White Arrow Pointing To The Left Of The Screen
Blog
By
Alexander Jimenez
|
Related
Content
Back to Blog

SEO Web Development Best Practices

04
Oct
2023

I'm unsure if people acknowledge how SEO best practices impact Web Development in today's digital world. I'm not even sure if most people know what SEO means. In case you're one of those, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's responsible for taking your page from the depths of the Internet and positioning it within the first results of Google and other Search Engines.

Although there's no magical recipe or an easy paved road to achieve the first page results, you can follow a series of practices to promote better positioning among SERPs. If you're ready... Let's climb up.

What is SEO?

First of all, let’s talk about SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves the quality and quantity of organic traffic from Search Engines to websites. Its essential role is to target organic search results rather than direct or paid traffic. Therefore, it aims to increase a website's visibility in Search Engines, which leads to more traffic and better business outcomes. SEO involves various techniques, including a responsive design across screen sizes for your website, creating high-quality content, understanding target keywords, and getting external links from other reputable sources (domain authority).

Basic SEO Technical Concepts

So far, I’ve mentioned many terms that, for starters, may be rather confusing. Let's learn some basic SEO definitions. 

1. SEO SERP: SERPS, Search Engine Results Pages refers to the websites or web pages a Search Engine displays in response to a user's search query. The SERP typically displays a list of web pages relevant to the user's query, along with other features such as advertisements, featured snippets, and knowledge graphs.

2. SEO Indexation: Indexation refers to the process by which Search Engines crawl and analyze web pages to determine their content and relevance and then include them in their index or database of web pages.

3. SEO Crawlers: Crawlers, also known as spiders or search robots, are automated programs Search Engines use to discover and index web pages on the Internet. Crawlers work by following links from one web page to another, analyzing the content and structure of each page they encounter, and adding them to the Search Engine's index or database of web pages.

Main Types of SEO

1. Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves a website’s optimization so search engines crawl and index it more easily (don’t worry, I’ll talk more about crawling and indexation later). It involves work on on-page elements like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and SSL/HTTPS.

2. Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO involves optimization techniques and strategies (partnership marketing, building backlinks, and outreach relationships) implemented outside your website to improve its visibility and authority in Search Engine rankings.

3. On-page SEO: On-page SEO, or on-site SEO, involves implementing practices directly on a website to improve its visibility and ranking in Search Engine results pages (SERPs). It involves optimizing elements like HTML tags, internal linking, using relevant keywords, looking for broken links, and more.

SEO Best Practices for Web Development

Working on SEO involves more aspects than you think. We will now delve into the aspects you can enhance during your Web Development process.

1. Mobile-First SEO

It's been a while since Google understands the importance of mobile users over desktop users. It's not surprising, as mobile phone traffic is bigger than any other traffic coming from digital devices. Mobile-first indexing is the process of Google indexing and ranking a website based on its mobile version rather than its desktop version. It means that you may better consider your mobile version of a website as the primary version of how rankings are determined. In other words, ensuring your website's mobile performance provides a great User Experience is crucial. If you do so, I'm sure your website will improve its visibility in search results and generate more traffic.

2. SEO Content Quality

You might say, "This doesn't have much in common with coding!" Yet, as well as using relevant and long-tailed keywords (specific and detailed phrases people use to search content), eye-catching content is crucial for SEO. It doesn't matter how well-improved your page is. If it doesn't offer quality content according to the targeted keywords your users seek, you might be throwing all your work overboard. You can use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to understand the keywords you are ranking for. Therefore, tailoring your content according to user intent will be easier.

Tip: Avoid keyword stuffing, which is putting as many keywords as possible into a piece of content. Remember that you’re creating content for people, not for the search engines! Although black hat practices can put you among the first results, Google is not fond of these practices. The most-used engine has a people-first approach, which rewards sites with user-oriented content. To achieve its scope, you can rely on Google EETA and Helpful Content procedures! Conversely, if Google discovers you focus your content on search-first practices, it can severely penalize your site, including hiding it from top results and despising the keywords it has.

Creating high-quality and dynamic content to boost search volumes requires a great understanding of your target audience and industry, and it can take many forms, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, ebooks, and more. From an SEO ranking perspective, video content plays a vital role as it tends to create more engagement compared to other forms. To create high-quality video content, a video editing tool is essential to enhance the video's quality. It's the cornerstone of SEO efforts; you shouldn't skimp on it because it has nothing to do with Web Development.

