages’ rank.

Don't Drown Your Home Page with Links

Too many internal links can overcrowd the page and can also slow down your users’ ability to find the link they need.

5. Don’t Use Redundant Links

Some may think that increasing the value of a particular page involves repeatedly linking to the same page from another page. Search engines will only count the first instance of that link, so there is no need to repeat links. In addition, this is a poor practice that will confuse your users.

6. Deep Linking Can Improve Conversions

Deep linking are links that point to internal pages instead of the main/home page. It is a fantastic way for you to send power to pages deeper in your site outside of your home page. Deep linking also promotes the exploration of your site by visitors, providing additional points of conversions.

7. Have a Blog

Blogs are a great way to keep building fresh content on your site and targeting long-tailed key terms. A possible idea is to bring snippets of blog posts onto related pages for fresh content on these specific pages.

8. Make Your Brand Obvious

Make sure that your branding is very clear and that your brand name is obvious on your website. This makes for an easy way for people to remember who you are and augments the possibility of people searching for your brand name on search engines. Being searched by your brand’s name also means that you won’t compete with generic words that people often use in searches (i.e. "budwieser" versus "american beer").

9. Use an XML Sitemap

An XML Sitemap is a protocol that aids search engine crawlers gain contextual meaning about your site’s web page.

Use an XML Sitemap

If you’re using a content management system, see if it has an XML Sitemap extension (or built-in feature) that will automatically generate the XML file for you. If not, you can use a tool like XML Sitemaps Generator.

10. Use Anchor Text Accurately for Deeper Pages

When linking through to your deeper pages, use your anchor text as precise and short pieces of information. It is important to use keywords that search engine bots can relate exactly to your page. For example, if you’re linking to a web page about Maldives holidays, your link should be <a href="/maldives-holidays.html">Maldives holidays</a>. This way people, as well as web robots, easily know what they are going to get.

Related Content

About the Author

Mark Cronin is an SEO working for Fresh Egg. Follow Mark on Twitter as @MarcusSeo.

55 Comments

Najeeb Puthiyallam

July 17th, 2010

yes nice post.. Regarding sitemap i guess you can use .txt file which contains only links for seo purpose. See google webmaster center for more.

cHeErZzZ \m/

Elliot Lings

July 17th, 2010

What about Meta tags?

Kaushik

July 17th, 2010

Basically rehashed content, but useful for beginners.

Also use ALT, TITLE tags for images, use keywords in URL of article/blog pages wherever possible, …. there is so much you have consider when SEOing a site.

Eduardo Storini

July 17th, 2010

Nice article, just I want to alert some details.
First, item #4,the recommendation is to not use more than 100 links per page, as described by Google.

IxI Rebel

July 17th, 2010

nice post ;). Maldives Holidays \m/

sharad

July 17th, 2010

thanks for this.

kel

July 17th, 2010

very useful tip especially for beginner like me. thanks ya

Espreson

July 17th, 2010

After html5 and CSS3, Flash will be obsolete…
FLASH is costlier to buy for startup web developer. But, HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript based development is free to use with wide option of upgrade..

Gary

July 17th, 2010

Thanks for the tips. I am new to this, so some of it seemed a bit over my head. Especially when it comes to html. I am still learning but this is a good starting point.

Michael

July 17th, 2010

Thanks for your article Mark.

Contrary to some of the ‘other’ commentators, we are all but beginners on this bus. (paraphrasing an old Firesign Theater bit)

Repetition brings clarity. And grok-ability.

Thanks for some new points, and some reminders.

Honey Singh

July 17th, 2010

There is lots of confusing for meta tags but the pointing things that i would also recommends are:
1.Site Map , 2. Image tags ,3.Links tags, 4.Internal linking of posts, 5.Last but not least the “CONTENT” of your blog

cheers,

Rednights

July 17th, 2010

1. don’t get caught up in page sculpting when you find out what rel=nofollow does … just a huge time sink better spent on making content
2. related pages (YARRP) plugin works wonders

my 2 cents

putragaluh

July 17th, 2010

useful post .. thanks

Tech Maish

July 18th, 2010

Is Meta tags still important. Also if we use unrelated words in anchor text it will effect our site ranking or not. For example if a website title is “Marketing Tips”.
And you place anchor text as “Your Success Start Here”
Any negative impact?

Harsh Agrawal

July 18th, 2010

One thing which I have noticed is anchor text plays a great role in SEO. Internal linking is important but without anchor text its like 50% work.

Ant

July 19th, 2010

Still the best method is just post in other blogs, people will click on your name and proceed to your site.

Dan

July 19th, 2010

Good article.

It is really useful for me (with my sieve like brain) to be reminded of these important but easily overlooked points!

Pavel

July 19th, 2010

very useful tip especially for beginner like me. thanks ya

Jordan Walker

July 19th, 2010

A great list of things to include on websites.

Michael Gaigg

July 19th, 2010

Mark, nice list. I don’t quite agree with your stipulation in #5 that redundancy is a poor practice. Why? Why would it confuse users? As a matter of fact I have argued recently that there is ‘desired redundancy’ for error prevention (see http://www.mgitsolutions.com/blog/2010/07/14/redundancy-is-not-bad/).
Cheers, Mike

MK

July 19th, 2010

another point,write beautiful posts.

ddeja

July 19th, 2010

I do not agree with the third point of the list. What if you do not want for the whole world to index your web graphic desings?

Why Facebook for that matter has some crazy image paths? Another one is Yahoo (this one has just crazy file names), same goes for many other bigger websites (complicated file names, file paths, or hashed paths i supose). They do no wish for their graphics to be indexed… why?

e11world

July 19th, 2010

I think the blog part should probably #1 on this list (if this list is in order).
Good article!

