It’s been a while since we are working in the digital world, creating and maintaining our digital properties. One of the most common and important properties any business can have on the digital front is its website. When building a website, you need to take care of many things. These include design and aesthetics, color coding, navigation, branding, content, and whatnot.  

However, what lies under the hood of your website also matters. It not only helps your website function well but also helps you get a better SEO rank. Yes, you heard it right! The process of search engine optimization starts at the time of development. 

That’s why we have brought some of the best SEO practices every developer must know and follow. Let’s have a look: 

Heading Tags Are Important 

When you’re building a website and adding the H1, H2, and H3 (headings) meta tags, you need to optimize them as per SEO practices. The headings on your web pages are important because they order the HTML code on the pages and help rank your website. 

When the heading tags are not placed rightly on the web pages, search engines won’t be able to scan the website. Thus, the website won’t appear in the search engine results. 

For every web page, there must be one H1 heading, which should be unique from the rest of the content. You can use the H2 and H3 headings twice and they should also be unique. Using H2 and H3 can also be skipped. All your headings should be up to 60 characters and not more than that. They should include the focused keyword, which must be placed at the beginning of the heading. And the headings should have unique and grammatically-correct content. 

If you put headings that resemble the HTML code, they will benefit you more. You should also follow the right hierarchy while placing the headings. For example, H1 should be at the top and must have a bigger font, followed by H2 and H3. 

To check the correctness of your blog post like  heading tags , you can use tools like SEMRush, DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog, Website Auditor, etc. 

Create The Right URLs 

You may already know this one. URLs play a crucial role in ranking your website on the SERPs. Keeping URLs concise is the right thing to do. However, they should also describe what the web page is all about. You must write URLs in a way that they are SEO-friendly as well as user-friendly. Your users must be able to read and understand them clearly. 

To get the perfect URLs for all your web pages, you must add keywords, use hyphens instead of underscores, avoid spaces and other distracting elements, and use a domain and subdomain. 

Sitemaps 

Website pages keep on changing and search engines need this information to scan your website correctly. How do you do this? 

It happens through a sitemap. 

A sitemap helps search engine crawlers know what pages on your website are important and how often they change with respect to the other pages. The information on the sitemap helps the search engines scan and index your website. 

The crawlers read the sitemap so they can scan your website more accurately. So, a sitemap is your chance to add crucial information about your website like when was the last time a page was updated. It also tells the crawlers how often a web page is updated. 

While a sitemap is not mandatory, you need it to boost the SEO of your website. For small websites, with a smaller number of pages, a sitemap can be skipped. However, if your website has a greater number of pages that are not linked properly, a sitemap must be there. 

Your Site’s Mobile Version 

There is no denying that the number of mobile users is much more than desktop or laptop users. If a user comes across your business name and wants to go through your website, there are higher chances for them to browse through their mobile phones. 

So, if there is no functionally mobile version of your website or if it lags on mobile devices, your bounce rate will increase. It’s been a while since Google has started taking mobile-first indexing into consideration. 

It means the search engine crawlers use the mobile version of your website to scan it. If it is not performing on the mobile version, your search engine ranking will tumble. 

You can use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test or Google Lighthouse to see how your website is performing on mobile devices. 

Images and Alt Text 

When you have to describe images or other interface elements on your web pages, you need to put Alt Text or Alt Tags in your HTML code. These tags are crucial for the SEO of your website because they make the images SEO-friendly and scannable by the crawlers. 

Search engines prefer websites with Alt Text because it is easy for users to see what the image is all about through the text if there is trouble loading the image. The text makes it easy for visually impaired users to understand what the image is trying to depict. The Alt Text also makes the images searchable by the search engine bots, helping with the indexing of the website. 

The Alt Text should not be more than 125 characters long and it should clearly state the subject and the context of the image. You can use keywords to write the Alt text but not too frequently. 

Page Speed

If you didn’t know already, page speed plays a crucial role in the SEO of your website. If you have slow-loading pages, your users won’t wait and leave your website, increasing your bounce rate. It also impacts your conversions and negatively impacts the indexing of your web pages. 

When you have slow pages, the search engines will be able to crawl through lesser pages, which inversely impacts your website’s rank. 

