SEO Strategies for Web Developers
Even some of the most talented web developers neglect to develop websites with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. Their main goal is to inject aesthetic appeal, often overlooking basic SEO along the way.
Images, splash pages and flash videos are often given priority over the structure of the sites navigation and architecture, which greatly assists search engines in finding and indexing the important pages on your website.
This challenge often carries long-term issues for a developed sites ability to rank well. The following outlines the crucial and core elements that every web developer or web designer should integrate into their work pattern, so the site owner can effectively market their website unhindered.
1. Streamlining Your Code: Many web developers use underlying code that is staggeringly heavy. The search engine bots prefer code that is light and efficient, and when this is implemented, have a better chance of efficiently crawling your pages. This practice will ultimately lead to higher organic search engine rankings. For example, the same visual outcome can be attained by using an external CSS file as opposed to a heavy HTML table.
2. Maintaining the Same Keyword Structure for Each Page: For the best SEO outcome, individual pages should be aimed at a specific set of keywords. All the crawlable components such as tags and content, and the surrounding code, needs to be set-up in a way that focuses on a single set of keywords.
3. Using Keywords Within Title Tags: Search engines depend on page titles as a means of determining the thematic relevance relating to a web page. If a search engine bot see’s similar looking title tags, it’s going to have a negative influence on the ability to rank these pages. Place your primary keywords at the front of the page title, and ensure it is unique in nature compared to every other page.
4. Friendly URLS: The structure of a website, plays a significant role in supporting SEO. It’s a common situation for web developers to use unfriendly SEO URLs. As an example, when you see a URL extension that does not match the page title, this is an indication that the web developer has given no SEO consideration to the URL structure. For example, the web pages might look something like this: domain.com/?page38&num=4158&fw=thur34&r=dr107
The ability for search engines to index pages with non-friendly URLs is often hindered. In addition, it does nothing to support the relevancy of theme of the web page.
If the page focuses on golf balls, the following example would be a far more suitable URL extension: domain.com/golf-balls/
SEO friendly URL extensions play one of the most crucial roles for search engines to identify the keywords needed to rank a web page.
5. Keyword Density: In addition to optimizing the title tags and URLs, the page’s main keyword needs to be used throughout the page content. Use your primary keyword at the top of the page in the H1 tag, as well as within the body of the page content. Avoid keyword stuffing, and keep your keyword density below 3% within the page text area.
6. Avoid or limit Flash: Flash is a common component used by many web designers and developers as a means to create visual appeal for visitors, and can be a powerful tool as a means of capturing your visitors attention. Flash can not be read by search engines or any of its underlying content. Too much flash within a web page is the main reason why many beautifully developed sites fail to rank well in Google and other search engines. Search engine bots can read page text, not much else.
7. Adding Semantically-Relevant Content: As mentioned in point 6, the main keyword for the page needs to be integrated in specific ways. Further to this point, ideally, you need to develop your page content in a way that includes extended keyword phrases relevant to the main keyword.
For example, if your primary keyword for a page is targeting golf balls, use related keywords such as golf clubs, or golf courses etc. This really boils down to implementing sound copywriting methods, something many web developers fail to recommend.
8. Internal Linking: Internal links are the page links within your website that point to each other. Proper internal linking is essential to allow search engine spiders to locate all the pages within your site. Web developers can assist a sites ranking potential by generously linking to internal pages of a website. Common forms of internal linking include using highlighted keyword anchor text within the page content body, as well as setting up a dedicated site map page, that hosts the important linking structures within a website.
9. Use the Image Alt Attribute: Search engines cannot identify the meaning of images, unless there is a contextual element added to the image by using an alt tag.
Using an alt tag, is basic an on-site SEO practice which is simple to implement, yet commonly overlooked by web developers and web designers. Adding alt tags to images supports the other SEO practices already discussed, and can assist the ranking potential of a web page.
When other websites begin linking to your website, these links start to create authority for your own site in the eyes of search engines, particularly if these links are thematically relevant to your website. All this adds to the long-term rank positioning for your website, and assists in fortifying its high rankings.
However, millions of websites are developed with visual appeal and beauty as the main focus, and as a result, go unnoticed by its target market. In order for any website to gain exposure, be it a redesigned website or a brand-new one, make sure your web developer takes SEO into consideration.