Any effort you put into backlinks or social media for SEO is futile if your website itself is not search engine friendly. SEO friendliness depends on the following:

  1. SEO-friendly website design.

  2. SEO-friendly website content.

We will look at how SEO-friendly website content is achieved. To start building SEO-friendly website content, you must first research the right keywords for your website. In the past we have discussed 16 Free Keyword Research Tools that will help you find good keywords for your website content.

Here is a list of the top six content tips to make your website search engine friendly:

Tip #1 – URL:

Ideally your website domain must be something that is easily remembered (short and related to your products or services), for example, watchshop.com. You can use your brand name if you are already an established business at a physical location. If your company is an online start-up you could strategize whether or not you should build your URL around your target keyword well before buying a domain.

It is generally seen that top ranked search results feature web URLs that match the search term. However, this practice is being abused by webmasters and may be eliminated in the near future. To be on the safe side you could mix a brand name with a keyword.

The following are some innovative ideas for each URL type:

The following are some innovative ideas for each URL type:

Examples of Branded URLs:

Zappos.com
Amazon.com
Apple.com
Yelp.com

Examples of Keyword URLs:

Carrentals.com
Handbagfashion.com
Herbal-cosmetics.co.za
Autotrader.com

Examples of Brand + Keyword URLs:

Teletextholidays.co.uk
Baghaus.com
Kineticfountains.com
Gayatriherbalsindia.com

You can find domain name ideas on sites like NameStation, DomainsBot and Domjax.

Find more domain name inspirations in this article from TheNameInspector.com.

Do:

Do Not:

Your job to make SEO-friendly URLs is not over yet. Once all the pages on your site are created you need to make sure that the URLs are clean, that they contain the inner-page keywords and that you refrain from using PHP/ASP code or other dynamic parameters in them. When your URLs are clean and devoid of dynamic parameters they are fit to be used as anchor texts (hyperlinked words that describe the content of the link) while linking to your site. This is a really good SEO practice.

Example of a URL that is not SEO-friendly:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007TJ5OG/102-8372974-4064145?v=glance&n=502394&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&n=3031001&s=photo&v=glance

Example of an SEO-friendly URL:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd400/

You can rewrite your URLs using the following tools:

Tip #2 – Title and Description Meta Tags:

Meta tags are an important element of a website. Among tags the Meta Title Tag and Meta Description Tag are the most important ones as they are the first thing a user sees in organic search results and the thing that helps them decide whether or not to click through.

An example of meta title tag and meta description in search results

Title Tag

The Meta Title Tag content appears in the search results as shown above, while for direct website visitors it is seen on the browser just above the URL as shown below:

A sample of title tag content as seen on a web browser

Best practices for Title Tag content for SEO are as follows:

Description Tag

The content in the description tag is only visible to the user in search results. On the website the content within the description tag can only be scanned by search engines. Best practices for Description Tag content for SEO are listed below:

Make an organized list of SEO-friendly Meta Title Tags and Meta Description Tags for each page of your website. You can then generate them into HTML text within seconds using one of the following Meta Tag Generator Tools:

Tip #3 – Header Tags:

Header tag hierarchy begins with the most important tags in h1 down to the least important in h6.

The following are some SEO-friendly Header Tag content tips:

An example of a good heading structure is shown below:

Example o fan ideal header tag structure

Tip #4 – Images, Videos and Flash:

On most websites it is essential to include images, videos and flash elements in the content, as a website with only plain text would be boring and unattractive. When it comes to search engine robots that scan and index the website, however, these elements are like aliens or UFOs which they are not able to interpret. To help search engines identify these elements you need to add text that is relevant and includes keywords.

The following are a few tips to make these non-text elements SEO-friendly:

Flash:

Google has upgraded their flash file search capabilities but they do not guarantee to be able to index all of the flash content. There are also many other search engines that have not yet upgraded their indexing software to identify flash file content.

Some SEO-friendly tips for flash files on websites are as follows:

Example of the use of a noembed tag

Video:

Almost every website has video files these days to encourage conversions. Search engines, however, can only identify the content of the video via text. You need to include a video transcript or provide Meta data for your video that contains your keyword in your HTML.

Image:

Text present within images does no good for SEO. If you want your website’s images to be search engine optimized, you need to include a description of the image in the alt text attribute of the image’s HTML, as shown below:

Example of the use of Alt Tags for images

The following are some important points to note for SEO-friendly images:

Tip #5 – Page Content:

Your page content does the talking to your online business prospects. Designing the structure and ensuring the quality of this content benefits you in all parts of website optimization; from usability and conversions to on-page SEO. In terms of SEO:

HTML to TEXT ratio:

It is an SEO best practice to have more text compared to HTML on your website. The formula used to calculate it is as follows:

HTML to Text Ratio = Text Size / Web Page Size x 100

Here is a list of some free HTML to text calculator providers:

Keyword Density:

Once you have your target keywords researched and ready to be inserted in the site content you need to know how many times a particular keyword must be used in order to rank highly. It used to be that the so-called SEO gurus would advise anywhere from two to 15 percent keyword density or even more. Those days are over.

The reality in today’s world of modern search engine algorithms is that the number of keyword recurrences does not matter. What really matters is how relevant it is to the context of the content where it is used. Watch this video on keyword density from webspam head of Google, Matt Cutts.

If you are confused follow this advice:

The following are some of the free keyword density checker tools:

Uniqueness:

The text in your page content must not be present elsewhere on the web i.e. it must be original and unique. Use one of the following tools to double check if your content is indeed unique:

If certain pages contain duplicate content that you cannot change, such as product pages on an e-commerce website, you must ensure that you indicate the preferred page as the original content. This must be done so that you do not end up with a duplicate content warning message in your Google Webmaster Tools.

You can indicate certain content as duplicate by adding an HTML tag called rel="canonical" on the duplicate pages (with the href containing the URL destination of the preferred original content).

This rule for duplicate content is true for Title tag and Description tag content as well, so ensure that the text in these tags are unique to each web page.

Hidden Text

Stay away from hidden text in your site content. Some of the hidden text tactics include matching the text with the background color, having a font size zero, including text behind images or including hidden text in CSS.

Sometimes hidden text may be placed on your website without you being aware of it. Learn how to detect hidden text on a website using the Web Developer Toolbar.

Tip #6 – Anchor Text:

Anchor text are the words that are hyperlinked to a destination URL (a link either to an internal or external web page). It used to be general practice to link pages or sites with exact anchor text match i.e. the same keyword would appear on both the linked pages. This was a strong signal to search engines to rank the website highly for that keyword. Since this practice has been abused a lot lately, a variety in anchor text that is not only bound to your target keywords is preferred. It gives the impression of natural internal and external linking to the search engines.

NOTE: Make sure anchor text linking with exact-match keywords within web pages is limited to 50% of your total links on the web page.

For example, if your anchor text is “designer watches,” here are some anchor text variations you can use when you link:

It is tough to keep up with the ever-growing competition in organic searches if other websites often feature above you in search results. You need to keep abreast of the changing SEO trends and start planning for a wholesome SEO strategy. Building SEO Friendly website content is a quintessential part of this strategy.