The terms seo friendly or search engine friendly website seems to come up a lot these days but what does that actually mean to you as someone that has a business or wants to get a website built?
The short answer is that a search engine friendly website is a site that is built in such a way that it makes it easy for search engines to index as well as understand what your website is about. Were going to get into more details as to what factors make it search engine friendly.
Factors That Determine A SEO Friendly Website
So lets take a deeper look at what factors make for a website that is friendly to search engines. That way you can understand what to expect from a site built with this in mind. Some of the factors will be apparent and some you may not have thought about before.
- Fast Loading
- Good Clean Coding
- A theme or design that is responsive
- Easy To Understand Main Navigation
- Xml sitemaps
- A way to add Google Analytics
- Some Pages of good content
- The ability to blog or add content in the future
These are the main factors that go in to a website that will have a chance to get organic traffic. Now just because it is seo friendly does not mean that other work will not be required to make it rank but rather think of it like the foundation of a house. If you have a good foundation the house you build upon it will be strong and sturdy where is your foundation is weak your house will crumble. this is much the same with websites. If you build it properly from the very beginning when the time comes to really push the internet marketing you will already have a vehicle to get you there!
In Depth Look At What Makes A Site SEO Friendly
Lets take a more in depth look in to each of these areas so when your out shopping for a website you can keep these factors in mind as well as having a good understanding of each.
Fast Loading Site & Good Clean Coding
When we talk about a fast loading site what does that mean and what effects it? So one factor is coding itself. When a site is properly and efficiently coded the code itself is not bloated and executions of it are written in a way to make it beneficent. Therefore it takes less resources to execute the code and your site loads fast while using the minimum amount of resources. Site speed has been a ranking factor for a long time but it has now gotten more emphasis from google as something that is part of the ranking factors. Also if you site loads slow visitors will bounce off and that sends bad signals to google.
Using Word Press
One of the easiest ways to ensure good code is to use an existing proven platform like Word Press as a base and then build on top of it to customize the site to your needs. Word Press is widely supported and plugins to use to make it work for your business are infinite! However a huge amount of plugins can affect the speed of the site negatively so configuring it properly is a factor when building a site in this platform.
A Theme W/ Responsive Design
A responsive design allows your site to render properly in any device from a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. More and more users are using mobile devices so having a responsive design is essential. Google has started mobile first indexing which a proper responsive design has you ready for.
Also when it comes to themes they not only need to be responsive but proper coding is also a factor with them. A badly coded theme can slow a website down dramatically so when it comes to choosing it one you have to make sure its a well coded seo friendly theme and not something that is bloated but just pretty to look at.
For the search engines as well as the user having your site navigation laid out in a way that is intuitive and easy to use is vital. For the search engines it is important because they will use this information to learn about your site and for the user it is important so they can navigate from one section of your site to the other. We usually recommend making a mind map of all the main parts of your buisness and using that as a road map for a good solid navigational structure for your site.
Sitemaps are an important part of helping the search engine find and crawl as many pages as possible. This allows them to see all your pages from one page on the site that is a dynamic feed so when you add a page it will appear here.
To get the most out of your sitemaps it is best to also get a search console account open with google so you can submit the sitemap directly to them. Sitemaps are not a big thing for users but are mainly there to help a search engine find all your pages and index as much of your site as possible.
Adding Google Analytics
While you do not have to have Google Analytics to have a seo friendly website if you do not have something that can gauge how your site is doing traffic wise then how can you gauge how the marketing is going? There are other tools out there but Google Analytics is free and it will give you a good bit of analytical data on your site.
Some Good Content Pages & The Ability To Add Content
At this point search engines still love good content so when you put up a site that is search engine friendly a big component should be to put up some pages of content that let the engines know what your site is about.
You also want to be able to add pages in the future as well as having the ability to blog if you choose to.
All these aspects are what is needed in order for you to have a website that will have a chance of ranking in Google or any search engine for that matter.