In this day and age, being visible on search engines is crucial for the success (and even survival) of any website. Do you own an online store, blog, marketplace, or any other type of site? Then, you simply must get Google (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to fall in love with it. So that’s why we have written this post! So let’s start with our SEO Web Development Tutorial!
How can you do that? How can you ensure that Internet users see the link to your website on the first search results page every time they look for the goods you sell or services you provide? The answer: By using the essential SEO techniques.
The best time to think about making your website Google-wise is as soon as you begin building it. Afterward, it may be too late. You’ll face problems that you’ll only be able to solve by starting the whole development process from scratch. Too expensive and inefficient, right?
So, here are a few indispensable SEO Web Development Tutorial guidelines to get you up to speed. Follow them, and you should increase your website’s traffic.
A BIRD EYE’S VIEW
Plan What Kind of Content You’re Going to Have on Your Site
Diving headfirst without working out a plan is unwise in anything you do, including your SEO endeavors. First, sit down and think about the people who you want to come to your site. What makes them tick? What subjects do they find appealing?
If you’re planning to start a blog for dog lovers, for example, they’re likely to search for information on feeding, training, or grooming their pets. List the topics you think will draw those people in. That will be the first step in building your content strategy.
Make Your Website Streamlined and Convenient to Navigate
This is important both from the user experience point of view and the SEO perspective. If the structure of your website is straightforward and your visitors have to click just a couple of times to get to any location they need, they may spend more time on your site. That’s something Google adores.
Secondly, a well-thought structure will make it convenient for search engines to index the website’s pages and crawl over its content. A big advantage of this is that a search engine such as Yahoo! can use your site’s structure to create sitelinks. These point to various places on the site. Your visitors don’t have to open the home page. Instead, they can go directly to the part of the site they’re most interested in right from the search results page. Here is an example:
You have to meet certain requirements for your page titles to achieve the best SEO effect. That’s why we dedicate a section to this topic in our SEO Web Development Tutorial.
1. Don’t Exceed the Maximum Acceptable Length of Your Title Tags
Remember that your titles should not be very long. Again, this is good both from the SEO angle and the UX viewpoint. No one likes reading lengthy or complex titles. Try to come up with titles that are no less than 65 characters in length, but are shorter than 75 characters.
Otherwise, a search engine may display an abbreviated version of the title like this:
The big downside of a long title tag is that users may miss out on some essential information and ignore the link.
2. Add Keywords to Your Titles, But Don’t Go Over the Top
Keywords in a title is a surefire way to increase the SEO status of a page. A search engine takes the search string a user typed in and determines if your title contains any words from that string. If it does, the search engine displays the link to your page. That’s why you should always include keywords in titles, preferably as the initial word or phrase.
Note, however, that a title with an abnormally large number of keywords is frowned upon by Google and the like. They will consider the page nothing but spam. So, don’t go over the top with it.
Also, remember that you’re working towards your users or potential customers. Don’t just put your keywords one after another without any meaning in an attempt to gain Google’s favor.
1. Add Flexibility to Your Site’s Pages
The meta robots tag allows you to fine-tune how search engines view each of your pages. You have a number of options to apply here. These are some of the most noteworthy that we want to highlight in our SEO Web Development Tutorial:
- <meta name=”robots” content =”noindex”>: This will tell Google (some search engines may interpret this directive in their own way) to keep away from a page and not index it. That could be useful if you want to open access to specific pages on your site only. The default value is “index”. So, you may omit this directive altogether if you’ve imposed no restrictions.
- <meta name=”robots” content =”nofollow”>: This will prevent search engines from indexing the links on the page. You may find this technique useful for any user-generated links like those left on forums. It’s always a potential source of spam. The default value is “follow,” so there’s no need to use this directive if you want to keep all your links crawlable.
- <meta name=”robots” content =”noarchive”>: Forbid the search engines to show a cached copy of a page with this directive. This is particularly valuable if you run an online store with frequently changing prices. If you allow a search engine to show a cached page with a price for an item that was valid last week but not valid anymore, this may mislead your customers. Bad for the business.
