How HTAccess Helps in On-Site SEO?

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By safikul

On-site search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary practice in digital marketing services in the USA. Along with keyword research, placement, and building backlinks in website content; website’s interface and elements are also optimized. It helps SEO to effectively rank sites higher for search engine result page (SERP) with the .htaccess configuration file.

This file is helpful for webmasters who use Apache web server software for their websites. HT access file is placed within the directory and is detected and executed via Apache web server. It changes the configuration of the web server and enables or disables specific functionalities. Such as redirect function, and access content with a password. All of these changes can be made via writing few lines of code in “.htaccess” file.

Tricks for On-Site SEO:

Some of the tricks are given below that improve the overall performance of websites with little changes in “.htaccess” file.

Disallow Access to Indexed-File:

Every website consists of file folders called directory. And each file represents specific web content or web page for user’s display. Some cases occur when user requests for a web page but that particular web page is not called out within URL. For example,

But, it is important that each directory contains an indexed file that uniquely identifies each file within the directory. That is, index-file.html. It facilitates web servers to address the requested query by the user directly. However, it is also essential that indexed file remains hidden from website visitors.

Why should Indexed File be Hidden?

  • It gives a proper sitemap of your website to hackers to breach. When they understand your directory, it is easier for them to hack your website.
  • Moreover, many users don’t go through each tag with the indexed page. They prefer to see web content on the homepage rather than getting found on another web page. It gives a bad user experience.

Hence, SEO services in the USA add Options-Indexes in the root folder of the “.htaccess” file. It disables web server to show directory to users. Alternatively, visitors are provided with a clear listing of all the web content on home-page with icons or buttons. Thus, disallowing indexed files offer a user-friendly interface of a website and eventually improves on-site SEO.

Direct Links To Preferred Website:

Website visitors request websites either by or by “” URLs. There is no specific difference between these website URLs and provide a duplicate version of the same site to visitors.

Why there should be Preferred Version of Website?

Different backlinks on both versions of the same website have duplicate content on both sites (www and non-www). It creates canonical issues for search engine crawlers that can also lead to penalties.

Therefore, it is essential that your preferred website version contains all the crucial backlinks within the domain. It is up to webmasters what version they prefer, either www or without www version. But it will help SEO to prioritize on-site content for search engine crawlers to analyze. But the users will get the same result for both URLs.


Authority of the non-preferred version of the website can be shifted to the preferred version by using 301 permanent redirects. Following piece of code is added within “.htaccess” file for this purpose:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %( HTTP_HOST) ^

RewriteRule (.*)$1 {R=301, L}

Create Customized Error Pages:

There are different types of errors generated by websites. Such as;
500 Server Error: showing that something is wrong with the web server.
400 Bad Request: showing that request for a webpage is incorrect.
403 Forbidden Error: disallowing access to the requested page.

Why create Customized Error Messages?

Creating random error generation messages for your website can cause you to lose your potential customers. Error solving is the essential need for providing better user experience to visitors and customers. But, it can take some time. But editing “.htaccess” file with following the line of code can easily help webmasters to customize each error.

Error Document NUM/ folder/ name. extension

For example, Error Document 500/errors/server.html

These customized error generation messages can give a clue to your website visitor about what went wrong. And provide instructions about next steps that a user should take. In this way, visitors are provided with better user-experience and SEO is enhanced.


Off-site SEO and on-site SEO work together for improving overall business visibility on the search engines. As mentioned above, many on-site SEO factors can collectively boost website ranking on search engines. And, webmasters can quickly optimize the website by merely editing “.htaccess” file.

Information Process Solutions is a digital marketing agency in USA that provides the best on-site and off-site SEO services for effective marketing solutions.

About safikul

Safikul Islam is a professional Software Engineer with vast experience in research and development field. Presently, He Works for eLiveStory. He also has a strong passion for writing creative blogs and articles about fashion, new technology,Jewelry and following the latest trends in these areas.

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