The best way to Create an Search engine optimisation-Pleasant Web site: The Full Guidelines

  • January 3, 2023
  • elkenz
  • 18 min read

An Search engine optimisation-friendly (i.e., search engine-friendly) web site is one that’s technically sound, pleasant to make use of, and search-focused. Right here’s a Venn diagram explaining this: An Search engine optimisation-friendly web site is the intersection of those three units:

Venn diagram showing an SEO-friendly website is the intersection of 3 aspects: technically sound, delightful to use, and search-focused

If you wish to design an Search engine optimisation-friendly web site or ensure that yours is like that, observe the guidelines under.

Search engine optimisation-friendly web site guidelines

Your web site’s design and efficiency can affect your search rankings and even stop your web site from rating. Use our guidelines to ensure your web site is each Google’s and the consumer’s pal.

Complete checklist of the various things that make up an SEO-friendly website

Make your web site technically sound

First, it’s worthwhile to assist search engines like google and yahoo discover, crawl, and index vital content material in your web site.

Factors from this part of the guidelines will sometimes must be arrange as soon as and revisited solely when it’s worthwhile to introduce adjustments (e.g., updating your sitemap).

1. Plan web site construction (for brand new websites)

Planning your web site construction is usually a complicated course of, particularly in the event you plan on having one thing greater than a portfolio in your web site.

Nevertheless, from the Search engine optimisation perspective, these are the issues that actually matter:

  • Depth of the positioning construction – Strive to not have vital pages too far-off from the homepage (retaining at two or three clicks away is greatest and nothing additional than six clicks). That is one thing huge web sites ought to particularly be careful for, as overly nested pages can get crawled much less usually.
  • Keyword optimization for top-level pages – Class pages may rank on search engines like google and yahoo. You’ll be able to enhance the probabilities of that in the event you optimize your top-level pages for keywords with search demand.
  • Inner hyperlinks – Amongst different issues, inside hyperlinks are a rating issue and might ship a sign to search engines like google and yahoo to crawl sure pages extra usually. Since hyperlinks in web site navigation rely as inside hyperlinks, your vital pages can get a further Search engine optimisation increase simply because they’re correctly positioned within the construction and linked within the web site navigation.
Flowchart showing an example of a site structure

Tip: use colours to distinguish navigation components (right here in white) from pages (blue).

Beneficial studying: Web site Construction: The best way to Construct Your Search engine optimisation Basis 

2. Arrange Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is without doubt one of the three free instruments that you would be able to’t do Search engine optimisation confidently with out. It’s a free device made for monitoring your web site’s natural search efficiency on Google’s search engine (92.07% market share worldwide).

Organising GSC is important for creating an Search engine optimisation-friendly web site as a result of it permits you to:

  • Discover web site errors.
  • Discover alternatives for UX enhancements (e.g., web page pace).
  • Submit sitemaps (one of many subsequent steps in our guidelines).

On prime of that, GSC will even allow you to see the keywords you rank for (as much as 1,000 within the device itself) and test rating positions.

GSC's Performance report

You will get GSC right here.

Beneficial studying: The best way to Use Google Search Console to Enhance Search engine optimisation (Newbie’s Information)

3. Arrange Bing Webmaster Instruments

Microsoft’s Bing Webmaster Instruments is an equal of GSC that you need to use to get knowledge from Bing’s search engine (the second-biggest search engine).

Bing Webmaster Tools' Search Performance report

You will get Bing Webmaster Instruments right here.

4. Arrange Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments

Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT) is our free device that helps to enhance a web site’s Search engine optimisation efficiency and get extra natural search visitors.

One other method to consider it’s that the device takes off the place GSC leaves you:

  • It mechanically screens your web site for 100+ Search engine optimisation points—and emails you the report in the event you want.
  • It exhibits all identified backlinks with helpful Search engine optimisation metrics.
  • It exhibits all identified keywords with helpful Search engine optimisation metrics.

Get it totally free right here: Webmaster instruments – Audit & Enhance Your Web site.

SEO health report results

Pattern e mail Search engine optimisation well being report from AWT.

Beneficial viewing: Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (AWT) – Our Free Search engine optimisation Software

5. Create and submit a sitemap

A sitemap is a file saved in your server that tells search engines like google and yahoo the place to search out vital content material in your web site. Furthermore, it could actually additionally present data about that content material, such because the video operating time or publication date of an article. All this knowledge helps search engines like google and yahoo crawl your web site extra effectively.

Excerpt of a sitemap by YoastSEO

Most CMSs can create sitemaps for you. That is an excerpt of a sitemap created by the YoastSEO plugin.

Typically talking, search engines like google and yahoo (a minimum of Google) are designed to work with out the necessity for sitemaps—inside hyperlinks and backlinks are all they want. Nevertheless, in case your web site is de facto huge (over 500 pages), has remoted pages, or has few or no backlinks, you need to create a sitemap and submit it.

