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SEO Website Design Guide

SEO Website Design Guidelines

Improve your search engine rankings with SEO friendly website design.

Indexable Content

  • To perform better in search engine listings, your most important content should be in HTML text format.
  • Provide alt text for images. Assign images in gif, jpg, or png format “alt attributes” in HTML to give search engines a text description of the visual content.
  • Supplement Flash or Java plug-ins with text on the page.
  • Provide a transcript for video and audio content if the words and phrases used are meant to be indexed by the engines.

Crawlable Link Structure

Let the crawlers browse the pathways of a website—is vital to them finding all of the pages on a website.

Crawlable Link Structure

In the example above, Google’s crawler has reached page A and sees links to pages B and E. However, even though C and D might be important pages on the site, the crawler has no way to reach them (or even know they exist). This is because no direct, crawlable links point pages C and D. As far as Google can see, they don’t exist! Great content, good keyword targeting, and smart marketing won’t make any difference if the crawlers can’t reach your pages in the first place.

Rel=”nofollow”

adding the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link tag tells the search engines that the site owners do not want this link to be interpreted as an endorsement of the target page.
The nofollow tag applies as a method to help stop automated blog comment, filtered URLs, guest book link injection spam.

URL Structures

Search engines display URLs in the results; they can impact click-through and visibility. URLs are also used in ranking documents, and those pages whose names include the queried search terms receive some benefit from proper, descriptive use of keywords.

www.example.com/guide/design

URL Construction

Shorter is better

While a descriptive URL is important, minimizing length and trailing slashes will make your URLs easier to copy and paste (into emails, blog posts, text messages, etc.) and will be fully visible in the search results.

Keyword use

If your page is targeting a specific term or phrase, make sure to include it in the URL. However, don’t go overboard by trying to stuff in multiple keywords for SEO purposes; overuse will result in less usable URLs and can trip spam filters.

Go static

The best URLs are human-readable and without lots of parameters, numbers, and symbols.
www.example.com/seo-friendly-website-design

Hyphens

Use hyphens to separate words.
www.example.com/seo-friendly-website-design

Canonical and Duplicate Versions of Content

Canonicalization happens when two or more duplicate versions of a webpage appear on different URLs.

When multiple pages with the potential to rank well are combined into a single page, they not only stop competing with each other, but also create a stronger relevancy and popularity signal overall. This will positively impact your ability to rank well in the search engines.

Use the canonical tag within the page that contains duplicate content. The target of the canonical tag points to the master URL that you want to rank for.

It tells search engines that the page in question should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL href=”https://www.example.com/blog and that all of the link and content metrics the engines apply should flow back to that URL.

Keyword Placement

It’s important to get keywords on the right position on the page, but don’t overdo it. Here are the best places:

Important areas

  • URL: a strong indicator for the relevance of the page.
  • Title: use the keyword as close to the beginning as possible.
  • Headings: the keyword should be used in one or more headings (h1, h2, h3).
  • Images: use the keyword in the file name and alt-tag.
  • First paragraph or near the top of the page.

Other areas

  • Meta description and keywords
  • Website slogans
  • Navigation
  • Breadcrumb trails
  • Bullet points
  • Alt text
  • Title attribute on links
  • Internal links
  • Footer links
  • File / folder names

Navigation and Site architecture

  • All links and buttons should be text-based.
  • Use “absolute path” instead “relative path” as shown in “Internal Link Structure”.
    Avoid use of Java Scripts.

Typical site architecture and navigation structure:

Home

  • Services/
    • Service name 1
    • Service name 2
    • Service name 3
  • Locations/ or Service areas/
    • Location name 1
    • Location name 2
    • Location name 3
  • Gallery/ or Portfolio/
    • Gallery 1
    • Gallery 2
    • Gallery 3
  • FAQs
  • Contact
  • HTML sitemap
  • Blog/
    • Blog post 1
    • Blog post 2
    • Blog post 3

Internal Linking Structure

Linking to your home page should be:

Address for Local Search

Google knows that certain search queries are location sensitive. When you search for ‘accountant’ or ‘doctor’, the chances are that you’re looking for an accountant or doctor nearby. These are implicit location search queries because you didn’t specify a city.

Nevertheless, Google will show local search results. On the right side of the SERP we can see a map with local businesses. Click on the map to see these locations in Google Maps.

Structured data can be used to identify organizations, including the business address. By using microdata, microformats or RFDa to mark up your address on your website, search engines can rely on this information.

Let’s say we have the following address on a website:
Big John’s Seafood Shack
3002 Webbs Chapel Rd
Dallas, TX

We can use structured data (in this case microdata) to identify the address:


Big John’s Seafood Shack


3002 Webbs Chapel Rd
Dallas, TX

Test your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

We can use structured data (in this case microdata) to identify the address:


Big John’s Seafood Shack


3002 Webbs Chapel Rd
Dallas, TXTest your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool.

For Multiple Locations

  • Create a unique URL for every location.
  • Use structured data format as shown above.
  • Try to add unique content to these pages prevent duplicate content issues.

For example:

www.website.com/stores/las-vegas and website.com/stores/washington.

On these pages you can lists the store’s address, phone number, business hours, etc.

Page Load Time and Mobile

  • Minimize page load time for both Desktop and Mobile.
  • Try to keep 90/100 for both Desktop and Mobile as per Google Tool.
  • Make your website responsive, browser friendly and compatible for multi-screen.

Testing Tools and Resources

Page speed test
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
https://tools.pingdom.com/

Mobile friendly test
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Structured data testing tool
https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

W3C markup validator
https://validator.w3.org/

Schemas and markups
https://schema.org/docs/schemas.html

We look forward to helping you get more targeted traffic and customers.