SEO for web developers is a controversial topic. Web developers are expected to have sharp technical skills but they need to have a whole another set of skills when it comes to designing an SEO-friendly website. Unlike web development, SEO is not an exact science. SEO cannot be plastered onto an existing website, it needs to be built in since the very beginning. Hence, it has become mandatory for web developers to understand the deepest roots of SEO that can make a positive change in the entire web design approach.
Here are a few practices that pretty much sum up the concept of SEO for web developers –
A Title Tag is the most important on-page SEO signal. It gives a strong hint about the content of your page and helps search engines decide which page should be displayed for a user’s query. Therefore, it is always a good idea to include your keywords in the title but avoid keyword stuffing. The title should always be a readable sequence of keywords.
A URL is the first thing search engine crawlers see and it tells a lot about your site. Hence, always try to keep your URLs as clean as possible.
For instance, below are two URLs
The first one is a great example of a clean URL, which displays the website name, category, and the title clearly. While the second one is loaded with a lot of parameters making it hard to understand what the page is about. Hence, users are less likely to click on this URL.
Google’s policy for duplicate content states that:
“In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”
If your website is full of duplicate content, the search engine bots will waste time crawling those redundant URLs because of which they will find it difficult to identify which pages to rank.
There are many ways to resolve duplicate content. Here are a few of them –
Determine preferred URLs.
Be consistent on your site.
Apply 301 permanent redirects wherever necessary and possible.
Implement the rel=”canonical” link element on your pages wherever you can.
Structuring your website
For a better engagement with your audience, you need to focus on the website structure. There is always a particular path which is navigated by a user to get to the information they need. The website should be designed in an organized manner and navigation should be simplified. This would definitely increase the traffic coming your way.
Website designing is fun but it can also be a challenging affair. These challenges can affect a website’s SEO if you are not careful of the SEO practices during the development phase. Following these practices will help you get your site to a great place from an SEO perspective.
Being a web developer, your aim should be to furnish your development knowledge with the key elements of SEO, in order to create an SEO friendly website. After all, it is the complete SEO for web developer package that sets the SEO fireball rolling.