1. Make a site with a clear hierarchy
Plan your website’s structure to make it more accessible for search engines. Every web page should be connected with at least one text link. Think of it as going from the general page to pages with more specific content.
2. Make your web page easier to navigate
Remember that you’re creating a website for users, not for the search engines. You should optimize your website to be more friendly for search engines, but the key point is to make it easier to navigate for users. The quicker they find the content they want, the better the overall user experience will be.
3. Prepare a sitemap
If your site has a lot of content, sometimes it could be difficult for your users to find the information they are looking for. It would be a good idea to prepare a sitemap. It not only makes finding useful content much easier for your users, but also makes it easier for search engines to get coverage of your site. Keep in mind that you should prepare a general sitemap for users. For search engines, an XML sitemap file should also be created.
4. Page titles and meta tags
Use unique and accurate titles for your webpages. Your title will be the first piece of text which your potential visitors will see on the search engine’s results page. It’s also good practice to add a description of your page in a meta tag. Search engines might use the description from the meta tag instead of the relevant content of your page. The best way to do this is to briefly summarize your page’s content.
5. Page not found
Sometimes users navigate through your site in odd ways or misspell your site’s url address. In the end they will see “Page not found”. Improve your users’ experience and guide them back to the homepage or the page they might be looking for with a custom 404 page.
The more data you provide to the search engines, the more you will get. Try to make brief and descriptive categories, url links and file names for downloadable content. Despite the fact that this kind of structure looks more friendly, it also provides more information about the page and gives relevant search results for users.
Descriptions of your links and site structure should be relevant to your content.
7. Describe your images
For users it’s clear what they see on their browser’s screen. When you see a picture with a flower for you it’s obvious what it is. For search engines, it’s more difficult. Use “alt” attribute to describe your image. It will be treated the same as an anchor text by search engines.
8. Robots.txt and “nofollow” attribute
Make use of them! You can specify which directories can and can’t be visited by search engine crawlers. You can also prevent spam, like irrelevant posts or comments, to be indexed in search engine databases.
9. Make your content rock!
The small improvements mentioned in previous steps might seem unimportant, but combined together they could have a major impact on your website’s ranking in search engines. So, if you have a solid foundation, it’s time to build your site’s content. If your content is unique, organized on topic and very engaging you’re on the right path to higher rankings.
Keep in mind that search engines scan your content for keywords and on this basis they show the results to the users. It would be a good habit to get into putting the most important phrases in it.
Everything is ready to be shown to the World. Promote your efforts with Social Media and topic related communities. Remember, building a good reputation means taking no shortcuts, so avoid spamming on other sites or any other tricks, like “Black hat” positioning techniques to get higher rankings.
Bonus – check the results!
It’s important to track and measure your results. Monitoring your SEO activities will provide you the data you need to know to make smarter decisions and improve your positions in search engines.