Mikael

July 19th, 2010

Useful memo, thanks !

Mark Cronin

July 20th, 2010

@ddeja:

If you want to optimise your site for “SEO” purposes, this is an important point. Why wouldn’t you want your images to be crawled? If you don’t want people to see them, then surely you wouldn’t put them on your website….

If they are on your site, they can be “stolen”. All that the Google Image search offers you, is a chance to convert through different means. Correctly naming your images gives you the chance to show how “relevant” a page is to specific key terms, and following other standard on site strategies allows this.

I imagine the reason that Facebook uses these lengthy image names is to save on duplicate image names, especially when you consider the vast number of images. The other main reason would be to protect privacy, Facebook is not just used by those that want to broadcast themselves across the web, but also by those that just want to speak with Family and Friends.

Hope this makes sense :)

Nitesh Kumar

July 20th, 2010

while doing on page SEO, please consider the standered word counts for title, description etc
for more info contact us now

Shiva

July 20th, 2010

A great post Mark, I think one should avoid the usage of Flash like you said. It should be used only in extreme need. Also anchor texts are also very important.

Julian

July 21st, 2010

about the sitemaps

i think the best way to build it is by building it internally from the engine like using plugin

http://mr.hokya.com/sitemap-generator-for-seo-reason/

leaflette

July 30th, 2010

thanks for sharing the infos, for others, textarea might be a small things to be worry about, but you taking the details to the perfection. That is an example of a true art lover. :)
thanks again.

Morgan IT

August 9th, 2010

Nice post and I certainly won’t take any too seriously or get on about how some are brought up by building a good site. You just need to take the tips given by experts and read more of it in the way they were intended. Thanks for sharing.

Rahul Bangar

January 4th, 2011

Where is Link building mark ?

Mark Cronin

January 21st, 2011

Hi Rahul,

Link building is a process that usually takes place after you have built your website. I was discussing points on what to remember when you are constructing your site.

Of course link building is a massive part of it, but didn’t think that it would have been a particularly relevant point to this Blog Post :)

Thanks

Diggi

February 8th, 2011

This really good basic SEO, which everyone must do on every article or blog post they write if the want to be a winner. Nice post.

arad

February 8th, 2011

True the statement about redundant links, no 5 goal can be acieved by having internal links from multiple pages to one page.

Navin

February 8th, 2011

You are right!, Anchor text in deeper links makes user to stay on your site longer than you expect, Use more deeper links and let them stay one your site longer…Thanks alot for nice article.

Fabrizio Van Marciano

February 17th, 2011

Great SEO tips, I definitely stand by issue 4 and 5. I see a lot of blogs with their home pages smothered in links. Top post.

Ian Harte

March 4th, 2011

Great post, recently I have found 2 brilliant top ten posts! This about web design for SEO and another about content for SEO I am going to be busy going through the steps this weekend.

Roy

March 16th, 2011

Yes there is a little bit more to seo than just plugging in “all in one seo pack”

David

March 23rd, 2011

Cool tips! I have a couple of questions though.

1.) I’m having trouble trying to figure out why when posting in wordpress and inserting an image it gets renamed to some mumojumbo.jpg even though it gives me the option to give it a name and a description. How can I change this?

2.)You mentioned “bring snippets of blog posts into related pages) what do you mean exactly? Are you talking about linking a related page to a blog post? Or by using your blog to bring traffic from your blog to a related page?

Mark Cronin

March 23rd, 2011

Hi David:

With regards to the image problem you are having with WordPress, I recommend using this plugin:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/

I found this very handy :)

In response to question 2:

What I mean is by actually bringing in a piece of content from blog posts onto pages that are related to it.

So say for a travel page, you would have a feed from the blog to this page that would display a piece of content from that blog on the page.

Hope this helps.

You can always chat to me directly @ http://twitter.com/MarcusSeo#

Thanks!

Mark C

Paulo Henrique

March 27th, 2011

Great Tips !! I was glad that some of them wasn´t news for me.

Adrian

March 30th, 2011

Couldn’t agree more about using flash wisely. There are good and bad ways of using this. Great post.

Ashok vardhan

April 13th, 2011

nice article,thanks for sharing :)

Zia

April 20th, 2011

Nice share!!

jessi

April 22nd, 2011

building backlinks ,plays an important role in websites trust rank and page rank…

Tech84

April 23rd, 2011

Nice tips, building backlinks also do play a BIG role in terms of getting your website noticed.

Hichame merhari

April 28th, 2011

Yes, i agree, but there is also building backlinks,and choosing the right keywords in order to improve your rate on S.E. pages

Ian Harte

May 10th, 2011

Great started tips for web design here!

Prince Zermic

May 19th, 2011

In addition, following the same concept as blogging, article submission means writing about industry topics and submitting them to article sites. The key here is putting your website address in your signature and/or bio. You can use this in conjunction with your blog, or as an alternative option to attracting visitors to your site.

Daniel Negreanu

May 26th, 2011

nice. very informative. thanks for the tips!

Tony

May 27th, 2011

Nice info, also don’t clog you site with keywords or it will look spammy.

Imraan

August 12th, 2011

what difference does it makes if the link is “www.domain.com/abc.php” instead of “/abc.php”

please guide..

TechTwitt

August 17th, 2011

Meta tag is not that much important for teh lead search engine Google although you can get benifit on yahoo and bing and other search engines using meta tags

Steve C.

October 28th, 2011

Just renamed all of my images tonight! Thanks!

dhanesh mane

November 10th, 2011

sitemap.xml is good but I think we must not forget HTML sitemap for users.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the comments on this article.