Beneficial studying: The best way to Create an XML Sitemap (And Submit It to Google) 

6. Create a robots.txt file

Plainly talking, a robots.txt file is a textual content file that tells search engines like google and yahoo the place they will and might’t go in your web site.

It’s in search engines like google and yahoo’ “nature” to crawl just about all the pieces they stumble throughout. On the one hand, that’s a superb factor since you need individuals to search out stuff that you just publish. However there are some conditions the place you received’t need that to occur. For instance, the cart web page or pages generated by means of faceted navigation.

Example of robot's disallow directive

So principally, you will want to create a robots.txt file solely whenever you need to preserve some elements of your web site inaccessible to search engines like google and yahoo.

However you may additionally need to test if there’s an current robots file (created mechanically by your CMS or by your web site developer) to ensure that vital pages are crawlable. Simply go to and see if there’s something there.

Moreover, you might need to see the Protection report in GSC to test for any undesirable robotic guidelines that will block sure pages.

Coverage report results in GSC

Beneficial studying: Robots.txt and Search engine optimisation: Every thing You Have to Know 

7. Ensure that your web site is indexable

Indexability refers to a search engine’s capacity to investigate and retailer a webpage in its database.

Regardless of a web page being accessible to go looking engine net crawlers, that web page can nonetheless not present up on the SERPs. This occurs within the following conditions:

  • Noindex” worth within the robots meta tag in robots.txt file
  • Noindex” or “none” worth in x-robots-tag in HTTP response header

Be sure that a web page doesn’t have these tags if you need it to rank. You’ll be able to test that within the Protection report inside GSC or the Indexability report in Ahrefs’ Website Audit (a part of AWT).

Indexability report results in Site Audit

Remember, although, that these tags are nonetheless helpful. For instance, you might need to noindex sure pages like thank-you pages or inside search outcomes.

8. Ensure that your web site is accessible at just one area

In different phrases, it’s worthwhile to select the canonical area identify. This may make your web site seem constant to customers and net crawlers and forestall points like diluted hyperlink fairness (this will occur when some web sites hyperlink to the HTTP model and others hyperlink to the HTTPS model).

With AWT put in, go to the Website Audit device and open the Web page explorer report. Contained in the report, insert these 4 variations of your area utilizing the “Superior” filter:


Like this:

Advanced filters in Page explorer report

What you need to see is a) your required URL to report a “200” (ideally the HTTPS model) and b) others reporting a “301” redirect to that “200” web page. If that’s not the case, you will want to use redirects to non-canonical domains.

Table showing http status codes for a few URLs

Beneficial studying: 301 Redirects for Search engine optimisation: Every thing You Have to Know 

Make your web site pleasant to use

How customers understand your web site just isn’t one thing that Google ignores fully.

Factors from this part of the guidelines will sometimes must be arrange as soon as.

1. Ensure that your web site is mobile-friendly

Google is utilizing mobile-first indexing. Which means that it indexes and ranks content material primarily based on cellular variations of webpages. Consequently, having a web site optimized for cellular units is “strongly really useful,” as Google places it in its documentation.

You’ll be able to test in case your web site is mobile-friendly within the eyes of Google utilizing its check device or use the Cellular Usability report in GSC.

Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool

2. Ensure that your web site masses quick

Loading pace is a rating issue and the fundament of Core Net Vitals, that are efficiency metrics used for measuring consumer expertise.

Relaxation assured—Google nonetheless promotes probably the most related content material in its database. However when all the pieces else is comparable or equal, Google could rank the sooner web page increased. 

Performance report results in Site Audit

You’ll be able to monitor your web site for pace points with Ahrefs’ Website Audit. For this, use the Efficiency report.

Beneficial studying: The best way to Enhance Web page Velocity From Begin to End (Superior Information) 

3. Be sure you’re utilizing HTTPS

Simply as Google needs to supply helpful pages, it needs to supply safe pages too. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Switch Protocol Safe, i.e., the safe model of HTTP.

Secure connection at

Customers can inform instantly in case your web site is utilizing HTTPS or not.

This step is kind of easy. You simply have to get an SSL certificates and add it to your web site (the simplest method is to get one out of your internet hosting supplier). You’ll be able to even get one totally free right here (sure, Google acknowledges it too).

Beneficial studying: What Is HTTPS? Every thing You Have to Know 

4. Keep away from intrusive interstitials

The final on the checklist of web page expertise alerts. To Google, a web page with out intrusive pop-up home windows is a usable web site—and it’s arduous to disagree with that.

There are some exceptions to this rule, although. Google “accepts”:

  • Messages displayed out of authorized obligation (e.g., cookies consent).
  • Login dialogs for pages with out public entry (e.g., content material behind paywall).
  • Banners that use an affordable quantity of display screen area.

