An SEO friendly website is the biggest asset for a brand. With the help of your website, you can bring in lots of relevant organic traffic and leads.
What does it takes to build an awesome website? I have made it easier for you to build one by listing 13 essentials.
1- Choose an SEO friendly website builder
Choose any website builder like Hostinger.com that will help you to create SEO friendly websites. The biggest advantage that this tool offers is an easy drag and drop interface where anyone can make a website without any coding skills. The templates offered are mobile optimized and responsive. You can easily add the required meta tags and build an SEO friendly URL structure that helps to create a website that is fast, optimized and SSL inclusive.
2- Create AMP Pages
Speed is the one of the most important ranking factors for Google and accelerated mobile pages will help you to dominate this factor. AMP is a lightweight version of your HTML page that loads faster and improves the overall user experience.
Here is a sample code for creating your first AMP page:
Once you have the page ready, test your AMP pages with the help of AMP validator.
3- Take the Mobile Friendly Test
With mobile searches surpassing than that of desktop, it is more than necessary to optimize your site for mobile.
Take the mobile friendly test with the help of this tool and Google will provide suggestions to improve the mobile friendliness of your site.
4- Use Main Keywords + USP + Action Word in Title Tags
Usage of keywords in the title tag still holds importance. Not many SEOs will agree to this but I still feel this is important to improve CTR in the search results.
As for example, for a page selling Orange Cakes, an optimized title tag can be:
Orange Cakes - 20% Off on First Order - Order Online
Use the above formula to create title tags and also use the keyword in the description tag accordingly. An optimized title and description tag is the base of a solid SEO strategy.
5- Use Keyword in URLs
Use keywords in URLs but do not overuse them.
For example, if your page is about dog food then create a URL structure like “domain.com/dog-food/”.
Similarly, create inner URLs that makes a logical structure. Like you can have pages like Alsatian included in the inner URL structure like “domain.com/dog-food/alsatian”
6- Follow An Organized Site Structure
For any website, navigation plays an extremely important role. Navigation should follow an organized and logical path as displayed in the below image.
Use “breadcrumb lists” and use the breadcrumb structured data markup for displaying the URL structure. Adopting this approach is both user friendly and search engine friendly. Below is an example of Breadcrumb navigation.
7- Ensure Your Site is Crawlable
Review your robots.txt file and ensure that both googlebot and googlebot mobile can crawl your site.
Leaving the pages that you don’t want to index like information related to users login id, every other important page that can send traffic to your site should be crawlable.
Moreover, don't let your internal search result pages be crawled by Google as people don’t like to visit another search results page from Google’s search results page. Do not allowing URLs created as a result of proxy services to be crawled.
In order to help the users from getting distracted due to broken links, use custom 404 pages that guides the user to take specific actions.
A custom 404 is important because it tells and guide the visitors clearly that the page they're looking for can't be found.
Also, do not allow Google to index your 404 page. In order to prevent 404 pages from being indexed by Google and other search engines, make sure that your web server returns an actual 404 HTTP status code when a missing page is requested.
10- Provide Relevant and User Friendly Content
Content plays an extremely important role in making a website get ranked in the search results.
Ensure that you have relevant and user friendly content in your site. Every content should be created keeping the users in mind. The information provided should be beneficial and must provide a direct answer to the user query.
11- Use Internal Links Wisely and Create Proper Sitemaps
Have an impressive internal linking structure and follow Wikipedia in this regard. Always use contextual links as this will allow the PageRank to properly flow to the inner pages.
If you are requesting users to leave comment in your site then combat comment links by using nofollow attribute.
<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Anchor text here</a>
Moreover, create proper sitemaps that will help both search engines and users to crawl your site effectively. Here is a guide to build and submit sitemaps to Google.
12- Optimize Images
All the images that you use in your site should have an alt tag and title tag. Having relevant and accurate alt tags helps the search engines to understand the contents of the image because search engine bots are programs and they can’t see an image. Use alt text that are short, but descriptive.
Use commonly supported filetypes that most browsers support like JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and WebP image formats.
Also, create image sitemaps for easier crawlability. Here is an example;