3. Content Hierarchy

You must always consider implementing a proper title tag heading structure. Using heading tags (from H1 to H6) to structure your content makes it easier for users and Search Engines to understand the hierarchy and organization of your information. You can use as many subheadings as you want. However, there’s always going to be just one H1 tag. Having more than one confuses crawlers and generates duplicate content, which, in the end, is counterproductive for proper indexation.

3. SEO Alt Text s

Alt text is crucial for SEO and accessibility because it provides a text alternative when users cannot see images. It should be descriptive, specific, and relevant. Adding Alt Text into your images can enhance User Experience. If you optimize images, Alt Text increases the chances of them appearing in image search results as it enables search engine crawlers to index them correctly. Depending on your CMS, you can add Alt Text to images in HTML or by filling in a picture description.

5. SEO URL Structure

Try to use descriptive and keyword-related URLs to give an idea to users what to expect from the page content. Avoid using long, complex URLs with unnecessary parameters or numbers. If you have a pet store's website working on an article about Adorable Tuxedo Cats on the Internet, your SEO-optimized URL should be like: www.petstore.com/adorable-tuxedo-catNext time you create a page, pay attention to the URL because leaving slugs like /4d0r4bl3-7ux3d0-c47 makes it difficult for crawlers and Search Engines to find your site. When working on linking, make sure your anchor texts are descriptive or related to the link you're adding, so your readers know what to expect when they click on it.

6. SEO Clean Code

Clean code doesn’t mean you must sweep and mop whenever you finish working. It’s all about writing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or any kind of well-structured, organized code free from unnecessary elements or errors. There are some key principles you should follow to have a clean code.

Indentation andFormatting. Your code must be consistent in indentation and formatting, which makes it easier to read and understand. It makes it simpler for Search Engine bots to parse and index your website.

Semantic HTML. Clean code uses semantic HTML tags to represent the structure and meaning of the content accurately. It helps Search Engines understand the hierarchy and context of your website's content. 

CSS and JavaScript. Try to avoid redundant or excessive CSS and JavaScript code. By optimizing and minifying your CSS and JavaScript files, you can reduce file sizes and improve page loading speed, which is a crucial factor for both SEO and User Experience.

Following these clean code practices, you can create a well-optimized website for Search Engines and provide a great UX/UI.

How Does SEO Impact Web Development?

Knowing SEO's crucial role in Web Development improves your website's overall performance and makes it stand out in the eyes of Search Engine Crawlers, which is a secondary goal. You just want to rank higher so users will likely consume your content and know more about you. Here are some of the perks why running an SEO-optimized website is important when building your first website, or even better, if you have already created websites before, consider it to improve your future websites.

Crawlability: Search engine bots rely on clean code to understand and index your website's content. Messy or error-filled software products can make it difficult for bots to crawl and index your site, potentially lowering your search ranking.  Consider focusing the title and meta description tags on the target keywords so that Google crawlers will understand your content and generate a proper snippet. These two tags store data about your site and share this info with search engines and people when the time comes. So use them wisely! 

Load Times: Some aspects of SEO are way too simple for Web Developers and technology companies, but others may be harsh, and avoiding lazy loading might be one of them. Efficient coding will optimize your website's performance, resulting in faster initial page load times and lower bounce rates. Page speed is a crucial ranking factor in the Search Engine land, as they prioritize websites that provide a quick and seamless UX.

User Experience: It also contributes to a smoother and more efficient User Experiences and Interfaces. When your website loads fast and functions properly, visitors will likely stay on your site, engage with your content, and potentially convert.

Maintenance: Knowing how the little details affect rankings can help you maintain your website more easily when you build it. It's great to know this, especially when different developers are involved in updating or managing your website. Well-organized and structured code simplifies making changes, fixing issues, and adding new features, saving time and effort in the long run.

Conclusion

Now you know the secret behind the best practices for having a successful website from an SEO perspective. Several factors can influence your organic rankings, like responsiveness and high-quality backlinks. So, remember that in an effective SEO strategy, you can bend the rules; not everything is stone-written, and what functions for me doesn't work the same way for others. Consider the rules, apply the ones you think will serve you better in your digital marketing strategies, and let them do their magic in SEO rankings.