Search Engine Optimization, or SEO in web development firm lingo, is a planned process of enhancing a website’s ranking in search engine results pages organically. The purpose of making a website SEO-friendly is to make sure search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. are able to find, index and then serve your website pages to users searching for the services or information that your organization is providing. That’s why in the process of designing and developing a new website, or improving a current one, there are certain basic factors to keep in mind and integrate into the website’s development lifecycle.

Website SEO Tips

Content

The most important factor for good SEO remains quality content containing valuable keywords that users actually type when searching for information, services or products online.  If the content is quality content on any particular subject, the keywords naturally populate the content.

Title tag

Search engines will display what you put here as the Title of the website or web pages, so make sure it describes your website well, and reflects the content on the web page(s).

URL

SEO friendly URLs are devoid of characters, programming language file extensions, and other special characters, and usually reflect a semantic approach, i.e. reflecting the meaning of the page or website’s content with clear concise keywords. 

Alt tag

Although Google’s image recognition technology and search bot integration is coming along at science fiction level speed, it’s still a good idea to add image descriptions and descriptive alt text to all the photos uploaded to your web pages. 

What are the tools that allow you to implement these website SEO practices?  Here are a few great Drupal and WordPress tools to help you get started.

DRUPAL WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SEO MODULES

XML sitemap

Creates XML sitemaps that enable search engines to crawl the website effectively.  You can set what you want to be included and tell search engines if some pages have more priority, and how often the content is updated. You can also choose search engines you want to submit to sitemaps proactively such as Google and Bing

Pathauto*

This module creates SEO friendly URL’s. After installing, go to Configuration > URL aliases > Patterns to determine patterns you want the URL’s to follow.

 *Note: To enable Pathauto, the Token module needs to be enabled as well.

Metatag

After installing this module, the metatag fields will appear when you create pages. You can add a Page Title, one of the most important factors for SEO, descriptions of the pages, and other relevant valuable keywords. 

Search 404

If the page is not found, instead of displaying an error page, the module will display results of the search using keywords.

ShareThis

This module adds share buttons to your site and helps your site get more views.

Redirect

This module redirects old URLs to a new one. It is helpful when migrating old content to a new site, or when you make changes to URL’s on existing websites. After installing the module go to Configuration, and you will find URL redirects setting. Clicking on Add Redirect to add redirects for pages from the old site, by adding old URLs and new ones that we want redirected. Additionally, if any changes to any page’s URL are made, a redirect will be created automatically.

Global Redirect

This module makes sure that there are no duplicate URLs for one page. Example: node-id URL will be redirected to the actual URL of the page.

Links Checker

Checks for broken links and shows them in reports/log section.

WORDPRESS CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM SEO PLUGINS

Google XML Sitemaps

This WordPress plugin generates XML sitemaps which help search engines to index websites better.

Yoast SEO

This plugin analyzes content and images on your website. After installing it you will see an SEO section in the left dashboard sidebar where you can work with many settings.  General: You can add your website name in case you want Google to display different a site name in search results. In Webmaster Tools tab you can add Webmaster Tools verification. 

Broken link checker

Checks for broken links and missing images, and notifies you through a dashboard or email. It also prevents search engines from following broken links. The broken links can be edited through the plugin’s page.

SEO friendly Images

The Plugin allows you to add ALT and title attributes to images, describing your images to search engines semantically.

Share Buttons by AddToAny

Choose social media sharing services and their placement to let your readers share content in the easiest possible way.

Please contact us if you are interested in a web strategy, design, or marketing project requiring our web strategists and communication experts. 

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.