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It would be awful to realize all the time, effort, and money spent on your website marketing was for nothing. Yet for websites that don’t have an SEO friendly web design, that’s one of the results you can look forward to.
Google’s computerized algorithms don’t care how innovative your business is or how happy your customers are. Instead, Google uses its own set of criteria to decide whether to show potential customers your site via a Google search.
For the sake of your business, make sure you get these five things right so Google won’t hate your website.
1. Use an SEO Friendly CMS
It’s been a long time since web pages were built as a grouping of static HTML pages, but a few still exist. Your business website, however, should be using an up-to-date SEO friendly content management system (CMS for short). Many options are available.
More than a quarter of the web runs on the WordPress PHP-based CMS, including sites like the Wall Street Journal and NASA’s official blog. Other popular options include Drupal and Joomla, the SiteCore .Net CMS, and e-commerce CMS options like Shopify.
A CMS platform offers the ability to update your site content often without advanced technical knowledge as well as integrated features and architecture that make Google love your site.
2. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
It’s been just over a year — April 2015 — since Google announced that “mobile friendliness” would become a factor in SERPs rankings. We’ve touched on this topic before here on the Kaleidico blog, but it’s safe to assume that mobile friendliness will only become more important as more and more users access the web from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.
3. Fix Errors and Broken Links
A website with excellent housekeeping pleases Google. Make sure you fix little errors like error pages, broken links, and temporary redirects to keep your site tidy and improve your SEO. These types of errors are most likely to occur after you make big changes to the design or organization of your site.
Top web developers know how to avoid these issues during their work, but if you’ve undertaken renovations yourself, tools like W3.org’s web-based Link Checker or the WordPress Plugin Directory’s Broken Link Checker can help you quickly find and address issues that could negatively affect SEO.
4. Supply Meta Tags and Other Optional Info
Most CMS platforms offer a number of ways you can supply more information about your site content to help search engines in their task. The trouble is that many of these backend fields are optional, meaning many businesses don’t enter info that will improve their site’s SERP rankings.
Meta description tags don’t display on your website but do show up in Google search results. A good 150-character description for your homepage or blog entry can mean the difference between a new customer or a missed opportunity. Image alt tags, sitemaps, and index/follow commands (also known as a site’s robots.txt file) are other lesser known backend data that will do wonders for your site’s SEO performance — as long as you provide it.
5. Publish Good Content
Lastly, make sure your site publishes high-quality content. Include visuals to break up long stretches of text, use proper grammar and spelling, and make sure to provide value to readers. As SEO expert Jayson DeMers points out, the best content solves a problem, answers a question, provides insight, or entertains.
Give Your Site an SEO Friendly Web Design
Make sure Google doesn’t hate your website by following these five SEO friendly web design best practices. Not only will you improve the search algorithm’s impression of your web presence, but your customers will also appreciate visiting your site more.