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25Feb

Making your site SEO friendly: Part 1

This is the first in a series of articles related to SEO which will explore the common made mistakes, how to avoid them and have an optimized web page as a result. All the articles are based on experience in web site creation and management. All of the following tips and methods are supported by the CMS we incorporate into our client's web sites.

Pretty URLs

Pretty URLs should be human readable with keywords related to the content itself

Do not consider pretty URLs as a vehicle for getting better rankings on search engines just because they are pretty. Instead as a set of keywords providing information on the content of the page, time it was created, how it was categorized, type of content etc. Since pretty URLs are human readable they are easier to read to someone over the phone or to be read from billboards.

You can create pretty URLs manually or automatically based on a pattern as shown on the picture:

Note: Pretty URL is an URL that does not contain non-alphanumeric characters such as ?, &, =.

Page titles

Page URL should not be the same as Page title

Most of today's web pages use some kind of CMS software and people rely on it for adding and managing pages. When adding a new page most people just enter the name of the page which is taken by the CMS for title and URL generation. As a result URL and title are the same. This should be avoided.

The following picture shows how a page should be created:

Think of page URL as the file name of the page and title as a short description of the page.

Note: If you decide to change the page title on your live web page please make sure you do not change the URL or make a 301 redirect to your new page URL.

Redirects

Always create redirects to the new URL of the page

Sometimes you just need to create a new URL for a page that has been online for some time. Since it has been picked up by search engines, back linked and bookmarked on various places when changing the URL make a redirect from the old one to the new one. This way you will redirect your visitors to the new link and avoid negative ranking with search engines.

URL redirects are handled automatically by our CMS as shown on the picture:

You can have multiple redirects to the same page. This comes handy if you notice 404 page not found errors in your logs than create the redirects manually to the targeted web page.

Note: Common term used for dynamic created URLs is URL aliases . Avoid having multiple aliases to the same page as this is duplicate content.

Unique Meta Tags

Avoid using the same meta tag content for multiple pages

This is really a straight forward tip. It is recommended that each page should have its own meta tag content. Simply, avoid duplicates. Take some time to enter data to Description and Keywords tags that is related to you page content.

Example shows the usage of meta tags on a page: