Designing an SEO-friendly website

20 November 2018

To achieve the best rankings for your website, it is important to make sure of a few key things. From optimising your content and altering URLs to using Google Analytics and 301 redirects. Even the smallest change could move your site nearer to the top of Google, so have a read of our top suggestions and see you if could make your website more SEO-friendly!

  1. Ensure that there is sufficient space on the home page to get enough content in – at least 250 words.
  2. The same for any category pages (if applicable) – your SEO agency might need to be able to add a couple of sentences at the top and sometimes a paragraph at the bottom.
  3. Urls should contain our main keywords, be lowercase and not include unnecessary punctuation i.e. underscores. You should consult your SEO agency when you reach this point.
  4. Images should be optimised prior to upload (named and resized). Alt tags should be editable.
  5. There should be a H1 tag on every page (one per page) which is editable.
  6. The site should be secure – on https:// or https://www.
  7. If redesigning a website, avoid changing the domain or moving from www to non-www (or vice versa) without specific instructions to that effect.
  8. The site should be built with site speed in mind.
  9. All title tags and meta descriptions should be fully customisable.
  10. Google Analytics should be installed.
  11. The titles which appear in the navigation should be independent from the title tag and main title on each page. You should be able to have a different title tag, to H1 to navigation title if necessary.
  12. The ability to add landing pages which don’t have to appear in the main navigation of the website.
  13. To avoid Google indexing the development/staging site, it should be set to noindex sitewide. However, this MUST be removed on the day of launching.
  14. An XML sitemap should be added (Wagada usually use the Yoast WordPress plugin to do so).
  15. Only use 301 redirects.
  16. Any old website urls should be 301 redirected to the new urls accordingly. You should consult your SEO agency when you reach this point.
  17. We advise having a blog page (an excellent content and SEO tactic that allows websites to build their brand, traffic and reputation).
  18. Blog post Urls should follow the structure /blog/post-name/.
  19. The blog/product category pages should use pagination (rel=”next” and rel=”prev”).
  20. Due to mobile-first indexing (now, the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index), it is important that the site is mobile-friendly.
  21. Ensure that the website is being backed up (we use WordPress plugins such as UpDraft Plus).