To improve the speed of your web pages, you need to reduce the redirects, use browser caching, minify JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and optimize images. You should also ensure file compression is turned on, use a content distribution network, and remove the render-blocking JS. On top of that, speed depends on the hosting provider you choose, which Mac VPS hosting is a good option for.

To check the speed of your web pages, you can check using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.  

Clean Codes

There is no denying that intricacies in your codes can often help drive better results with a performant website at your disposal. However, this is not always the case since keeping things simple often enables you to realize your SEO goals. It is important to remember that people value convenience more than anything else. A straightforward way to keep things convenient is to ensure seamless access to the right information. 

Complex codes for your website can often prevent seamless access to the information. This, in turn, creates more roadblocks for visitors, further hampering their overall experience with your website. Hence it is imperative you make necessary efforts to ensure your codes are clean, which also helps enhance the website’s overall SEO performance.       

You must also remember that when someone visits your website, they are very quick to decide if the visit is worth their time and effort. As soon as they find clutter or complex structures, they will not think twice before closing the tab and choosing your competitor’s website. So make sure your codes are clean and your website is navigable to drive better ranks in search results.   

Ensure Website Security At All Points 

People these days are well aware of the existing security issues on the internet. Everyone is concerned about their information falling into the wrong hands, which can contribute to significantly detrimental consequences. So this is something every dedicated development team needs to be mindful of since a secure website is imperative for an SEO-friendly website. 

You must start by ensuring that your SSL is at the right place without any errors hampering the website’s performance. But that is not all that you need to worry about with the security of your website. Besides an error-free SSL, you must make efforts to determine any existing vulnerabilities within the website. This is an important consideration since these vulnerabilities can often leave room for more manipulation or injection that can hamper the website’s overall security.       

You must understand that even the smallest hacking attack on your website can result in detrimental consequences. This does not just hamper the user experience but also dents your credibility for the future. Besides that, a secure website is also important to ensure visitors choose you over your competitors. You can even consider using different tools online to determine any vulnerabilities and address them before they cause any harm to the website.  

Redirects Are Important 

The existing digital landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace with an increase in competition. New businesses are entering this race while existing businesses are striving to navigate the increase in competition. As a result, most businesses are now choosing to enhance their older domains and websites with newer features and functionalities. This is where redirects become very important since they can help enhance your website’s SEO performance significantly. 

Redirects are very important since they help take visitors to the right place, especially when the website is in the midst of the migration or launch process. One can use the 302 and 301 redirect codes and place them in appropriate places to ensure your visitors can find your website without hassle. However, you must not simply trust the codes to be rendered but use relevant tools to test your redirect codes for better results. This is important no matter the number of pages you are redirecting to the same destination.            

Besides that, redirects also play a key role in keeping your authority intact when shifting your website’s authority to a newer one. Doing so ensures the search engine does not change your existing website rankings or even rank it higher, considering you have added more features to the website. So make sure you make the right use of redirects to enhance the overall SEO performance of the website.      

Appropriate Use Of Follow or No Follow Links 

Ever wondered what languages search engines speak? Well, the official language for search engines is website links, and as a developer, you must know how to speak their language. But there are different types of links, namely follow and no follow links, where each serves its own unique purposes.   

Follow links are also known as do-follow links. These are backlinks where you link the page without editing the HTML. This ensures the search engine does not make the mistake of associating your website with another relevant website. In addition, a clean backlink without any changes makes it easier for the search engine crawler to see the website as a single page which helps vouch for the quality of the website.     

However, it is worth noting that the crawlers will still view the no-follow links to determine where to go. But they never ascribe any value to these links, so you must use them with this consideration in mind. When it comes to acing your SEO performance with follow links, you must only use the ones from an authoritative website. This makes no follow links still valuable for your website since they still help you enhance the traffic flow to your website.   

As a result, it becomes highly important that web developers use these links and use them appropriately. Getting the right links within your website will make it more crawlable, which always helps enhance the overall SEO performance of the website. You can even consider using different tools to determine the correct links and place them appropriately.

The Bottom Line

So, these are the best SEO tips every developer must know about. If you are planning to build a new website and concerned regarding the cost of making a website which is SEO friendly, these tips will help you ensure your website ranks in SERPs. If you think you need expert help for this, rent a coder in India and they will help you achieve it!  Also, if you already have a website and need to improve its SEO ranking, working on these factors on the backend is crucial.