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Website Design

8 Easy SEO Wins For Inbound Website Developers

SEOforWebsitesAs an inbound website developer, people expect you to be an Internet jack of all trades, but truthfully it’s not possible to master every specialty and still be a good developer. As a web developer for Lynton Web, I live and breath code - it's my morning (and afternoon and evening) coffee and cigarettes. I do, however, realize the importance of SEO and feel you can embed useful SEO while you’re building out an inbound website. Integrating SEO into your web build will save you time and make you a hero with the SEO pros if you get the fundamentals right.

Here are 8 easy SEO-centric things you can do as you build your website.

Build Smart, Dynamic Title Tags

While metatags have fallen in search stature, the title tag has established itself as the most important bit of SEO information on the page. Search engines look at the title tag first when determining the content of the page and give it the most weight in search engine relevance.

Use the title tag to truthfully explain what exists in the associated page content - keyword stuffing will actually be counterproductive. Use dynamic capabilities to add a page number if required and end the title with the site name.

Use Heading Tags Properly

Heading tags (h1, h2, etc.) were created to identify blocks of information and should be used to clarify topics on the page. 

The <h1> tag should only be used once, as close to the top of the content as possible. It should be descriptive of the page contents as a broad topic.

Other heading tags, such as <h2> and <h3>, should be used to progressively identify sub-tops and indicated breaks in the content. Search engines will assume that these tags describe the content below them. Use them in order and progressively stacked with <h2> being a parent of <h3>.

Use Alt and Title Attributes

Using the alt attribute in images is important for two reasons. For search engines it will provide a description of the image itself. Explain what the image is or it’s use. For a button, explain what a click will accomplish. The alt tag is used by visually disabled readers to explain the image.

In links, use the title attribute for the same functions as the alt attribute in images. Additionally, the title tag in links and images will become the tool tip that appears when people hover over the image.

Use Descriptive URL’s In Place of Dynamic Links

Depending on your platform, converting dynamic URLs to descriptive ones may be a function of the core library, a plugin, or may require coding to accomplish. Regardless, it’s worth the time and effort to do it right.

Search engines give weight to human-readable URLs and will give both human and robot visitors a hand in finding the right content.

Create XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are a road map of your site for search engines and can be created manually or automatically via a plugin or script. Search engines use sitemaps to index site content, but they can also be used to tell search engine the importance of each page and the frequency of updates to the content.

It’s important to list all of the pages in your site as well as the date the content was last updated. If page content is updated frequently you can tell search engines to visit more often. If Google determines that your site is relevant to News searches you will need to include a separate xml sitemap of stories.

Link to Relevant Sources

Providing embedded, relevant links to content on respected sources is important. Quality over quantity is the rule, and providing unrelated links will be detrimental to SEO. Providing source links to items referenced within the content is all you should need to worry about.

Watch Your Keyword Density

While keywords are still a cornerstone of matching content to search results, be careful not make it appear that you are keyword stuffing. The keyword in your content should relate to the overall topic of the page and be relevant to your site as a whole.

Keyword stuffing will give your site a major SEO deduction and there are tools available to check your keyword density. Search engines like to see human-readable content that relates to your site purpose.

Content is Still King

While every one of these tips are important, none of it will matter unless you start with relevant content. From the page title, through the headings to the paragraphs on the page - topical content is important and will yield the best results.

Content should be written in a conversational style that allows the reader to easily follow along. Too many keywords or irrelevant content will drive the readers away - and the search engines will follow.

Quality over quantity is always the rule in SEO, and providing small bits of useful information will go a long way.

How to Plan a Website That Works

Photo Credit: mugley via Compfight cc