2. Explain What Your Page Is About in Its Code
The meta description tag is just for this purpose. The description of your page you place in this tag will then appear under the link on the results page. Make sure the text is not too long (160 words or less) for the maximum SEO effect.
1. Include Keywords in Your Text But Do It Sparingly
When people need to find something online, they open up the Google page and type in a query. This query is the keyword or phrase that your content should include.
Each minute detail is important when specifying keywords. Coming across two words “grey” and “gray,” for instance, an indexer will take them as two different terms. The same is true if you use a hyphen in the phrase “web-development Ukraine” or omit it: “web development Ukraine.’ Google or Yahoo! will consider these word combinations different, even though they convey the same meaning.
Make sure your keywords are precise and meaningful. You may find this comprehensive guide on keyword research useful.
Also, avoid the bad practice of making your texts oversaturated with keywords. Once Google sees many keywords packed tightly, it will immediately flag your content as spam. Distribute keywords evenly across a text and use them naturally, rather than stacking them one after another in a robot-like fashion.
2. Take Care of Other Content Elements Apart from the Text
Do you find websites without visuals boring? We do. If a website only contains text, its owner should hardly expect enough traffic. The problem is that search engines are entirely text-oriented. They ignore images or videos for indexing.
The best solution to this problem is to add a description of an image (the alt tag) or video (a transcript). Example:
<img src =”page.jpg” alt=”The home page of a website from the portfolio of our web development company”>
3. Make Sure Your Content Is Not Repeated Word by Word on Several Pages
One thing is obvious: all your content must be unique. Reaching the same text through several URLs, Google, and the company thumb it down as an exact copy and thus push the page down to the bottom.
To avoid this, designate one page as the “content’s owner” and tag other pages with this text as ones that have its copies.
We cannot stress enough the importance of properly-structured and meaningful URLs. Follow these basic rules of this SEO Web Development Tutorial when coining URLs for your pages.
1. Hyphenate Your URLs
The URL https://web-peppers.com/web-development-ukraine/ is better than this one: https://web-peppers.com/web_development_ukraine/: some web apps can incorrectly “digest” underscores or other punctuation symbols.
2. Avoid Making Your URLs Too Long
Long URLs are hard to understand. Also, short URLs are convenient for posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
3. Make Your URLs Meaningful
https://web-peppers.com/web-development-ukraine/ is clear and conveys the intended meaning. Make your URLs human-readable rather than using ids, numbers, or other vague, ambiguous identifiers.
4. Add Keywords to URLs
Apart from the links on a page, titles, and content itself, keywords should be included in URLs. A word of caution, though. Keep the number of keywords in a URL to a bare minimum. Otherwise, indexers may put the “Spam” stamp on the page.
5. Use “https://” Instead of “http://”
Nowadays, cyber criminals of all calibers are on the hunt for vulnerabilities in websites. According to some estimates, the number of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks is expected to reach 14.5 million by 2022.
One of the measures that site owners can apply to enhance security is to use the https protocol. It’s important from the SEO perspective too, since Goolge values sites with URLs that begin with https.
Some Other Considerations
Think About Users of Hand-Held Devices First
With the number of mobile users worldwide expected to reach 7.26 billion by 2022, ignoring them is unwise, to say the least. Many web developers prefer a mobile-first design approach, trying to make their sites and apps convenient for Internet surfers who use smartphones or tablets. This is what we recommend to do in our SEO Web Development Tutorial, especially since Google uses “the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking.”
Block Access to Your Content Only If It’s Really Necessary
Not all content is created equal, of course. Some can be valuable and thus you can block access to it by making users complete a form with specific information. However, we often come across situations when site owners ask users to provide their personal data before giving them access to free pages. For example, it can be a newsletter sign-up form.
This is bad practice from the SEO point of view since search engines can’t complete those forms on their own, and thus have to ignore the blocked page.
Make a Web of Internal Cross-References
Finally, consider connecting all of your pages by internal links. Then, a crawler will be able to get to every corner of the website. More on internal linking read here.
SEO Web Development Tutorial – Conclusion
There’s certainly so much more on SEO you should know. Still, the guidelines we’ve given in this SEO web development tutorial should start your SEO ball rolling. Wish you good traffic hunting!