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Most important rules for website SEO


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Ok, i'm going to start up a small site and I want to get the basics down for SEO.


I know it's important to get a good domain name with the keyword in it for the market i'm trying to capture (photography in my case). Anyone want to take a stab at all the rules or best practices for SEO?


Does everyone agree Wordpress is the way to go? What about phpbb like this site's forum?

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Wordpress has a lot of plugins you can use which take care of most of the SEO for you so yeah, I think wordpress is the way to go.


Other than that, the key to good SEO a good domain name with the keyword and really good content! Content is king!

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I think you all hit most of the high points


Friendly URLS (no ugly ?=?? dynamic links)

Limit Dupe Content (restrict Search pages using Robots.txt etc..)

Canonical URL's

Short, Clean Titles

XML Sitemaps to increase Bot Crawling of your site

Good alt tags on photos/screenshots and video


That being said, no matter how ugly your website may be, the key to a successful and popular website is FREQUENT, GOOD, ORIGINAL Content.


Once you have great content people enjoy or need... the all important back links and traffic will follow.


Now, with that out of the way, here are a few plugins I use here on GroovyPost to "assist" with my Search Engine SEO.


1 - Wordpress

Wordpress is clean and simple CMS which is a great platform for small to medium sized websites. The thriving community ensure great new additions called Plugins which further enhance both the overall functionality of your website but also the SEO level.


Drupal is also one of my favorites which powers several of my websites. If I were not using Wordpress on groovyPost.com, I would be using Drupal.


2 - All in One SEO Pack

The All in One SEO plugin is the Wordpress staple for making your Wordpress install more SEO friendly. The key features of the plugin include: inserting Canonical URL's into the meta data of pages and posts, Optimized Titles for Search Engines, Generates META tags automatically, Avoids DUPE content by setting certain pages as NOINDEX (such as categories, tags etc..). You can pretty much install it and leave the defaults.


3 - Google XML Sitemaps

Another staple for most Wordpress blogs, the XML Sitemap generator doesn't necessarily improve overall SEO on my pages however, it does make the job of Search Engines much easier because they get a direct map of all my pages AND the Plugin will PING them when new content has been added. This not only saves bandwidth as Google/Bing/Yahoo no longer need to crawl every page looking for updates and more conent but it also increases the time to search for my new or updated content.


In addition to the 3 plugins above, I also highly recommend creating a Webmaster account on all the major search engines and register your site. This will open up more tools and information regarding your site including Sitemap submission, sitemap erros, crawling issues, most popular keywords, optimization options, etc...


Google Webmaster Tools (Very Robust)

Bing Webmaster Tools (Very basic)

Yahoo! Site Explorer (Better than Bing but very slow and now very useful for anything other than submitting Feeds and XML Sitemaps)


Lastly, to prevent your entire site from showing up twice on a search engine, it's always handy to ensure redirect your groovypost.com domain to http://www.groovypost.com through a 301 redirect. With the improvements of Google and other search engines the value of this trick may not be what it used to do however, there's no harm in it.


Here's the Apache code for an .htaccess file to do the redirect. Just replace the domain with your own (obviously):

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.groovypost\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.groovypost.com/$1 [QSA,L,R=301]


Those are a few of my tricks, what did I miss?

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  • 4 months later...
Ok so I'm doing all that however what do you think is better? http://www.domain.com or http://domain.com? I'm starting up a new site and not sure if I should be using www or not in the URL.


Thoughts? Any SEO advantages using www vs. not using www?


Great question.


Honestly, unless WWW is going to be a keyword for your website, it makes no difference on your website. My recommendation however would be if you do just use domain.com rather than http://www.domain.com you should redirect any http://www.domain.com traffic to domain.com. The reason being is that so many people out there are trained to just type http://www.domain.com. With that in mind, just do the redirect.


I did this with http://groovyhacks.com. I left off the www sub-domain however I do the redirect just in case you type in http://www.groovyhacks.com

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So yeah.... At the time when I started groovyPost.com, I really didn't understand SEO yet because I was JUST starting out. :)


As the years have progressed I've gained more and more experience with SEO (and started about 20 more websites....) so yeah, had I started out from the beginning knowing what I know now, I would have dropped off the www.

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  • 1 month later...

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