Before you go about an SEO campaign it is vital that you have a good SEO foundation. It does not take very long and if you have a good website design then you will be most of the way there. It won’t matter how much you then go on to do, without that foundation you won’t get very far in the SERPs.
Not much has changed recently in what makes for a good website, provided that you have always followed best-practice and common sense. Your website should be clear, readable, navigable and display all the correct information.
Here is a quick check list so you can be sure that you have a good SEO foundation for your website:
Readable – Your website must be easy to read by viewers and web crawlers. This means sticking to HTML or PHP. Java and Flash are all very well for creating good effects, but keep these to a minimum in order to enhance the aesthetics, don’t code the entire website in a way that will make it hard for web crawlers to see what is going on.
Fast – Your website should have a fast load time. This not only helps it to get ranked, but also helps the poor few that are struggling with their internet connection or attempting to view your website via their mobile network.
Clear coding – Having a professional website developer work on your website, rather than using a freebie package means that all the coding will be clear and bug free, making it easy for web crawlers to navigate. They can also control the robots.txt file to make sure the crawlers are sent everywhere that they are supposed to be and nowhere that they are not.
Navigable – Remove broken links and put a clear navigation structure into your website this means that both web crawlers and readers can find their way around to the information that they need.
Meta data – Meta data is going out of fashion recently, but it is still important that you put it in. Not as much emphasis is put on meta data as there was a few years ago, but ensure you have entered good quality titles and descriptions for each page.
Well-written content – Good content on your website that is key word rich will help the search engines to understand it and help the web crawlers to know what your website is about.
Clear address – If you are a local business ensure that you clearly display your address so you web crawlers know where you are based. This will help you to appear for local searches.
Local directories – Go through all available local directories and enter your details in consistently.
If you are a local, niche business then these actions will be sufficient for helping you to appear in the search engines. If you are looking for customers from further afield, or have strong competition, then giving yourself a good SEO foundation will ensure that the rest of your efforts are not in vain.