An SEO Checklist For Every Developer
SEO is not only meant to develop top rankings for a site on search engines, but it is a complete guide in itself to create high-quality websites. Best SEO practices for developers work as a unit or integration test to the website’s technical structure as well as content delivery.
Top search engines such as Google shares its own guidelines for developers about what works and what does not for a website to rank higher for a query asked over the search engine. Don’t worry; we are not recommending you to go and read Google’s Developer Guide. Developers are coding people, and we understand it too. That’s why we have already collected and created an SEO checklist every developer can review and apply these rules to build user and search engine friendly websites.
1. CSS Optimization
Though it shouldn’t require mentioning, a website must be using CSS instead of a table structure. User experience is everything in the digital world. CSS allows improved ordering of content elements on the page. CSS helps build a modern website that delivers better usability and accessibility, and faster page load times while ensuring more elegant design possibilities. Currently most used CSS frameworks are all optimized for SEO and mobile-first development.
2. H Tags
H tags a.k.a heading tags (e.g.
<h3>, etc.) refers to heading hierarchy. It has a special purpose in website backend and search engine crawling. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the usage of h tags and
<strong> tags on non-repetitive content.
HTML tags are not meant for site-wide headings, sidebars, footers, or anything that is repeated across the site’s multiple pages. Rather you should make use of a regular div tag. Reserve h tags for unique content on every page.
3. Alt Text
Images are a crucial part of a modern website. Images not only makes the site look elegant but made content sharing simple and more appealing to read. Whether you are using images to define CSS background or providing options to marketers to use pictures in the body of text, make sure you embed an option to mention image tag or alt text with it.
Alt-text is all about adding alternate text to images. Alt text adds to web accessibility for varied user types. In terms of SEO, it helps search bots get a better context of images that simplifies its indexing.
4. Page Speed
A site’s page load time should not take over 3 seconds to stack a responsible connection. Although a developer is only not responsible to the aggregate of what makes a page fast or slow, however, they do have a role to play.
You can utilize robots.txt to block resource files, for example, insignificant picture, content, or style documents, if you feel that pages stacked without these web assets won’t be collectively led by any loss.
Besides, you should not utilize robots.txt as a way to hide your website pages from search results. If different pages point to your page with sample content, your page could even now be listed without visiting the page. If you decide to hide your page from search results, use different techniques, such as security with a password or a no-index order.
You should use robots.txt to oversee crawl traffic and anticipate picture, video, and audio files from showing up in Google search results. (Note this won’t keep different pages or users from connecting to your image/video/sound files.). Keep in mind that hackers also regularly check robots.txt files, so don't make it easy for them to see what you got under the hood.
Schema.org came after the coordinated effort of Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to better understand the information available on web pages and provide the most relevant and richer search results.
That means adding Schema markup to your HTML improves how your page shows in SERPs by magnifying the rich snippets shown underneath the page title.
7. HTTP Status Code
HTTP status code has an immense significance not only for the website’s user experience but also for search engine ranking. HTTP status code is a way to state problems with web pages. The error code, moreover, indicates where the issue happened and who should have to act to get rid of the problem. It is also a way to convey a search engine and site’s users that the website administrator is working on the issue, and service or web page will be available later on.
Let’s look at some vital HTTP status codes that a developer should implement in a website.
a) HTTP Status Code 301
When a developer has to redirect one URL to another permanently, he must utilize HTTP Status Code 301. A 301 status code implies visitors and the search engine bot, which comes to that page, will be transferred to the new URL.
b) HTTP Status Code 302
Site maintenance and downtime are inevitable. The best way to deal with these occurrences is to use HTTP status code 302. Unlike 301, 302 will cause search engine crawlers to consider the redirect as temporary and not pass link equity of the permanent URL.
c) HTTP Status Code 410
Usability and SEO go hand in hand, and HTTP Status code 410 helps maintain it for a site effortlessly. A 410 header on a website means that the page is gone. It is ideal to use when a site never has a page return on a specific URL.
For instance, let’s say an e-commerce website has stopped selling a product and does not want to be found online for the related online query. The developer then should use 410. A 410 HTTP status code allows the crawler to won’t ever go back to that page again and work on other relevant pages of the site.
Canonical Tag, also represented as rel= “canonical”, is a smart way to address duplicate content on a website. Modern content management systems and code-driven websites in current times exacerbate several issues such as a crawler may find your homepage in the following ways:
Though all URLs represent a single web page to humans to search engine crawlers, these are unique URLs; therefore, it understands them a different “pages.” Canonical optimized URL thus helps search engines identify specific URLs as a master copy of a page and does not affect its SEO results.