Site Layout Architecture
1. Ensure content is clear and upfront – Content should be front and centre on any web page. At a minimum the page’s title should be ‘above the fold’; that is visible without the visitor having to scroll.
2. Avoid too many ads above the fold – While display advertising is an essential revenue model for many websites, too many ads above the fold may impact negatively on search rankings. Ensure any display advertising is non intrusive and clearly distinguishable from content.
3. Create a content hierarchy – A well designed hierarchy keeps content organised and allows pagerank to flow effectively round a website, boosting key ‘hub’ pages.
4. Ensure navigation is clear – Navigation should be easy to locate and intuitive for both search engines and users.
5. Nofollow any paid/affiliate links – All paid links should have the rel=”nofollow” attribute added. This includes affiliate links.
<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">Paid Link</a>
6. Use SEO friendly URLs – URLs should be human readable and follow a logical structure. Short URLs which include target keywords (separated by hyphens) are considered best for SEO.
7. Ensure you have clearly visible contact information – Contact details should be easy to find and ideally should include a physical address.
9. Minimise boiler plate text – Keep duplicated text in layouts (i.e. sidebars) to a minimum.
10. If you are targeting local SEO include your address in layout – Add your physical address and contact details to your page layout when targeting local keywords .
11. Use www. or non www – Whichever you choose, ensure your site is only accessible and indexable by either www or non www. Best practice is to also set the preferred domain in webmaster tools.