The Web Developer’s SEO Checklist
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and web development are said to be two whole different aspects of a business. To some, that remains true. However, we’ve established that when the SEO Expert and the web developer collaborate, you accomplish optimal results. That’s why every web developer needs an SEO Checklist of his own!
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.
And while SEO may still seem like a foreign concept for developers, here’s 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’s also more beneficial to manually customize metadata for each page to keep them more specific. Make sure even your products’ photos have them.
2. 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. In line with this, as a developer, make sure to place keywords at the beginning of the URL as a part of your SEO Checklist for web developers. Also, keep them short and descriptive while using hyphens instead of underscores in between the words.
3. XML sitemap
In addition, XML sitemaps help websites accurately rank in SERPs. The majority of popular search engines recognize sitemaps and turn to them whenever 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.
4. Focus your SEO Checklist on 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 among others. Users especially value web security. Google labels non-HTTPS websites “Not Secure” to alert its viewers, which could possibly increase 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, having a secure website goes beyond benefitting SEO alone.
6. Mobile browsing
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 you 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.
7. Optimize images
Most web developers install plugins for a WordPress website to optimize the site’s images for them. The right image optimization plugin will make sure 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’s why plugin installation is on this SEO Checklist for web developers as well.
What’s on your list?
In the end, each website is different. What works for your SEO Experts and web developers might not work for others. Each company’s SEO goals and priorities vary, so it’s best to adjust your SEO Checklist for web developers accordingly. Let us know what’s on your list. Add a comment below!