Infographic showing pop-ups of cookies consent or ads taking up a reasonable space are Google-approved

Beneficial studying: Interstitials and Dialogs | Google Search Central | Documentation

Make your web site search-focused

Craft your content material with searchers and linkers in thoughts.

Factors from this part of the guidelines needs to be arrange for every new content material that you just need to rank.

1. Select the proper key phrase

If you wish to get visitors from search engines like google and yahoo, it’s worthwhile to create content material about one thing individuals seek for. And one of the best ways to do that is to optimize your content material for a superb key phrase.

Right here’s what makes a superb key phrase for Search engine optimisation:

  • Search visitors potential – Typically talking, the extra usually individuals search for one thing on-line, the extra visitors these keywords can generate. However this isn’t a rule, and it could differ from key phrase to key phrase. It’s greatest to test the visitors potential in your keywords as effectively.
  • Search intent – Individuals use search engines like google and yahoo to both be taught one thing, purchase one thing, or discover a particular web site—that is their search intent. When selecting a key phrase, it’s worthwhile to make certain your content material matches what individuals need to see within the search outcomes. 
  • Enterprise potential – A key phrase could deliver you visitors. However will it additionally deliver you new enterprise? Prioritize subjects extremely related to what you provide so as to naturally characteristic your services or products. 
  • Not too tough to rank – The quickest approach to estimate that is to make use of a metric like our Keyword Issue (KD). However you may additionally have to take different components into consideration (see really useful studying under).
Matching terms report results for "tea"

What’s a tea pet? It’s one among 1,500+ keywords that aren’t aggressive and have appreciable search volumes associated to tea. One thing I’d undoubtedly need to cowl on my weblog about tea (could even embody an affiliate hyperlink there—get it?).

2. Make your content material fascinating and helpful

Google admits that the only strongest rating issue is the content material itself. Specifically, the content material’s usefulness and its capacity to seize readers’ curiosity. In Google’s personal phrases:

Except of Google's article talking about the importance of creating compelling and useful content

So listed below are some suggestions that may assist you make your content material fascinating and helpful. Guarantee it is:

  • Simple to learn.
  • Clearly organized.
  • Contemporary.
  • Distinctive.
  • Aligned with E-A-T pointers.
  • Targeted on offering important data to resolve a searcher’s drawback (this brings us again to the search intent).

All the above refers to designing content material for searchers. However there are additionally “linkers,” i.e., individuals who is not going to solely learn your content material but in addition embody a hyperlink to it on their web sites.

Why design for linkers? As a result of hyperlinks from exterior web sites (backlinks) are one of the vital rating components for Google. Extra backlinks from distinctive domains = increased rankings = extra visitors. Typically talking.

You’ll be able to enhance your probabilities of incomes or constructing hyperlinks in the event you make your content material link-worthy. Meaning together with one thing so invaluable and fascinating that bloggers and journalists will need to hyperlink to it (aka hyperlink bait).

Except of Ahrefs' blog article showing a graphic about long-tail keywords

For those who wished to hyperlink to a superb useful resource on, say, long-tail keywords, it’d undoubtedly be one thing that features a graphic explaining what they’re, proper?

You can too create content material only for the linkers. It’s OK if it has minimal search quantity, so long as it’s enticing to your audience.

Site Explorer overview of an article about how 90.63% of content gets no traffic from Google and how to be in the minority that does

Very low visitors. However it’s all proper—that is hyperlink bait content material.

3. Optimize title and outline tags

There are two the reason why it’s worthwhile to optimize title tags: They’re a rating issue (a small one), and other people see them on the SERPs. So you need to:

  • Make the title eye-catching and correct.
  • Insert the goal key phrase in your title. It really works. Keyword stuffing doesn’t.
  • Match them inside 60 characters.
Example of title tag

Factors #1, #2, and #3 checked.

There may be one cause why it’s worthwhile to optimize description tags: Individuals see them on the SERPs. Listed here are some good practices for engaging searchers to click on. You need to:

  • Make your description compelling. Reassure readers that that is the content material they’ve been in any case alongside.
  • Guarantee the outline just isn’t longer than 920 px (attempt SERPSim).
  • Preserve the outline related to the title of the web page (and vice versa).
  • Use a singular description for each web page.
Example of meta description that may be a bit too plain; it satisfies the other points, though

Factors #2, #3, and #4 checked. Level #1? Hmmm.

4. Add schema markup

Schema markup is a code that helps search engines like google and yahoo to know your content material and higher characterize it within the search outcomes.

For instance, to show a picture subsequent to your Fender Stratocaster assessment, you’ll have to deploy a code like this:


"@context": "",

"@kind": "ImageObject",

"url": "yourimage.url",

"top": "689",

"width": "1225”

Example of ratings found under various results on a Google SERP

Stands out on the SERPS fairly properly, proper? These star scores and thumbnails are served to the searcher through a number of tags within the schema markup.

