7 Essential SEO Best Practices for Web Developers – MUO – MakeUseOf
However impressive your website is, it’s nothing without visitors. Make sure you get as many as you deserve with these helpful hints.
In today’s technological landscape, there is too much content to consume and too little time in which to do it. Having a well-developed website is not enough to stand out from the congested online space.
Fortunately, there are simple techniques that you can follow to improve your website’s ranking and exposure to search engines. Find out all about these practices and how you can attract organic traffic to your sites.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that gives your content the best chance of having search engines promote it. You can use various techniques to ensure your content is clean, of good quality, and presents itself well to search engine indexers. Follow them closely and you should be able to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic.
As a developer, your focus is typically on building and managing your site's structure and functionality. However, understanding SEO should also be a part of your skillset, for many reasons:
When thinking about semantic markup, consider how you need to structure your webpage. This involves using accurate HTML elements for the information you want to convey.
For example, <div> and <span> elements are versatile, but they do not carry any semantic value. There may be a better alternative, depending on the context, like <header>, <nav>, <article>, <section>, <footer>, and <aside>.
You should also pay attention to heading hierarchy. Use H1 – H6 elements appropriately, to represent your document hierarchy. This allows search engines to better understand how you've organized your content and what its order of importance is. Semantic HTML is good for SEO as it enhances accessibility and puts your website higher in ranking.
The title element is one of the first you’ll find out about when learning HTML. Title tags are important signals that help search engines understand what your website is about. They are one of the most important factors that impact how your pages rank in search results. Here is an example of a title tag implementation on Google.
This image shows a high-ranked search result for the search "buy books online". The highlighted text is a title tag, which you can add to your HTML page’s <head> section like this:
Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a title:
It's not enough to just use title tags. Optimizing title tags with relevant keywords, appropriate length, and creative words goes a long way in SEO.
Meta descriptions summarize the content of a webpage. This preview entices users to click on your website. Meta descriptions are important features of SERPs. If you don’t add meta descriptions, Google will take topics from your content to substitute as meta descriptions. The result may not be very accurate and might not contain the catchy words you need to draw users to your webpage.
Here’s an example of a meta description:
This image highlights the meta description of a website, which is easy to define in HTML. Here’s an example description for a page about tech books:
You should bear in mind some important points when writing meta descriptions:
Meta descriptions do not directly affect search engine ranking, but a good meta description makes it more likely for people to visit your website from a set of search results.
Your site’s URLs should be descriptive and clear to both visitors and search engines. A poorly structured URL can harm your website’s ranking. Many search engines highlight URLs quite prominently:
A good URL, with a clean structure, should:
Well-structured URLs that are descriptive, free of unnecessary parameters, and precise are essential for maintaining a good website ranking.
People access websites more on mobile phones than on desktops, making mobile-friendliness a very important aspect of SEO. As a result, search engines now reward mobile-friendly websites in their rankings, punishing those that aren't. You can improve the mobile-friendliness of your websites using CSS media queries and many other methods.
Using CSS techniques to create mobile-friendly websites that adapt to different screen sizes, gives your website good standing in SERPs.
As there are lots of websites, there are a lot of images on them. Website ranking is closely tied to images, as they enhance website performance, user experience, and SEO. You can optimize images by compressing them and using alt attributes (sometimes called "alt tags".)
Alt attributes help search engines associate images with the content of web pages. This enables search engines to index them properly within their search results. You should write alt attributes for an audience that may be unable to view images. This audience includes those with vision impairments as well as search engines that do not analyze image content.
Ensure you accurately describe your images and include relevant keywords. Here's an example of an image and how you might use an alt attribute to optimize it in HTML:
The faster your website loads, the better. When a page takes too long to load, users get disinterested and click away. Fast-loading websites improve the user experience and tend to have higher engagement and SEO rankings. There are a few techniques that can help you as a developer optimize page speed, some of which are:
Remember, the lighter or more optimized your website is, in terms of file size, the faster it loads.
By embracing these SEO best practices as part of your development process, you will be in a better position to create a website that not only ranks high in SERPs but also provides an exceptional user experience.
Remember that SEO is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring and analysis to keep up with search engine algorithms.
Ife is a passionate and dedicated tech professional with a focus on Front-end Development. Driven by the desire to simplify complex concepts, ventured into technical writing.