commas-leftMany SEO marketers and web developers believe that SEO is a post-development activity for a website and leave important aspects to involve SEO-friendly coding during the various development and post-development phases. In fact, it is beneficial to start SEO with coding during the website development stage right from the beginning. commas-right

SEO

Search engine optimization is a bit mix up of technical and marketing efforts to get ranking in SERPs. It is about pleasing website users as well as search engine crawlers simultaneously. Off-page activities are pure marketing efforts while on-page is a combination of marketing and technical SEO. The technical SEO includes optimization of website source code.

With the increased sophistication of search engines, SEO begins right from the website development planning stage and goes beyond designing and coding phases. There also are numerous designing aspects involved in technical SEO, but we will discuss it somewhere at any time. Today, we will focus on coding and development aspects of SEO.

Coding for Indexing

Some sites are small with a few pages while an e-commerce site and other web portals consisting of thousands of pages. Unfortunately, Google is not indexing all pages of a website when it is big enough to take more time than its crawling budget.

Google Search Console is giving a rough idea regarding your website’s crawling budget, but WebLogExpert can provide you a page-by-page breakdown of crawl state. There are several known and unknown factors that determine your crawl budget.

If you can manage the majority of those, you can increase your crawling budget easily. For instance, check your websites’ indexing using the WebSite Auditor like tools. You will find many pages are not indexing although you want to index those.

Most of the developers used to look into Robot.txt, no-index Meta tag, or X-Robots-tag to check disallowed pages for indexing, but still, there are big numbers of pages left without indexing. The reason behind it is coding technologies and practices used by the website developers.

Some developers are using external CSS in web programming and block those files from indexing through coding techniques. Unfortunately, Google and other leading search engines hardly follow the rules cited for disallowing scripting files and crawling CSS and JavaScript files. Thus, it proves wastage of crawling budget.

Therefore, you must be careful while writing excessive CSS and JavaScript code. You can take help of WebSite Auditor, and Screaming Frog like tools to look what and how much crawlers can crawl and render the scripts or dynamic code like AJAX.

If you want to crawl your important code/parts of a web page that can bring excellent UX, you must make it permissible for crawling through proper codes, tags, and files.

Improving Crawl Budget

If you want to get ranking for quality pages, you should try to improve the crawling budget so that you will have indexed maximum web pages of your site. Of course, there are many ways to do so like:

  • Remove duplicate pages at all. Yes, canonical URLs in coding hardly prove effective because bots still indexing those pages, so you have no other ways except getting rid of those pages completely.
  • You can use disallow rules of Robots.txt file of the pages, which has little or no SEO value. For example, privacy polity, expired promotion pages, non-available product pages, and so on. You can use Google Console to find out such pages and specify certain URL parameters in it for indexing. It is a bit tricky job expert developers only can do that.
  • Fix broken links, so bots don’t go to error pages and waste your budget.
  • Keep HTML and XML sitemaps up to date.

Manage Links to Web Pages

Links are of two types, internal and external. Both are vital to SEO perspective, and bots have tendencies to follow it if your code allows using Do Follow or No Follow tags in Robots.txt file of the web page.

You should keep a balance between internal and external links because Google has implemented a cap on both kinds of links on an annual basis and you should not go beyond it. Otherwise, you have to suffer in your crawling budget, hence the ranking.

At user perspective, links make content rich and informative but wrong coding of links render it harmful for your crawling budget and bots jump on the following page via links without completing its indexing process for the same page.

Similarly, broken links and redirected links can waste your crawling budget so use appropriate tools to find out broken links and fix those issues as soon as possible.

Redirecting is increasing load time if the redirect chain is longer or you have more redirects than the normal amount.

Manage Site Maps

We know a website has two types of sitemaps one is HTML sitemap that is for human visitors while another is XML sitemap for bots to get a list of web pages of your site for crawling at first instant. So, bots are looking for XML sitemap at first place before starting the indexing or crawling process.

It implies coders to keep both kinds of sitemaps fresh and updated. Moreover, programmers should keep sitemap free from the garbage like error pages, non-canonical pages, redirect URLs, and disallowed or blocked pages. In due course, some extensions or third-party tools can help you a lot to automatize the entire management process for your sitemaps.

Managing Meta Data of Pages

Meta title, description, and tags are important for most search engines to prepare snippets for the SERPs. Therefore, coders must focus on it and include in source pages while rendering on the browser or bots indexing it from the server source.

Coders must have enough SEO knowledge to give heading tags to different levels of headers right from H1 to H6. Another thing is microdata and Schema.org is providing enough guidance in this regard so developers must learn it and implement to make rich snippets for bots.

Optimize Code

Optimized code of your website allows crawlers to accomplish their process quickly and with quality indexing. To optimize code, you must take care during programming like writing clean, compact, and comprehensive code using the best coding practices. Use HTML validator to clean code and fix broken link as well as unpaired tags issues.

You can eliminate additional while spaces without spoiling readability of code. Some coding extensions, IDE tools, and third-party tools can help you to optimize your source code rapidly.

Use ALT Tags

For multimedia content, you should use ALT tags during On-page SEO process. It is because some search engines have a tough time to index image, animation, and video files to crawl and read it. Many extensions and tools help you to include alt tags via backend without diving into the source code.

Managing Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate content generation issue is common in dynamic website developed on PHP open source CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Drupal. You can manage it by using “rel=canonical” tag in heading section of the site code, so search engine avoids indexing those duplicate pages right from the beginning of the web page index process.

Managing Text to HTML Ratio

Sometimes coders doing excessive coding and disturb the content texts to HTML code ration. Some PHP technologies and coding also generate pages on the server that show negative ratio. Similarly, the inexperienced content writer creates content which is faint and with lots of headings, bold, and italics texts. These practices also make Text to HTML ratio negative.

Customized URLs

Most of the PHP-based or ASP.NET-based dynamic sites are generating dynamic page URLs where query parameters appear at the end of URL. It creates some SEO issues that can lower the web page ranking.

You can use plugins or built-in tools to customize the URL and stop dynamic URL generation by implementing custom static URL of your choice with the required SEO parameters.

Responsive Web Design

RWD or mobile-friendly web design and programming is a must requirement of the day, and today even search engines deny ranking for non-mobile friendly websites. Integrating SEO elements in responsive web design are important so that you don’t crash your rankings!

Advantages of SEO with Development

  • It will save a lot of time mending the code in post-development stage.
  • Similarly, you will save money, and resources spent on managing coding aspects once the development is finished and SEO team comes with summersault changes in coding.
  • You will have better ranking in SERPs for your website because you have started SEO with the beginning of coding.
  • You will have a lot of traffic and high conversion rate thanks to high quality and SEO-friendly coding.

Conclusion:

Now, we know how legible coding and development approaches affect the SEO performance of a website. Therefore, you must start SEO with coding during website development instead of leaving SEO as an afterthought in post-development stages.

We at Perception System, take care of SEO issues right from the beginning of the project, after the client has signed the Web development or SEO marketing packages with us. Therefore, our portfolio is rich with websites, which are ranking practically on the SERPs and satisfy our patrons with our foreseeing endeavors.

We have trained our web developer to do SEO-friendly coding and update their SEO knowledge with contemporary SEO practices as well as according to the latest search engine algorithm changes. Would you like to take advantages of our impeccable website development team?

by Tarang Vyas
Tarang Vyas, CTO at Perception System, a leading PHP Development Company, founded in 2001.

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