What makes a website search engine friendly

Search engine friendly term explanation and definition

It has been absolutely normal for companies and private individuals in German-speaking countries to have a website for years. For companies, a website offers a good opportunity to attract attention, introduce customers, establish contacts and become better known through the Internet. A website also has many advantages privately. Whether it is the self-presentation for applications or for a positive self-presentation of one's person. However, in order to be successful with your own website and to enjoy the definitive advantages, it is important that the website is designed to be search engine friendly. Without a search engine friendly structure, a website cannot or only insufficiently be indexed by the search engines, which in the worst case is associated with the fact that the website simply does not receive any visitors via search engines and is therefore virtually non-existent on the web. This would have missed the target.

When is a website search engine friendly?

SEO measures for a website can be divided into two categories, on-page and off-page measures. On-page measures take place directly on the website. With on-page search engine optimization, the design of a page is only of secondary importance, but primarily the technology behind a website. The better these measures are implemented, the less work you have with off-page optimization and the more effective the overall optimization measures. There are many factors to consider in a search engine friendly website, but some basic factors per se determine whether a website is search engine friendly or not.

HTML

The Hypertext Markup Language forms the basic structure of a website. They structure the page. For this purpose, simple declarations (so-called "tags") are used, through which elements of the page are defined and positioned and visually displayed, either directly or in combination with CSS. From an SEO point of view, "clean HTML" or the resulting short and concise source text is very important. The tags for headings h1-h6 should be mentioned here in particular. For example, tables can be an obstacle for search engines because the content cannot be captured well by search engines. Here, for example, a summary of the table content is useful, which is used in particular on websites in order to make the content easier to understand for blind and visually impaired people. In the end, search engine friendly always means user-friendly and above all: compatible.

Urls

Meaningful URLs are not only easier to read for humans and search engines, they also offer the opportunity to accommodate keywords. The same applies to links. A meaningful name for internal links is not only easier for humans to grasp, but can also be evaluated much better by search engines. It is therefore advisable not to use highly dynamic URLs, but rather search engine-friendly "speaking" URLs that are made search engine-friendly using server technology such as the Apache module mod_rewrite.

Content and metatags

The content is also an important factor regarding the search engine friendliness of a website. It is important to ensure that the website always offers up-to-date and above all unique content, so-called "unique content". Well-known ways to accomplish this are through news and blogs. In the past, it was sufficient to create meta tags for a website and to include the terms used there as often as possible on the page. As a result, many pages without relevant content appeared in the top places in search engines. In order to offer the reader a better search quality, some search engines even ignore meta tags and pay more attention to changing and unique content, which should also be updated whenever possible. Even high-quality pages that are no longer maintained must fear for their rank in search engines. Even if metatags have lost their meaning, the description should be paid attention to, because this is where the summary of the respective page is accommodated and read by search engines.

Intro page

It was once fashionable to use an intro page for a website. These pages were filled with Flash animations, graphics or a simple title like “Click here” or a language selection. Today you should make sure that the first page a visitor sees offers real content. Search engines comprehensively evaluate the content of the landing page and especially the most important of all, the home page. In the meantime, Google is also paying attention to whether advertising on a results page appears “above the fold” (in the upper reading area), or whether the reader gets a proper look at the information he is looking for. This shows once again how important the presentation of the page has become for search engines. This also includes graphics. Search engines cannot read the content of simple images. Alternative texts are ideally suited for search engines as well as for users. Key terms can also be conveniently accommodated here.

Elusive content

Although Flash has been banned from intros in the meantime, the hype about this technology has not gone. In the meantime, many companies have even created their website entirely in Flash. Flash technology poses a major problem for search engines. As mentioned, films, graphics and texts based on them are difficult to capture and evaluate by search engines. However, Adobe has made a technology available so that search engines can also evaluate at least parts of SWF (Flash) files. However, since the complete capture of Flash is not possible, one should pay more attention to alternative texts, avoid complete Flash websites or at least minimize the Flash portion as much as possible in order not to make it unnecessarily difficult for the search engines to index their own website.
There are other problems with iframes and Ajax. IFrames are separate pieces of content within a page. For example, they are often used for advertisements. With Ajax, information can be called up quickly. The content of a website is reloaded without the user having to call up a new page, which avoids a large expenditure of time. While iframes per se are only search engine friendly to a limited extent and should therefore not be used for the basic structure of a website, small aids have been found for Ajax. So you can store a so-called HTML snapshot on the server, to which the search engine bot is forwarded and indexing is still possible.

Search engine friendly or not?

The above-mentioned factors represent a small excerpt from the canon of measures for on-page optimization. Google and Co. evaluate a large number of factors, the above list can be - depending on the type of website design, the CMS or shop system used, the respective server system, the history, architecture and actual design of the website - continue indefinitely. The search engines still decide what is search engine friendly. Google, as the dominant market leader, for example, in its quality guidelines for webmasters asks: "Create pages primarily for users, not for search engines." (See https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769? hl = de). However, if this principle were followed, a search engine, and thus also Google, would in many cases not be able to correctly evaluate the content per se. At the same time, however, incorrect search engine friendliness often results in acute dangers for the website or its objectives. It is not uncommon for websites to be devalued after technically incorrect measures or not even get going after a relaunch. The creation of an optimal search engine friendliness is therefore time-consuming and still extremely demanding, as it requires years of experience with different systems, initial requirements and objectives. We are happy to help.

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