SEO is an area under website development strategies that helps improve the way content is ranked by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo during organic searches.
Here are some reasons why SEO is important for modern companies:
- SEO optimized websites have more visibility. SEO Watch reports that organic searches drive 51 percent of traffic to websites
- People consider higher-ranked websites to be more credible
- SEO can have the best ROI if done properly and by experts. In fact, websites built around SEO can have higher ROI than all other inbound marketing approaches in terms of relevant leads generated
- SEO brings in relevant high-quality leads for your product/services. Search Engine Journal says inbound leads cost 61 percent less than that of outbound leads
How exactly do search engines rank your website? Using crawling and indexing. Search engines design automated robots, often called ‘crawlers’ or ‘spiders’, which travel across files on the internet using links (URLs).
As they crawl pages/files, they decipher the code and store relevant content in massive databases, which are later looked up when there is a search query on their platform. The two basic logic blocks of a search engine are finding relevant pages and ranking them based on popularity.
In practice, popularity and relevance metrics are not determined manually. They are determined using mathematical equations and algorithms that have hundreds of variables. Search marketers often call these variables ‘ranking factors’.
What is SEO centered web development?
Search engines can’t interpret all the content they can crawl on the web. The web pages that search engines see are a lot different to those we see. Here’s an example of how a web page is seen by Google’s search systems.
How do I make my design search engine friendly?
In web development with SEO in mind, certain practices are adopted to help increase rankings. Here are a few important ones:
Having more indexable content
The most important content on the web page must be in HTML text format. Search engine crawlers often ignore images, JS scripts, java applets and other non-text content in the source. One way around this is to write a textual description of the rich content using options like ‘alt attributes’ (alternate text) in your HTML code.
Here are some other things you can do to optimize your HTML for search engine crawlers:
- Describe search boxes with links that can be crawled by the search engine spiders/crawlers
- Add description to flash or Java plugins so that it can be read for relevance
- Provide a text transcript, closest to potential search queries for the videos and audio clips
Proper keyword usage
Modern ranking algorithms do not consider keyword count or density as one of the ranking factors. The best way to use keywords in your content is to use them naturally. For example, if the page has the keyword phrase ‘Apple iPad’, it makes sense to write a lot of information about the iPad, such as its history and associated legends, rather than using this keyword in an irrelevant article.
Using search engine friendly link structures
Search engine algorithms store massive amounts of indexed data as they crawl the internet. But before they stumble upon data to store, they need links to reach them. Having a crawl friendly link structure helps with thoughtful crawling.
Avoiding duplicate content
Duplicate content across different pages of the website lowers the SEO ranking. There may also be places where duplicate versions of the web pages appear across different URLs.
A scenario like this might confuse the crawlers about which page to index and show in the case of a search query match. This problem can be solved by using a method called canonicalization, where similar content or pages are arranged in single URLs. Often, a canonical tag is used to do this. Here’s an example:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://devteam.space/blog>
Here, the tag tells the search engine crawlers that the link pointing to the page is to be considered a duplicate of https://devteam.space/blog.
Letting search engines know what to index and what not to
Meta robot tags can help control search engine crawls on the website. Here’s an example of what’s possible with this tag. By setting the context to ‘no index’ on the page, search engines can be asked not to crawl the page.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX”>
Other contexts can be used in the meta tag for more controlled crawling.
There are many methods that can be used to improve a website’s ranking on search engines. The approaches mentioned above can at least put your website on the right path towards being SEO optimized. To learn more, reach out to us at email@example.com.
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