Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving, ever-diversifying concept, with newer ranking algorithms being introduced time and again. It’s imperative for you, as a web developer or designer to buckle up and match the pace of the transformations in the world of the internet.
Website design is not just concerned about the look and feel of the site, to please the visitors, but also about how the underlying structure of it. The website design, for instance, can have both positive and negative repercussions from the SEO perspective.
If you are a developer, possessing knowledge about basic SEO hacks goes a long way. Follow this SEO checklist for web developers to convert your website into a Google-loved top-ranking site!
SEO tips for Web Developers
1. Keep the site’s structure in mind
Before designing a website, pay heed to a proper and clear structure of the site ready. The structure should not incorporate random illogical pages but in accordance with the holistic purpose of your website.
Ensure having a section that depicts the objective of the existence of your website. Have different subpages under each section. For Instance, if you are a professional photographer and cater to photography projects for a variety of clients, you can have a photography website, with wildlife photography as a sub-section, wedding photography as another sub-section, and food photography as the third one.
Under each of these categories, you can have the different projects that you have worked on, to be displayed to the website visitors. This makes the website look quite organized and great to look at.
Just one thing to keep in mind is that you should avoid having tens or more subpages, which makes it tedious for Google to crawl your website. At the most, 3-5 layers are sufficient.
2. Give due importance to Site navigation
Apart from structuring the site properly, ensure that it is easy to navigate for the visitors as well as for Google. On the home page itself, place a navigation bar, which makes all the pages of the site easy to find out.
All the pages should be linked to some other sections or sub-sections of the site. Avoid having pages that aren’t linked to other pages. Google, apart from the website visitors won’t be able to find the pages if they cannot be navigated through links.
3. Structure the URL carefully
For SEO, you as a web developer need to structure the URL properly. Follow the best practices below, to ensure that your site performs well.
- Keep the URL short and sweet so that the visitors are able to remember it. A long URL is not easy to recall.
- The content of the URL should be in plain English, avoid using numbers, or short forms.
- To allow the reader to clearly understand what’s inside the website through the URL, hyphenate the content to enhance the readability of the content.
- Naturally include the keywords in the URL, and strictly say no to keyword stuffing.
4. Make your website load faster
All of us are aware of the decreasing attention span of the digital audience, they do not stick around to a webpage for any more than a few seconds. And your website won’t be treated any differently if it takes more than a few seconds to load. People would exit that particular page without taking the expected action.
Also, Google punished those web pages by placing them at a lower position in the Search Engine Results Page. And this is not a piece of good news!
So, to avoid being in this position, there are certain tools available online, which help you by telling the speed of the webpages and how can you make your website load faster, by working on certain areas of your site. Work on this aspect of the SEO checklist for web developers to have a lightning-fast website for the ease of usage of the audience.
5. Consider having a mobile-optimized design seriously
The current era is mobile-first. Any website which does not have a mobile-friendly User Interface is no good. Google also ranks those websites well at the top which have a mobile-responsive design.
Why is this essential?
Because today’s viewers are more comfortable working and surfing online through small screens, and for you to gauge the benefits of having their attention, you have to have a mobile-friendly and responsive website.
There are several tools available that show the mobile-friendliness of your website.
6. Work on your images for SEO
Having your website image-optimized is another key thing to take care of, to ensure ranking high on the results page. As of yet, Google is not able to understand and read the images, so you would have to help Google do so.
Follow these tips:
- Make proper use of the alt tags for the images, which refers to what exactly the image is depicting, and helps the search engine know more about your image.
- Give a proper name to your images, and avoid using the ‘image123’ kind of names.
- Keep in mind that having larger than required image sizes could substantially reduce your website page load speed, so avoid enlarging your images.
7. Focus on the title, meta description, and the header content
The title of the web page should include the keyword, and should not be copy-pasted from another similar-looking web page. Similarly, for the header content, include the primary keyword especially in the <h1> tag. By doing this, you are following the best practices for on-page SEO.
Meta Description is the additional space offered to you below the title link on the results page. Make proper use of this space to depict what the page is all about, to attract viewers to click and visit the website.
Source: Search Engine Watch
8. Pay attention to the schema markup
It’s still under discussion whether structured data such as schema markup helps follow the SEO practice, but it is a suggested thing to do to attract more visitors. Over some time, the increase in website traffic would lead to higher rankings on the search engine.
9. Say no to Flash content
Typically, search engine crawlers cannot view the flash content on your website. So, for SEO purposes, it simply doesn’t exist.
Thus, using flash content on the parts of your website, like the home page, the navigation bar needs to be avoided.
10. Attract visitors through a great site interface
SEO is just not about all the technicalities of the website, it also pays heed to the user interface and the design of the website which aids the visitors. So, ensure having a great website design, and a comfortable site interface for the audiences’ convenience.
This would make the viewers stick around to your website for a longer time period and would keep your exit rate down.
The SEO checklist for web developers above displays the tips and tricks for your website to rank at the top of the results page, attract and retain visitors for a good amount of time, and make the intended actions on your website.
Follow these tips and tricks to develop a website that is fully functional, SEO-compliant, and responsive to the needs and expectations of the spectators.