Place Keywords within URLs & Filenames

As URLs are typically one of the first things read by a search engine using keywords within them is one of the most consequential SEO details.

Maintain Your Website

If your website is hosted on a server that constantly crashes, or if you have pages that are blocked or no longer exist make sure you take the proper measures to maintain your website. When a search engine comes to index your website you want it up and running at its peak. Keeping your website maintained is the best way to do so.

Use a Sitemap

Sitemaps are perhaps one of the quickest ways for search engines to find all of the pages within your website. Use a plain HTML sitemap, an XLM sitemap, or both, just as long as it is accessible and reflects all of the current pages.

Large Website Rank Well

Search engines thrive on large websites, therefore the more pages you have the better rankings you will tend to see. The downfall to this is the more pages on a website the harder they begin to navigate and maintain. Go back to maintaining your website, build out your website, but do so in a sensible manner.

Older the Better

The longer your domain has been around the better. Search engines respect age and see older websites as dependable and sensible. They are given higher priority over new websites than may just as easily disappear tomorrow.

Use a Constant Theme

When all of your content is able to fit within the same constant theme this makes it easier for search engines to recognize the difference between the theme and the content itself, and in the long run makes it easier for search engines to index your content. If possible, keep your theme consent throughout the entire website.

Leave Files Near Root Directory

Burying your content in sub director after sub director may be great for organization, however it makes it entirely difficult for search engines to find. Leave your files within or close to the root directory for the best rankings possible.

Research When to Use a Separate Domains, Subdomain, or Subfolder

Registering a new domain, creating a subdomain, or creating a subfolder all have their potential benefits. Before deciding on which way go make sure you know which one you may benefit from the most. Learn more on root domains, subdomains, and subfolders over at the SEOmoz Blog.

Use Common Top-Level Domains

While registering .com, .net, .biz, and so forth will ensure that visitors are not likely to misplace your domain this does not mean that all of the domains will be treated the same within search engines. The highest-ranking domains I’ve seen are .edu or .org domains because of their typical reputable nature. This by all means is not a proven fact however something I have personally experienced. Many will argue that a .com domain is just as good as an .edu or org. All other low-level domains (.biz and etc.) should be redirected to the top-level domain.

Use Hyphens Over Underscores In URLs

Using hyphens makes URL easier to read for visitors as well as search engines. Using hyphens doesn’t stop at URLs either. Use them within all file names for better readability.

Keep URLs Short

Long domains will not technically hurt you, however the longer they are the more they tend to look like spam. My recommendation is to keep domains around 3 to 4 words and then 6 to 8 words max for the rest of the URL. In total try your best to keep URLs under 10 words.

Use a Trustworthy IP Address

A lot of websites are hosted on shared hosting servers. If one or the other websites on your shared hosting is being used to send out spam or is taking part in any other illegal activities this can affect your search engine rankings and potentially even get you blacklisted.

Ads Do Not Improve Rankings

Running ads or hosting from search engines will not improve your rankings. They may help drive traffic to your website or to possibly even put a little extra money in your wallet. However they will not benefit your SEO efforts at all.

Avoid Faulty Hosting

A typical hosting company should have an uptime over 97-98%. Anything less than this is not acceptable. When a search engine comes to your website and it is not there because of your hosting chances are the search engine won’t be back for quite a while.

Avoid Dynamic URLs

Dynamic URLs, especially over 100 characters, are difficult for search engines to continuously recognize. Best practice is to use static URLs and if that is not possible use a script to rewrite dynamic URLs into recognizable keyword friendly URLs.

Do Not Use Session IDs

Any information and content you want to be indexed and recognized by search engines cannot be hidden behind a session ID. Using a session ID in order to access content will turn off a search engine and your content will never be reached.

Do Not Use Bans in robots.txt

If you are using a robots.txt to point search engines in the right direction it is important to not use the robots.txt to ban a large part of your website. If you are banning access to a large portion of your website this is likely to affect the rest of your website as well.

Use Redirects (301 & 302) with Caution

When using redirects make sure that the target page is relevant and active. Redirecting pages to irrelevant content or inaccessible content can be considered a black hat SEO approach and cause penalties throughout your site.

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