Web development and SEO are the two most uncommon pair, like hot sauce and cauliflower. It’s a wild food combo but works best together. Likewise, the web development practices can impact the search engine rankings of a website, even when the developers don’t write a single line of content apart from code lines.
Website development involves server-side programming and client-side programming, so if you are wondering how their work can improve or plummet SEO ranking, then this the right place to learn. At the best of interests, let’s speak only about how search rankings can be improved rather than the other way round.
7-Point Best Website Development Practices to Improve SEO
The URL structure of Google, do you understand anything? The search giant need not bother about that. But just know this- SEO depends on the page name in your URL structure.
The more accessible you make things; better will be your SEO value. A URL structure is something that is easily overlooked. But what we don’t understand is that it impacts the indexation process.
Elements of an URL:
Basically, it looks something like this. a: Apart from FTP and Telnet, HTTP is the most popular application network protocol. HTTPS add a little SEO value to the website since it is secure.
b: Website domain name.
c: Sub-directory of the file.
d: The page name/file-name of the requested resource.
When you are choosing the page name, make sure it is coming with the actual product name or keyword. A user as soon as he searches for something should easily interpret what the web page is all about.
Even for Google bots, it is the same state.
Now between these two neither Google nor the user can understand what product they are going to see. Also, if you observe the second URL in the above box, I have used hyphens in between the product name, which is a good practice.
Hyphens allow you to separate keywords and as far as other symbols or operators avoid them as much as possible.
Agreed that HTML is the standard language used in web page creation, but it has a lot of limitations that don’t allow a website to grow with scaling business.
3. Look out for Crawl Errors
When the search bots are set to crawl and index your website, in your best interests it would be good if there are no (excessive) errors. It even depends on the size of your website.
If Amazon has 100 or even 500 errors, it might not affect much. But if the website with 500 products with 100 crawl errors is a grave threat to the site’s search ranking.
Some of the common errors picked by Google are 404 or 503 status.5XX will be usually related to server issues on which the website hosted. Then we have 4XX that denies access to the particular requested URL and developers can fix it with appropriate redirects.
Soft 404s, your website instead of returning 404 error message will get you with 301, 302, or even 200 error.
The best way is the web developer as said before can work on redirects, check for crawl errors after website relaunch, check for bad links or false URLs, and follow Google configuration rules to maintain good site performance.
4. 301 Redirects
301 redirects are used to tell search engines and users about the change of website address. It is very important as a redirect tag could influence search rankings. You have to use 301 redirects,
When you want to change the entire root domain.
To avoid users from visiting old web pages.
Reorganize pages by changing or removing a directory.
You want a vanity URL.
Having 301 redirects will help you retain the SEO value of the websites that will go under changes.
5. Keep an Eye on Speed & Security
Speed sells and that is the reality of online business.
Research by Aberdeen group showed that a second-delay in page load time resulted in 11% in page views and 7% loss in conversions. Web developers can use image resizing tool and optimize website images. The number of plugins used should be reduced and any unnecessary code in CSS files should be removed.
One more important method to improve website page load time is caching. When the number of server requests is reduced it influences the page load time.
Coming to the website security, the search bots greatly prefer websites that are safe for users. Web developers must keep all the installed software and plugins up-to-date. Also, the login forms should be encrypted (SSL encryption), and use a secure host to get the website hosted.
6. Make sure to add Alt Tags for Images
It’s termed as image optimization.
When you see a picture of a baby smiling, you’ll instantly understand what’s going on in the picture. But search spiders need help in this. And all you have to do is add Alt tags to the images.
Here’s an example,
As the search bot realizes that you have a well-chosen image for your content, it’s a benefit for your search visibility.
7. Create Unique Meta Descriptions
A short paragraph that you below the clickable link on the search engine result page is the Meta Description.
Also referred to as Meta description attribute or tag, it is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the content of your web page relevant to the user search query. Search engines pull the snippet of text out of the website page and it is seen under the headline.
The standard length of the Meta description was 160 characters, but recently in 2017, Google updated the word length to be 275 characters or more. Meta descriptions can improve click-through-rate, so avoid tag duplication, write compelling Meta description ad copy, highlight keywords, and give users a reason to visit your website.
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