The Web Developer’s SEO Checklist
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and web development are said to be two different aspects of a business. To some, that remains true. However, we have established that you accomplish optimal results when the SEO expert and the web developer collaborate. That is why every web developer needs an SEO Checklist of his own!
The Web Developer’s SEO Checklist
Implementing the strategies listed below can increase your ranking in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When you help your team with SEO, you bring more people to your website, maximizing its full potential to serve your company.
While SEO may still seem like a foreign concept for developers, here is an SEO Checklist for web developers that may help:
The websites you visit and the search engines you use actually communicate using metadata. This goes on behind the scenes of your browsing experience. As a web developer, add metadata wherever applicable. Use keywords in your meta titles and meta descriptions to make your content more searchable. It is also more beneficial to manually customize metadata for each page to keep them more specific. Make sure even your products’ photos have them.
URL Structure / Sitelinks
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), otherwise known as a “web address,” lets viewers know what webpage they will land on from the preview on the SERP alone. It complements each page’s title tag. Keep in mind that Google significantly values user experience, which is partially reliant on the navigability of your site. Thus, Google awards websites that follow proper structure with sitelinks. As a developer, place keywords at the beginning of the URL as a part of your SEO Checklist. Also, keep them short and descriptive while using hyphens instead of underscores in between the words.
In addition, XML sitemaps help websites accurately rank in SERPs. The majority of popular search engines recognize sitemaps and turn to them whenever the content is updated. When web developers create a structured sitemap, search engines can crawl and index your site more efficiently. Consequently, this allows your viewers to find your content much faster, increasing your site’s overall traffic.
Page Load Speed
How long would you wait for a web page to load before you click away? Most users only wait a few seconds before clicking off. Take note of this on your growing SEO Checklist, and as a developer, do whatever you can to guarantee your team that your site loads in that time or less. This includes limiting the number of external media you embed, minimizing the use of widgets, and simplifying your theme. Stay on top of your web pages’ speed times and check on them as often as possible.
A secure website has many indicators. These include the “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)” label, padlock symbol, and green address bar. Users especially value web security. Google labels non-HTTPS websites “Not Secure” to alert its viewers, increasing the number of potential customers clicking off. At the very least, when web developers take the leap from HTTP to HTTPS, they are maintaining the site’s current audience. As a bonus, you gain an advantage over other sites that have not been updated. Although listed on the SEO Checklist for web developers, having a secure website goes beyond benefitting effective SEO
Internet usage continues to rise, significantly increasing the number of potential online customers you can have. It’s worth noting that these customers are on different devices as well. The amount of time it takes your web pages to load varies between devices. When web developers test their web pages’ loading speeds on a desktop computer, the results could show that they load in a reasonable amount of time. However, this doesn’t guarantee that they load at the same speed on your mobile phone, tablet, or other handheld devices. This is why Google prefers Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). This alternate version of your website is typically displayed as a more simplified version of your site. Above everything else, they prioritize adjusting to your screen’s size and loading your web pages as fast as possible.
Most web developers install plugins for a WordPress website to optimize the site’s images for them. The right image optimization plugin will ensure that your image is compressed enough that your site will load faster. However, at the same time, it maintains the quality of your image so that the viewers can still clearly identify it. It helps you achieve the perfect balance. That is why plugin installation is on this SEO Checklist for web developers as well.
404 Error Page
You do not want to lose potential customers because they encountered a 404 error on one of your site pages. A 404 Error means that the page you were trying to load on a site could not be found on their server. Thus, your site visitor could reach the server, but they could not locate that particular page. One of the common reasons behind a 404 error page is broken links. We commonly see the following HTTP 404 error notifications: 404 Error, 404 Not Found, Error 404, HTTP 404, 404 File or Directory Not Found, The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server, and more. So, if you find a web page with broken links, you must redirect them to a new or related site content.
NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW Meta Tags
Meta tags or robots meta directives are pieces of code that instruct site crawlers on how they should index the contents of your web pages. The two types of meta tags include the meta robots tag, which forms part of a page’s HTML code in the <head> section, and the x-robots-tag, which you can have in your web page’s HTTP header to control the indexing of the page, including its elements. Two of the parameters you may use with your meta tags include “noindex” and “nofollow.” The “noindex” parameter tells a search engine not to index that particular page. On the other hand, the “nofollow” parameter tells a site crawler not to follow any links on that specific page.
Auto-Response “Thank You” Page
One of the main goals of why you build and run a business website is to convert users. So, as part of your SEO checklist for web developers, when a site visitor completes a desired action, such as filling out a form, subscribing to your company’s newsletter, or purchasing a product or availing of a service, it would be best for you to show your appreciation. You can do this through a “Thank You” page that will automatically display on their screen to respond to the desired action. To help them complete more desired actions, you can even subtly place call-to-action (CTA) buttons on said “thank you” page.
What’s on your SEO Checklist?
In the end, each website is different. What works for your SEO experts and dedicated web developers might not work for others. Each company’s SEO goals and priorities vary. For instance, some may prioritize implementing site revamp and migration techniques to boost SEO, so it would be best to adjust your SEO Checklist for web developers accordingly.
Let us know what’s on your list. Share a comment below!