One of the first questions people ask is “What is an SEO Friendly Website?” An SEO friendly website is a site that is built in a manner that search engines can easily crawl and understand what the subject matter of the site is about. There are quite a few factors that go into what makes a site friendly to search engine optimization.
Why would you even care if your site is SEO friendly?
Well here is the answer. The old if you build it, they will come is not the hard truth of how things work online. You can have the prettiest and most amazing site if it does not rank on search terms that your customers are typing in to a search engine they will never find you, which leaves you with only one option and that is to buy your visibility online with Pay Per Click or some other form of online advertisement. While that can be a viable strategy it can also be a costly one that many businesses have a hard time with. This is where a website that is set up to be friendly to search engines comes in to play. It gives you the ability to rank on search terms organically. With the proper seo package a site that is already set up properly will give you the ability to rank organically locally as well as on a national level. Where if your site is not designed to be search engine friendly you will be forced in to a PPC model or you will need to make the proper adjustments to make your site work for optimization. Sometimes in extreme cases the site is so bad you must trash it and start over.
Starting off with someone that can build you an SEO friendly website is the best way to start off getting your business online. It gives you a vehicle that will allow you to market your business in a variety of ways online.
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So now that we have convinced you that you to want a SEO friendly website built what goes into said site that makes it so is the obvious first question most people want answered.
Factors that make a website Friendly to Search Engines:
- Ability to Optimize Meta Data – This is a vital piece of optimizing your site. This is the ability to set a meta title tag as well as a meta description that is unique for each page of your site.
- Good Coding – This is why we tend towards Word Press for our sites. While a custom-built Content Management System is definitely another reasonable choice it is the more expensive as well as more precarious road. As well as these are the instances where sometimes a very expensive CMS/ E-Commerce site must be completely trashed and redone. If you are in need of an enterprise solution and want it custom built we suggest that you get an SEO expert involved to consult on the building of the site from the beginning. This will help to prevent any fatal flaws that cannot be remedied from being made and save you lots of headache and money in the long run.
- Responsive Design / Mobile Friendly – In the old days we used to build a regular site and a mobile site, thankfully technology and web design has come a long way where now your web design, theme or template needs to be responsive. What does Responsive Design Mean? What this means in laymen terms is that your site will render properly on any device using the same design. So, no matter if you are on a cell phone, tablet or a desktop the site will render properly and be friendly to the user.
- Site Speed / Caching Enabled – Site speed is a big factor with search engines these days as well as users. If a site takes too long or loads slow it can cause visitors to leave as well as search engines to not index the site well. Site speed is a ranking factor these days. Caching tools enable you to load bigger pages more quickly because they are already cached and ready to be rendered instead of having to be created by queering a database.
- Good Site Structure – This means laying the site out in a manner that makes it easy to crawl and understand its subject matter.
- Schema Enabled – While schema is not required for good rankings it helps you send the right signals to Google and other search engines. The benefit of schema is that it lets you send signals that explain what your content is as well as what your entity does as well as its location. For local optimization this is a must have.
- XML Sitemaps – Allow you to submit your sitemap to google search console as well as Bing’s version of that.
These are the biggest factors in building a site that is friendly to SEO. If these are not present on your current site, then this is how you can make your website seo friendly. By adding these components your site will have all the basics covered in order to start a successful search engine optimization campaign. Currently some of the best seo friendly websites can be built in Word Press. WP itself is not a good platform but with the right plugins a Word Press site can make for one of the best seo friendly websites you will ever have. We recommend using it as a base with a proper configuration of plugins to get you seo friendly. This is where if you have a word-press site and it is currently not friendly to search engines it can be made to be very easily. Where a custom-built site may not be fixable or it could be quite costly.
How Can I Tell If My Website Is Friendly To Search Engines?
One way to tell if your website is friendly to search engines is to run it thru our page site auditor which will give you some indications as well as using the list below and checking to see if all of the components listed are present.
Check to see if the following are present on your website to determine if its friendly to search engines.
- Is the site mobile friendly and built with a responsive design?
- Can you set meta data like title tags and meta descriptions for each page to make them unique
- Does the site load fast or is it slow and clumsy? You can also check this using a tool like gtmetrix.com
- Can you enable caching tools to help the site be as fast loading as possible?
- Does it have an XML site map and a robots.txt file to help the engines index as well as understand if there are parts of it that they should not index.
- Can you implement schema on the site?
- Does it have good site structure to allow all your important pages get found easily.
What To Do If Your Site Is Not SEO Friendly
So, what can you do if your website is not friendly to search engines? This very much depends on what the site is built in and who built it. If it is in a CMS or e-commerce platform that is widely supported like Word Press, Joomla, Shopify or WIX then it can be as simple as hiring an seo agency that has experience with the platform and having them make the proper adjustments to get it there. However, if you’re in a custom platform then you will need to have an agency or seo expert come and consult with your developer to assure that the proper coding adjustments are made to make the platform seo friendly. This of course can be costly because you will need a consultant that will want to be paid for his time as well as having to pay the developer to fix what needs to be done.
Another easy alternative is to start a secondary site that is set-up properly and scrap the custom platform. Sometimes that is the easier path, but it is also full of compromises where custom built CMS / E-commerce sites are just that. They are made to suit your needs which may not all be available in an out of the box solution. So, you may have to decide to either give up custom functionality or bite the bullet and get the site redone with an seo expert in on the development from the ground up.
If you are in need of an seo expert with experience in assisting your developer with making sure that your custom solution is built to be seo friendly please reach out to us. We have consulted on many custom projects to successful completion.