There’s no point in having a website if can’t be found. Here are 10 basic tips for developing a Seach Engine Optimised Site in the form of 5 dos and 5 don’t. Here we deal with the more technical side of SEO, the basics that it’s important to get right before we can start thinking about targeting keywords and content.

Do

1. Make your domain name as descriptive as possible Your brandname – if your brand is somewhat established to the point where people will search for it. If you’re trying to build your brand try something like the service you are offering and the location e.g. webdesign-cork.com. This will give you a head start when a user is searching for webdesign in the Cork area.

2. Use Proper HTML formatting Make sure to use <h1> <h2> tags where applicable. Do not use <span> tags to format heading text. This will not be recognised as a heading by Google, this will also involve including CSS in your html file which is not ideal, as we will discuss later.

3. Meta Tags and Title The title tag is very important, it is the first piece of content that the spider sees. This should include your targeted keywords and be less then 60 characters long. The next most important tag is the meta description, this should be a brief decription of the site in less then 160 characters and should also include keywords where posssible. The meta keywords can contain as many keywords as desired separated by a coma (,)

4. Use Descriptive URLs Use search engine friendly URLs with a well laid out site. Each page has its own URL with the page title contained within it. e.g. a ‘who we are’ page located under an ‘about us’ page should have a URL like webdesign-cork.com/aboutus/whoweare.html.

5. Include an xml sitemap xml-sitemaps.comwill generate an .xml site map for your site for free. You can then upload this to your root folder where Google will see it when it comes to spider your site. This make life easier forGoogle and as a reward for your cooperation Google will rank your site higher then those without sitemaps.

Don’t

1. Use Flash Flash will be seen as large blocks of code by Google, it will not be considered as relevant content. It will also make your page slower to load and will not work with ipads or iphones both of which will hurt your page ranking with Google.

2. Use images in place of text Try to use html text as much as possible and css to style the text as desired. You can overlay text over images with CSS to give the effect of text within the image while still being readable by Google.

3. Include JS and CSS in the webpage Link all CSS and JS files in the head of the document and keep the body free for content. Google sees script and styling as irrelevent rubbish that it has to sift through to get to the content. Keep your .html file as content dense as possible.

4. Stuff Do not fill your content area with a list of keywords you think will help get you found. Using unrelated keywords will negatively effect your search ranking. You may think that using popular keywords will help you but this is not the case. If you write an article about local tourist attractions and you include keywords like iPhone this will not help your ranking as the spider will see it as unrelated.

5. Forget your copyright footer Include a copyright footer on everypage, including © symbol (Hold down Alt and type 0169 on the number pad). This protects your content legally and lets Google know that the page is original content giving it the edge over non copyrighted content. We have covered 10 basics points to remember when developing a Seach Engine Optimised Site. These are the basic steps taken to ensure that a site can be seen and understood by google. The next step is to target keywords and tailor your content to get seen for the keywords you want to found for. For more information vist our SEO page at mywsiteam.ie