Search engine optimization (SEO) and Web development become increasingly intertwined as search engines become more intelligent. That is why must need to know about SEO best practices for developers. In addition, experts in both fields are necessary to have a basic understanding of the other.
Today, I’m talking to web developers. While you can leave the nitty-gritty to the Search engine optimization experts, the best practices I will talk about in this piece could help you communicate with your team, provide better services to your customers and raise your brand image. In this article, learn the 8 SEO best practices for developers.
What Do Developers Need to Know About SEO?
If you are responsible for building and maintaining a website, you are also partially responsible for being sure it can rank in the search engines.
SEO is oft broken down into three categories:
- Technical SEO: how search engine bots crawl & index a website
- On-page SEO: how well the content on the site is optimized for target keywords & user experience
- Off-page SEO: how other sites link to your site to boost its authority
Of course, developers play a huge part in technical SEO, however, this is not where SEO for developers should end. They also help make sure a positive user experience, which can help with on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
8 SEO Best Practices For Developers
Here’re the eight SEO best practices for developers can focus on to take their endeavor to the next level.
1. Keep Your Code Clean
Web developers can do so a lot of amazingly intricate things, but it pays to keep things easy more oft than not.
Consumers value facilities more than almost anything else. We want fast access to information, and all that gets in the way harms the user experience. More complicated code can lead to more roadblocks for website visitors.
Keeping your code clean is one of the first key steps in SEO for developers. When people land on a site, they make quick-fire decisions about whether it is value the effort.
2. Keep Load Times Fast
Building on the point about complicated code: load times are crucial to SEO.
Search engines want to send users to sites that fastly and accurately answer their questions.
If other websites can deliver comparable information twice as fast as yours, Google will eventually prioritize them on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Even if load times were not a direct ranking part, this would still be a huge issue.
A page’s load time directly affects its bounce rate. For instance, pages that take 2 seconds to load have an average bounce rate of 6%. At 4 seconds, that rate jumps to 24%, and once a mere 6 seconds have passed, 46% of visitors are gone.
When Google looks at people bouncing straight back to the search results, it eventually thinks your page is not worth it and assigns less ranking power.
3. Use the Correct Redirects
Websites are always evolving. Content gets updated, new elements are added, pages move, and developers be sure this happens smoothly.
The end-user is the major critical factor in this equation because anything you do has to work for them. However, you have also got to think about how the crawlers view your site.
This is where it’s crucial to know how redirects work in SEO.
The two most general redirects that impact SEO are 301 and 302 redirects.
A 301 redirect indicates to the search engines that a site or pages have constantly moved. When you use a 301 redirect, the search engines will transfer major of the original page’s link equity to the new page.
A 302 redirect, on the other hand, indicates that the page has been temporarily moved. This can be used if you’re redesigning or updating your website but want to keep the original page’s link equity.
Using redirects properly may embark such a small thing, but it can make a huge difference in SEO terms.
4. Add a Sitemap
Search engines are very sophisticated, but they don’t experience a website as humans do. They need you to put clues about how pages link together, and one of the key ways you can do this is with your sitemap.
When indexing your website, bots follow all links to see where they go. One way you can help with this procedure is by adding a sitemap.
Google and the other search engines should be viable to crawl your overall website if you use good internal linking. However, huge sites can get complicated, so a sitemap makes things simpler for the search engines and makes sure your website will be indexed appropriately.
5. Be Sure the Site Works on Mobile
Mobile devices account for 54.8%of site traffic. Google knows this, so it prioritizes sites that offer a great mobile experience.
Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means when its bots crawl your website, they utilize the mobile version. If your site does not perform on mobile devices, it’s unlikely to rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Even today, so many websites neglect this crucial fact.
To check how your site performs on mobile, Google’s mobile-friendly test is a convenient choice. It gives you a fast performance check and tells you where you can make reforms.
If you want to dig a little bit deeper, then Google Lighthouse is also a good choice for overall UX.
6. Check the Robots.txt File
The robots.txt file sets rules for how web crawlers crawl different parts of a site. It’s a simple piece of code, but it can have a significant effect.
A robots.txt file inadvertently blocking crawlers from content can be catastrophic for SEO. If the bots can not crawl the page, it would not be indexed—meaning it won’t embark in search results.
occasionally, webmasters don’t want a page indexed, and a robots.txt file is a precious tool. However, if your SEO team notices a page that should be getting traffic is not, keep an eye out for an evil robots.txt file.
7. Ensure Follow/No Follow Links Are Used Appropriately
Links are such as the language of the search engine, so you have got to be viable to speak it.
One difference to be aware of is follow links vs no-follow links.
Follow links, also called do-follow links, are backlinks where the peoples linking to the page doesn’t edit the HTML to make sure Google doesn’t associate their website with others. When a website gives a clean backlink with no changes, a crawler looks at this as one page vouching for the quality of the other.
Crawlers unmoving look at no-follow links to see where they go, however they don’t ascribe worth to the link.
From an SEO standpoint, you want to follow links from authoritative sites to yours. But, you should still consider no-follow links worth it. Even if the link itself doesn’t give authority, it can still drive traffic to or from your website.
For developers, this means they have got to be sure they are utilizing the right links to communicate properly with the crawlers.
8. Understand and Implement Structured Data
Structured data can be tricky for more people involved with SEO…and this is where developers can really glow. Developers already understand how to format a page so that all basics of it flow well and can be read by both human and search engine searchers.
When used well, structured data lets Google know exactly what’s on all parts of a webpage. Indeed, it can tell Google surely what questions you are answering.
Increasing organic traffic is a goal for many website owners, so SEO best practices for developers are more important.
Great developers naturally aid SEO by creating user-friendly websites, however, it pays to know search engine optimization itself. Even just the basics could grant you to make extra informed decisions and offer a good service for your clients.
SEO for developers doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can make everything the difference to a website’s success.