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SEO Strategy Rulebook For Web Developers

A good SEO strategy is so much more than just keywords and content. It actually comprises a lot of technical elements that are happening behind the scenes. If you want your website to perform well in search engine rankings, incorporating these SEO techniques are imperative. When working with a developer, it is important to articulate these requirements to them before they start building the website. We have laid out a basic rulebook to guide your developer in ensuring that your SEO strategy is up to speed.

 

1. Ensure Crawl-ability

Before any SEO strategy can be effective, you will need to ensure that your website is accessible to search engines. This means that their robots or spiders are able to see and read your website content. 

To use this, you should have a Google Search Console account. This is a free service from Google which helps you to monitor and maintain your website’s presence on the search results page. In other words, it helps you to understand and improve how Google views your website. 

In Google Search Console, use the “URL inspection” tool to see how your page appears on Google. An important note for developers is that crawlers generally are not able to read iframes and are limited when indexing Flash. Thus, it would be better to keep the important content in HTML format. 

 

2. Create Optimised URL

Your website will compose of multiple web pages. Each page will have a unique URL which is essential to SEO as well as the user experience. For search engine crawlers, this is the first thing that they crawl. Thus, it is important to have a URL that is informative and reflects the content on the page. 

Avoid using URL like this:

https://www.websitename.com/index-category_id=123?&product_name=456

An example of a good URL is:

https://www.websitename.com/category/product-name

You will note that the 1st URL looks confusing and does not inform the user or the search engine what the page is about. Thus the search engine will have difficulties in determining the relevance of the page to a keyword. Additionally, users are also much less likely to share or even click on the URL. 

Meanwhile, the 2nd URL is easier to read and is more informative. It is also easier for users to remember if they ever need to look for the page again. 

 

3. Emphasis on Important Meta Tags

A developers code is extremely important as it is the backbone to a good quality page. Comparably, the meta tags attached to each web page is also just as paramount. This is because meta tags are used by search engines to learn about the page. We highlight to you 3 important meta tags that is critical to SEO:

i) Title Tag

This is one of the most important SEO signals. It informs the search engine about your page’s topic. Therefore, this is a crucial place to input your keyword. Ensure that your keyword remains relevant to the search query of your users. If you are optimising for local SEO, make sure that you include your target location, your business and your keyword in the title tag. Additionally, take note that each element of the title tag should be separated by pipes.

For example, an optimised title tag will look like this:

<title> Your Brand Name | Your Keyword | Your target location <title>

ii) Meta Description

Usually, search engines will look at both the title tag and the meta description to confirm for relevancy. Additionally, the combination of title tag and meta description is also used to form the search snippet. The search snippet is the text which would be displayed in your search results. Thus, it is important to have a clear and relevant meta description which attracts users to click on your website. 

The meta description tag will look like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”A short page description, with 160 character limit.”/>

iii) Robots

Search engine crawlers sees the robots.txt file as an instruction manual. It informs the search engine which pages to index and which pages to skip being indexed. 

The robots meta tag looks like this:

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/>

iv) Accurate Redirects

Redirects are extremely important so that search engine crawlers do not get confused. Crawlers prefer it when there is one canonical version of something. Additionally, it will avoid the issue of dead links and 404 error pages. 

Examples of redirect links are the 301 (permanent) and the 302 (temporary) redirects. Both these links are quite similar. The benefit of using redirects is that the full link juice will be passed on to the destination page. This means that the old pages will point to the new page, without affecting the overall ranking and traffic. Thus, you will be reassured that users will be redirected to the correct page. 

 

4. Mobile-Friendliness

Ensuring a mobile-friendly website is one of the critical signals for search engine crawlers. To test if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.  

The best way to ensure mobile-friendliness is to build a responsive design for your website. To do this, you will need to set the viewport meta tag. This would inform the browsers to display the page according to the screen size of the device that the user is on.

The meta tag for responsive design look like this:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width-device-width, initial-scale=1.0”/>

 

5. Page Loading Speed

Page loading speed is an important part of SEO. The ideal loading speed is under 3 seconds. 40% of users will exit a page if it does not load in 3 seconds. This is half of your prospecting customers that you are losing. You can use the Page Speed Insights tool by Google to measure your page speed performance. 

Some quick tips to improve your page loading speed are:

  • Optimising image size by reducing or compressing your images
  • Minimise the codes that are used to improve caching and lessen bandwidth usage

 

Conclusion

An important thing to note for developers is that search engines are obligated to provide users with the best results. This should be the objective of developers and SEO practitioners as well when building a website. If you are able to put the user’s perspectives in mind when building your website, you should be on your way to a high SEO ranking. While it may be challenging to reach the number 1 spot, the aim of your SEO strategy should be for your website to stay on the number 1 page of the search ranking.  

It is important for you to be able to communicate well with your developers. Understand the web lingo can be confusing at time. Let us help you our! Get in touch with us and we will work with you get your SEO strategy in up and running. Watch your rankings improve as we address the points of SEO concerns.

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