Today, in Part 1, we will take a look at the first 3
Search Engine Accessibility
These factors decide how easy it is for Search Engine spiders to access your website.
Robots.txt – This little file in the domain’s root folder helps us control how search engine crawlers access our website.
Sitemaps.xml – This file makes it easier for search engine crawlers to visit your website by identifying the structure and importance of pages in our website
Static or Dynamic – Dynamic websites need more care to avoid duplication of pages and making the URL names search engine friendly and user friendly.
SEO friendly URLs – A dynamic URL may be something like http://www.site.com/product.php?product-id=9&c=12 meaning product 9 category 12 which is not user friendly and also difficult for Search Engine Crawlers. A URL rewrite would translate this to http://www.site.com/category-name/product-name.php which is SEO and user friendly.
Search Engine Presence
This looks at the number of pages your website has in search engines, the number of links from other websites to your website, number of duplicate URLs.
Saturation – The number of pages indexed by a Search Engine.
Backlinks – The number of external links pointing to your website as detected by the Search Engines.
Duplicate URLs – This is likely to affect a website negatively especially for their SEO requirements. The aim is to reduce or eliminate duplicate pages as the value search engine algorithms give a page gets split across multiple similar pages.
There are a combination of SEO and Usability issues including Titles, Meta Tags, Header Tags, Call to Action and Navigation as well as the Content.
Call to action – This is usually the main purpose of your website. The action you expect your visitor to take. This could be filling a form, completing a transaction or downloading a file. It should be tested thoroughly for position, display and such factors to find the best click through rate.
Site Navigation – This decides how easy it is for users to move around the website to find what they are looking for. As a thumb rule, it should take no longer than 3 clicks to reach any part of your website.
Page Title – This is an important factor as it is displayed as the title of your result in search engines and is also a factor in the ranking algorithms.
Meta Description – This is used by search engines to pick excerpts to display in the search results depending on the search query.
H1 Tag – This contains the most important headline on the web page
Alt tags – These are part of your image tags and the text is displayed if images do not load and it is also useful for people with disabilities who use readers.
Browser compatibility – It is important to see how your site looks in various browsers as the days of Internet Explorer as the only dominant browser are over. Add to that the Smartphones and this is a major task.
Page Content – This includes the text, images and any media used to display to the user.
In part 2, we will look at the factors which go beyond the Page level of your website.