Hi, friends — Some of our social media friends ask us for basic, brief, and not too technical SEO guidance. We’re happy to oblige. So here are some important SEO rules, though they are just a short overview.  (For all you experts out there: don’t despair; we’ll post more in-depth material in future posts).

1. URLs.

Your URLs are very important for search results. It’s quite a detailed topic which would go way beyond this post, but a URL should be keyword-relevant (though not keyword-stuffed); static; shorter rather than longer; descriptive of the relevant page. Also, separate words in the URL should be separated by hyphens (-).

2. Keywords, keywords!

Keywords, too, are super important for SEO. They are vital for your site to be found and rank higher for what you want to be found by. Make sure your keywords are prominently and frequently featured. However, beware of keyword stuffing! Whether it’s overloading with keywords, or unnatural content due to keyword stuffing, it can get you Google penalties – apart, of course, from being a bad read for users. A few years ago, keyword stuffers still got away with it – not any more!

3. Indexable content.

Contrary to what many believe, flash and javascript plug-ins are not very search engine friendly (not yet, anyway). Make sure your vital content is supported by HTML. ALT text for images is important; flash and java should be supplemented by text; and audio / video content should be embellished by transcripts, or explanatory texts or summaries.

4. “Crawlable” (= navigable) links. 

All your links  (internal and external) should be correctly set up, be unbroken, and point to the pages you want them to point to, so that search engines can crawl them. Google won’t penalize you for 1-2 broken links, but may not be able to find some pages! Tip: a search-engine friendly sitemap will help them crawl !

5. HTML Tags.

Good tags (mainly title tags and (to a much lesser degree) meta description) will get your site better rankings. Webdesigndom recommends an optimum length (as opposed to maximum length) for title tags:  55-58 characters; for meta descriptions: 145-155 characters.

6. Duplicate content.

Don’t “scrape” (i.e.: copy information) from other sites. It’s unethical, plus you will get penalized by search engines.  If you do find useful info elsewhere, give it proper attribution with a link and / or express that content in your own words – after all, it’s your website which you hopefully want to be different!

Hope this was helpful. You may find some useful articles in our knowledge base section  or in another post. Also check out our very popular Ten Commandments of Web Design.