Although it is possible to optimize an already existing website effectively, it’s even more efficient to create the required SEO components into the architecture and design of the site right from the beginning. Whether you hire a designer, or use a pre-built template, or create your website from scratch, it is useful to know the fundamentals of how to create an SEO-friendly website. Here are some extremely useful points which will help you build a site that is both utilizable for your visitors and optimized for traffic and search engine visibility.
Correct Structure of URL
While choosing the URL type for your website, it is important to ensure that the URL clearly points towards the topic of your website. It must be static and expressive, and must contain appropriate keywords, which will make it easy for both the search engines as well as the visitors to know clearly what your site is about.
When your URL contains more than 1 word, it is well-approved to use dashes instead of underscores between two words (and Google recommends it too). Keep away from using ID numbers or other such complicated and irrelevant characters or terms in the URL. Short URLs are always appreciated by Google as well as your visitors.
Example of a good URL: www.web-designing-tools.com
Example of a bad URL: www.104smsmeow.com
Easy and Expressive Navigation
Usually, sites place their main navigation menu either across the top of the page or in a vertical column on its left side. Though some site-owners adopt a different approach by putting it elsewhere, it is observed by several eye-tracking studies that these positions work best.
Flyout and dropdown menus are okay, but they are likely to present more difficulties for both humans and robots to navigate. Also, keeping the number of items in the menu manageable (6 to 7) is ideal so that visitors are not overwhelmed because of non-required options (However some research has revealed that drop-downs containing many items work well when structured correctly).
Responsive Website Design
Having a responsive website design ensures the access to your site for visitors, regardless of whichever device they use, like desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. Therefore this should be a priority. A dedicated phone-only site can also work, but a responsive design is helpful in avoiding sticky issues such as duplicate content and a need to create and maintain two separate websites.
Integration of Social Media
It has been proved by now that Google, at present, is not using social signals from Twitter and Facebook as component of their ranking algorithm. But social media also have been proven to be tremendously beneficial for websites from time to time. Sharing on social media boosts your content around the web, bringing it to more and more people, earning more mentions and thereby more links, and thus enhancing your search engine ranking, and also your brand building, authority and credibility.
Some of the best ways to include social media into your website is to ensure that you have easy-to-locate icons of social media on all product pages and blog posts for sharing your content, enabling social media sign-in in case if you have an e-commerce website and promoting content on the site through social media channels.
Correctly Optimized Graphics
Ensure that images on your site are of minimal size required to offer a good user experience (about 20 to 100 KB). Resizing them to the size you want for displaying, instead of shrinking them to the source code is a good practice, as the later can increase page load time significantly.
Image text is important too; therefore remember to incorporate the keywords properly into your header image, logo image and all icons and other graphics you want to include in the site design.
Keyword Research Right From the Beginning
Doing keyword research right from the beginning of web designing not only brings about increased SEO advantages, but also an altogether better user experience. Even performing a basic keyword research with the help of Google Keyword Planner makes a remarkable difference. By researching keywords relevant to the main topic of the site, you not only come to know about which terms are being used by your target audience to find your products or services, but also you can dig down to get relevant and popular sub-topics.
After knowing about the topics and sub-topics your audience will be searching for, you can easily decide how to name and structure your navigation bars, and product and category pages.
After creating your site, it is important to follow best SEO practices continuously regarding link-building, content and social media. This means adopting on-page SEO strategies, integrating Google Authorship and building quality links to your website.