20 August 2015

 

There is a lot to consider when building a brand-new website. However, something that is frequently overlooked is the inclusion of important SEO factors. Most people building a new site will be keen for it to rank highly in the search engine results, so adding SEO as an afterthought will never be as effective as building it in from the beginning.

 

Set the right URL structure

 

If the web addresses on your website end up looking like www.yoursite.com/post/36556.htm, you are missing an opportunity to improve SEO and usability.

 

Instead, make sure your URLs include keywords about the content you create. www.yoursite.com/health-tips-for-diabetics is a lot more user-friendly and will describe what you are writing about to the search engines.

 

Use hyphens to separate the words and don’t allow the site navigation structure to require more than three levels within a URL.

 

Incorporate meta tags and a sitemap

 

It is best to build in a way to easily optimise a new blog post or webpage for SEO from the beginning. Many Wordpress sites use plugins such as Yoast’s Wordpress SEO to streamline this process and make it easy for every contributor to the site to comply with best-practice guidelines.

 

Use responsive design

 

Building a responsively designed website means that users can access it easily, regardless of what device they are using. Sites built in this way detect the screen and browser and deliver the site in a way that is appropriate and easy to use, so that mobile users won’t need to expand the text size or menus.

 

Consider page load times

 

Don’t fill the site with unnecessary plugins and huge images because these will slow down the rate at which the website loads. This is off-putting to visitors, but it can also cause sites to be penalised by Google.

 

Set up Analytics and Webmaster Tools

 

Using Google Analytics and Google or Bing Webmaster Tools is simply a matter of inserting a line of code into your website. Once this is done, a website owner has access to an immense amount of data about their site, how it is performing, and what could be improved.

 

Create great content

 

Google Panda is still in force, so thin or poor-quality content must be avoided. This is especially true when starting a new website from scratch; there really is no excuse for not focusing on quality from the start.

 

Optimise images

 

As mentioned above, image size can have an impact on page-load speeds. However, that is not the only SEO issue where images are concerned. Using descriptive filenames and relevant alt text can also help your site to be found via image searches.