There are several types of schema for various events: opinions, FAQs, particular person, place, group, and plenty of extra. All of them will assist Google present wealthy outcomes on the SERPs (like those within the image above) in your pages and probably deliver you extra clicks. Right here’s the complete schema documentation.

You’ll be able to create and check your schema markup with instruments like  

Beneficial studying: What Is Schema Markup? The best way to Use It for Search engine optimisation

5. Use brief and descriptive URLs

An Search engine optimisation-friendly URL is principally a user-friendly URL. So when optimizing your URLs, you need to do it with the consumer in thoughts. That’s the way you’ll make two pals with one reward.

Right here’s an instance:

This URL makes use of HTTPS, doesn’t have a very nested construction, and signifies clearly what the web page is about. So when customers see this URL on the SERPs, they’ll know the web page is definitely about one thing they’re on the lookout for. And after they click on on it, the URL will point out the place within the web site construction they are.

Beneficial studying: The best way to Create Search engine optimisation-Pleasant URLs (Step-by-Step)

6. Hyperlink to related sources

You most likely received’t leap in rankings simply by including outbound hyperlinks to your content material (they’re in all probability not a rating issue). However you should still need to add outbound hyperlinks to quote your sources and hyperlink to useful supplies on the subject.

In accordance with this video from Google:


Linking to different web sites is an effective way to supply worth to your customers. Oftentimes, hyperlinks assist customers to search out out extra, to take a look at your sources and to higher perceive how your content material is related to the questions that they have.

John Mueller

So together with related outbound hyperlinks is a greatest follow when creating good content material. However on prime of that, citing your sources will assist you to align your content material with E-A-T search high quality pointers, that are particularly vital for Your Cash or Your Life subjects (well being, finance, security, and so on.).

Beneficial studying: What Is EAT? Why It’s Essential for Search engine optimisation 

7. Optimize pictures

Briefly, optimizing pictures for Search engine optimisation means it’s worthwhile to do three issues:

  • Compress pictures – You should utilize a plugin like ShortPixel or a bulk picture optimizer like Kraken. 
  • Use descriptive picture file names – Sure, Google can (and doubtless will) learn the names of your picture recordsdata to know what they’re about.
  • Use descriptive alt texts – Alt texts serve a few functions. But they’re usually missed. Not solely do they assist visually impaired customers, however in addition they might help Google perceive the context of your web page and assist you rank on Google Pictures.
Laptop on a table next to a cup of coffee and glass coffee pot

Alt textual content for this good picture needs to be one thing like “a laptop computer on a desk subsequent to espresso.” “A espresso pot and a mug admiring a Floor laptop computer whereas nobody’s wanting” is my subsequent guess.

8. Add inside hyperlinks

Final however not least, don’t overlook about inside hyperlinks, i.e., hyperlinks from one other web page on the identical web site.

Make no mistake—inside hyperlinks are a rating issue. They’re actually vital. Google makes use of inside hyperlinks to:

  • Uncover new pages – Inner hyperlinks present a crawl path to focus on pages.
  • Cross hyperlink fairness between your pages – Inner linking can increase different pages in your web site.
  • Perceive what a web page is about – Understanding the content material of your pages helps Google rank them. The anchor textual content of the inner hyperlink issues too.

So make certain to interlink related content material in your web site and remember the fact that you need to use hyperlinks to spice up different pages (aka the Intermediary Methodology).

Advanced filters in Internal link opportunities report

The extra content material you’ve got, the tougher it’s to maintain up with inside linking. That is the place AWT can do the heavy lifting for you. You should utilize the mechanically generated report or use the “Superior” filter to see hyperlink alternatives to a selected web page.

Closing ideas

All in all, that is various work. And sadly, there’s no method round it. However you can also make your job simpler in the event you’ve bought the proper instruments.

To begin with, you might need to take a better take a look at the “Search engine optimisation-friendliness” of the CMS that your web site is constructed with.

Some CMSs will attempt to simplify issues as a lot as attainable, which may end up in much less room for personalisation. Others would require extra consideration from you however offer you extra potentialities in return. These three articles ought to assist you make a extra knowledgeable alternative:

Secondly, as talked about in our guidelines, make certain to arrange Search engine optimisation audit instruments for automated Search engine optimisation well being monitoring (amongst others). As you add extra content material to your web site, you might run into Search engine optimisation points like damaged hyperlinks, damaged pictures, or canonicalization points. An audit device will catch them for you.

One final piece of recommendation: You probably have a JavaScript-heavy web site, make certain to take a look at some further steps coated on this information.

Acquired questions? Ping me on Twitter.