Best SEO Practices

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be fairly simple at a basic level but can become more advanced when you get further into it. Building a website which can be found by search engines and indexed effectively requires good SEO and good content.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help get your website ranking higher in the search engines.

1. Clean & Valid HTML

When coding up a website it is important to format the HTML source code so that it is easier for search engines to read it and if anyone views the code they will be able to read it as well.

If you are using Adobe Dreamweaver, this can be achieved by using the source format option in the code view, which will take out any gaps and format the code correctly.

Valid HTML will allow the search engines to see your site correctly and help with the ranking of your site. To check if your site is valid you can go to the and it will tell you what the errors are and give you an option to view the code so you can correct it.

source code Best SEO Practices

2. Use Of Meta Tags

There are two main meta tags, which are relevant for SEO and they are the description and keyword tag. These two tags are important because they will be displayed in search engine listings and have to make sense to users.

For the description tag it is good practice to include some keywords in here and to make it read like a proper sentence so it makes sense.

Recently it was made clear that most search engines don’t use the keyword tag due to developers stuffing them with keywords but it is still good practice to keep the keyword tag in so that users can still view them.

meta title Best SEO Practices

3. Title Tag

At the very top of the source code on a web site you will see the title tag, which plays a very important role with the indexing of a web site and is one of the most important tags.

The page title is the very first thing a search engine will look at when it crawls a website to determine what each page is about. This tag is also the first thing that visitors will see when looking at the listing in a search engine.

It is also important to add a few keywords into the title tag as well, but you don’t want to stuff it with keywords otherwise the site will look too much like spam. You can also include the company name or a title into this tag.

4. Image Alt Tags

Using alt tags on images is useful for two reasons. Adding a brief description of each image in the tag for the search engines to see when indexing your site helps with the SEO. The second reason is for visually impaired users who use screen readers. They won’t be able to see the image but if a good descriptive alt attribute is used then they will know what each image is.

5. Title Tags For Links

Putting title attributes on links is another good practice that good websites will have. The title tag when used will display a “tool tip”, which pops up when you put your mouse over a link.

When adding a title attribute to a link, you should write something descriptive for that particular link. For example if the link is “Web Design” then the title should be something like “Our web design services”. This will give the link some value and will show that the page is relevant to web design.

6. Correct Use Of Heading Tags

Headings are very important in web design when writing your website content as they help users and search engines to see where the major points in the copy are.

The main page title has to use the <h1> tag, as it will be the first and most important heading on the page. Then the headings should go down in order starting with <h2> then <h3> etc, to help split up the content into sections. The use of these tags will help search engines know what is on each page and the priority of these tags is very important to help with the indexing of your site.

headings Best SEO Practices

7. Good Content

Relevant content is very important from an SEO perspective and will also keep users interested and staying on your site for longer. Putting the keywords in the title, meta tags, alt tags and title tags is all good, but if your content has no keywords in, then it won’t rank very well in search engines.

It is important to include keywords in your main content but it also has to make sense and read well for visitors. If too many keywords are on one page then they won’t make much sense to potential visitors.

When writing the content, make sure it is relevant to the page and headings on that page so that visitors can make sense of it. If it looks too spammy and not relevant to the page then the visitors will just go to another website.

8. Sitemaps & XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are useful for visitors because they provide a list of all the pages that are on your website and it helps them navigate easier.

XML sitemaps are used by the search engines to index your site properly. The sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website along with the date it was modified, and the priority of each page so that it makes it easier for a search engine to find all of the content

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2 Responses to “Best SEO Practices”

  1. Says:
    January 15th, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    Simple list but all very important for every developer to know :)

  2. Says:
    January 15th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Great examples and tips for good SEO strategy. Personally; the title tag and having decent content to backup that title tag seems to be the most important these days.

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