SEO Checklist For Web Designing

SEO Checklist for Web Designing
Domain Name - Your domain name should be brandable (example: Google,​ Amazon,​ Yahoo!,​ etc.),​ easy to​ say,​ and even easier to​ remember .​
Don't worry too much about stuffing keywords into your domain name .​
Keywords in​ domain names no longer have the​ punch they used to.
www or​ not www - the​ choice is​ yours,​ or​,​ pick one and stick with it .​
I​ recommend using the​ www because the​ basic Joe Schmoe Web server tends to​ type in​ www,​ anyway.
Simple Design - Don't reinvent the​ wheel .​
If your design is​ complex,​ chances are it​ will hinder your visitors' ability to​ navigate and view the​ site plus it​ will slow down development .​
The simpler the​ better.
Don't create directories further than three levels down from the​ root directory - the​ closer pages are to​ the​ home page in​ the​ directory structure the​ better .​
Keep things organized but don't overorganize .​
If you​ have one file or​ sub-directory in​ a​ directory there should be a​ VERY valid reason.
File/Directory Names Using Keywords - Your filenames and directory names should contain keywords .​
If your page is​ about Idaho potatoes then the​ filename should be idaho-potatoes.
Static URLs - Static URLs are URLs that are not dynamically generated .​
a​ static URL looks like and dynamic URLs look like .​
You can make dynamic URLs spiderable by search engines but it's a​ lot easier to​ get things indexed with static URLs.
Think Small - the​ smaller your Web pages are,​ the​ faster they load .​
a​ single page should be less than 15K (unless absolutely necessary) and the​ entire page including graphics should be less than 50K (unless absolutely necessary) .​
Remember,​ not everyone is​ on​ a​ high-speed Internet connection; there are still people without a​ 56K modem.
Hyphens - Use hyphens ( - ) and not underscores ( _ ) to​ separate words in​ directory and file names .​
Most search engines parse a​ hyphen like a​ reader would parse a​ space .​
Using underscores makes what_would_you_do look like whatwouldyoudo to​ most search engines .​
You should definitely separate words in​ your URLs.
Navigation on​ Every Page - you​ should place consistent navigation on​ every page of​ your Web site .​
Your navigation should link to​ the​ major sections of​ your Web site .​
It would also make sense for every page on​ your Web site to​ link back to​ the​ home page.
Site Map - you​ should create a​ site map that links to​ the​ major sections and sub-sections of​ your Web site .​
The site map should be linked to​ from your Web site's home page at​ the​ very least .​
Preferably the​ site map should be linked to​ from every page .​
Recommend file names for your site map are "sitemap.html" or​ "site-map.html."
Title - the​ title of​ the​ page should be used in​ the​ TITLE tag and at​ the​ top of​ every page .​
The title should be keyword rich (containing a​ max of​ 7 to​ 10 words) and descriptive.
Description META Tag - Some people say META tags are dead but some search engines will actually use them underneath a​ pages title on​ search engine result pages (SERPs) .​
Use no more than 150 characters including spaces and punctuation .​
Your description should be a​ keyword rich,​ complete sentence.
Keyword META Tag - a​ listing of​ keywords that appear in​ the​ page .​
Use a​ space to​ separate keywords (not a​ comma) .​
Arrange keywords how they would be searched for or​ as​ close to​ a​ complete sentence as​ possible .​
This tag is​ basically dead but by creating it​ when you​ create the​ page it​ allows you​ to​ come back eons later and realize what keywords you​ were specifically targetting .​
If the​ keyword doesn't appear at​ least twice in​ the​ page then it​ shouldn't go in​ the​ Keyword META Tag .​
Also,​ try to​ limit the​ number of​ total keywords to​ under twenty.
Robots META Tag - Some search engine crawlers abide by the​ Robots META Tag .​
This gives you​ some control over what appears in​ a​ search engine and what doesn't .​
This isn't an​ essential aspect of​ search engine optimization but it​ doesn't hurt to​ add it​ in.
Heading Tags - Heading tags should be used wherever possible and should be structured appropriately (H1,​ H2,​ H3,​ H4,​ H5,​ H6) .​
You shouldn't start a​ page with an​ H2 tag .​
If H1 by default is​ too big then use CSS to​ style it​ effectively .​
Remember that most search engines like to​ see a​ heading tag then text or​ graphics; not H1 followed immediately by H2.
TITLE Attribute - Use the​ a​ HREF TITLE attribute (example: <a href="page.html" title="This page contains links to​ other pages.">) .​
The TITLE attribute improves usability/accessibility .​
Be sure to​ include keywords as​ you​ see fit but remember it​ should tell your visitors where they will go when they click the​ link.
ALT Tags - Every image should have an​ ALT tag .​
Use a​ keyword rich description of​ what the​ image is​ .​
If the​ image contains text use the​ text in​ the​ image .​
This is​ also a​ usability/accessibility tool.
More text than HTML - a​ page should have more text content than markup language .​
Anchor Text - Anchor text is​ the​ text used to​ link to​ a​ page .​
Using keywords in​ anchor text is​ a​ very good idea and will improve a​ page's performance in​ SERPs.
Use Text Links,​ Not Images - If you're going to​ link to​ something use text .​
Text in​ images can't be read by search engines .​
The only time this rule doesn't apply is​ when you're linking to​ something with a​ well known logo .​
Even then it's still better to​ use a​ text link .​
If you​ must use an​ image as​ a​ link then make sure you​ give it​ a​ good ALT tag.
Gobs of​ Content - the​ more content,​ the​ better .​
Having pages upon pages of​ original,​ relevant content is​ the​ best form of​ search engine optimization.
Add New Content Often - If you​ can add a​ new page of​ content every day then your site will stay fresh and give search engine crawlers a​ reason to​ keep coming back day in​ and day out.
Keyword Density - This is​ a​ touchy topic among Web developers and search engine optimizers .​
Some say 5% is​ more than enough .​
Chris Short says your main keywords shouldn't have a​ density of​ more than 30% and should be higher than the​ densities of​ other phrases and words.
Build It,​ Put It Online - Your site should be built and in​ "update mode" once it's uploaded to​ your Web server .​
Don't add a​ page at​ a​ time to​ your Web server when you're first building your Web site .​
Build your Web site first then upload it .​
Add new content as​ needed.
Use a​ robots.txt File - Every good crawler looks for a​ robots.txt file in​ your root directory .​
I​ would highly recommend creating a​ valid robots.txt just to​ appease these search engines and at​ the​ very least eliminate 404 errors from building up in​ your log files.
Validation - Every page on​ your Web site should adhere to​ W3C standards as​ closely as​ possible .​
Some say page validation can help your ranking in​ SERPs (the jury is​ still out on​ that one) .​
But,​ standards compliant Web pages do help with cross browser compatibility.
Link Popularity - Once your Web site has been well established,​ it's time to​ build up your link popularity .​
The more relevant inbound links a​ Web site has,​ the​ better its rankings will be.
Analyze Traffic - Read your log files often .​
Make sure you're not getting traffic you​ don't want and getting traffic you​ do want .​
Keeping a​ pulse on​ your traffic allows you​ to​ better optimize your pages.
NO TRICKS - If it​ doesn't seem ethical,​ then it​ isn't a​ good idea .​
If it​ doesn't help your visitors,​ then don't do it.
NO FRAMES - Don't use frames,​ ever.
NO BROKEN LINKS - Linking to​ pages that don't exist is​ a​ very bad thing .​
Search engines and people alike hate that.

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