Almost all of my developer friends would vouch for the importance of on-site SEO for a happy and profitable client. Getting an SEO site up and running is a true effort involving a web designer, SEO strategist, backend and frontend coding, and information architect. Their joint collaboration is what creates a truly lasting web experience that results in satisfied end customers and a delighted client.
Let’s look at some ways in which different stakeholders can add value to the development work and make Google Search their website’s new best friend.
How front end coders can implement SEO friendliness
- CSS over tables – This not only facilitates enhancement in the way elements are ordered in the site, but is also preferred by Google spiders.
- Use of heading tabs – Use the h1 to h4 tag only for content that is used once on the site. For repetitive content, it’s better to use <div> tags
- Machine-friendly fonts – This one is where I see most developers faltering. I have got equal SEO success with @font-face and using machine-readable fonts.
- Images – Using <img src> within <a href=’#’> gives a good way to display the right alternative text. So if CSS is turned off, the image is still displayed. If both are turned off, the ‘alt’ text is shown.
- Dynamic content loading – Avoid loading content dynamically after site loading is done (by using AJAX or <script> tags). Google search crawlers do not easily pick up such dynamic loaded content.
How back end developers can implement SEO friendliness
- Canonical URLs – A canonical link element is used to inform Google search bots of the preferred version of a webpage. So ideally all webpages should have only one URL. But for individual parameters added/removed from the URL, canonicalization helps developers specify the ‘preferred’ version of a page. This can be done in one of the below was –
- Usage of www – Ideally all three below should redirect to the same page
- Usage of trailing slashes – Both of the below non-root URLs should redirect to the same page
- Usage of canonical link tags – This is especially true for an e-commerce website where every product should have a single URL redirect
By using canonical link tag on a common URL (<link href=www.myhome.com/home/product/simmer-purple-curtains/” rel=”canonical”), you can tell Google that it needs to index this URL for both the below examples
- CMS best practices – Having a few quick tweaks as below helps in your SEO process
- Updating the sitemap.xml
- Making the robots.txt file editable
- Stick to a 3 sec load time limit by following some nifty tips here
- Configure 404 page not found instead of 302 or 200 for a non-existent URL
Hope these pointers give you sufficient impetus to craft amazing SEO experiences when executing web development, both at front-end and back-end.