8 Common SEO Mistakes web Developers should Avoid

The title “Common SEO Mistakes by development developers ” doesn’t mean to criticize developers.

But, over the last decade, SEO has played a vital role in the transformation of web-based businesses.

Web developers work hard to build a complex web application and are always focused on working on functionality.

Web developers usually care about clean code, functionality, and easy ways to create new content.

An SEO guy obsessed with the way search engines index my website, internal linking, content delivery,  breadcrumbs, alt texts Etc.

In the development team, you will find an SEO guy asking his fellow developers if they followed all the SEO rules he gave to them.

And web developers annoyingly answer ‘Yes of Course’.

For all kinds of business, website/application development is the main engine, while SEO and marketing is the flying wing, good balancing of both can help to fly business toward its goal.

Common SEO Mistakes by Development developer. 

Here is a list of SEO mistakes which is either widely ignored or not having enough weightage at the development phase by small business which either hurt business goal or kills time to correct it after development.

1. Proper Site Structure

SEO  Mistakes Site Structure

SEO professionals are always talking about a seemingly infinite number of elements that badly affect your website’s SEO health.

One element that isn’t discussed by them is website structure because it always falls into developer basket. 

Most startup and business websites owners first think about development, SEO, and other marketing strategy takes place after the development and this bad decision hurts their business very badly for long time. 

Proper website structure is, without a doubt, a vital component of success for any kind of business website. 

Jhon muller from google has answered lots of questions about SEO and website structure in this Google webmaster central hangout.

Good site structure is responsible for grouping and cataloging content and products. so it should be the first point to consider before writing the first line of code. Different types of structures are applied based on their users’  and business goals.

Site Structure is a lengthy topic to discuss in a separate post. for more read these two posts to get a clear idea, A Guide to Different Types of Website Structures (by Adobe) and Site structure: the ultimate guide (by Yoast).

The three most common SEO mistakes found related to URL are URL structure, Missing keywords in URL, and Canonical issues between www and Non-www.

URL Structure :

URL Structure is a completely different topic and depends upon website structure. web developers usually do not give much attention to permalink structure.

Basically, URLs should be as simple as possible and contain only words and dashes that tell users and bots what the page is about. for more read this Google search central article.

Missing keywords :

Putting keywords in URLs defiantly helps in the search engines (At least in google). All SEO sources and plugins suggest adding keywords in URLs, it Also gives a clear understanding.

However all major search engine resources never mentioned it clearly but having keywords in your URL helps in search engines.

let’s understand by example, There is shop kshoeshop.it, who is selling Nike brand shoe, which has Himalayan shoe product specially made of trekkers

http://kshoeshop.it/sports-shoes/nike/himalayan

http://kshoeshop.it/store/products/111/view.html

First link URL adding clear search term for them they are targeting the customer.

Canonical issue between www and Non-www

Same website serves same content on different URLs causes canonical issue. For example all listed URLs load the same content.

  • http://www.akakak.in
  • https://akakak.in
  • http://www.akakak.in
  • http://akakak.in

Most of the engines bot treat it as being four different pages, and this creates a duplicate content problem, which can be an issue for SEO.

However, google discovers duplicate pages and selects a canonical(default) version of that page, and excludes the rest of the URLs from search indexing.

But it can be problematic when google search bot selects a URL that is not the preferred URL you would prefer to index.

There are few other points in common seo mistakes list related to URLs are mentioned here like Secure HTTPS Pages, Dynamic AJAX Content, etc

Here is a great video from Google’s Jhon Muller explaining how search engine bots select default canonical URLs.

3. Neglecting images Title and Alt Tag

Alt text gives extra text that you can assign to your website/application images, which helps Google and other search engine bot to understand that what images contain.

Correct Alt images practice helps your images SEO rank for more keywords which helps to drive lots of organic traffic through google images and other image search result. 

Normally web developers skip Title tag for link and Alt tag for images because they simply do not know what to put. Ideally, it should be filled filed by an SEO or Digital marketing team. SEO and digital marketing team do not have access to the code or limited access to these filed in the CMS.

That’s why web developers should always spend a few minutes wondering and should collaborate with SEO guys to write it inappropriate location.

4. Missing Proper Structured data format

Schema.org and Microdata were launched in 2009 by google with joint hands by most of the search engines to improve the quality of web search results. Structure data is basically markup of information about the webpage content and its type.  

It helps search engines like Google, Bing, and others to better understand and server rich snippet in search engine result page (SERP)

Structure data on the web use Schema.org as reference vocabulary and can be embedded in a webpage using three formats.

  1. JSON-LD
  2. RDFa
  3. Microdata

Suppose if we are talking about recipes then we should have a related microdata tag in our code.

Structured data format

similarly, Google and other search engines display different types and formats of search results for different types of search queries. for more about structure data and its implementation read this Google reference and schema.org

5. Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml issue

These two are crucial weapon for webmaster and falls under critical SEO mistakes when some mistake takes place in that.

Robots.txt

A well written Robots.txt file can be a strong weapon because it let you define rules for search engine bot that where they can and can’t go on your site.

So a proper defined Robot.txt in root directory is a must for every website that wants to be get found in search result by similar keywords and phrases.

Sitemap.xml

XML sitemap define is roadmap of your website that which page is important for search engine and also helps to understand website architecture.

Every web developer should avoid these two SEO mistakes by giving more attention on these two points. for details about sitemap read this tutorial from google Learn sitemap 

6. Understand Pagination and Canonicalization

Better canonicalization make sure every piece of content on your website has unique URL. It helps to bring good authority to your site.

Pagination splits content into multiple pages by providing series of direct link  usually you will find on the bottom page. Though this is not top priority and depends.

Pagination

A simple business website does not need pagination but a CMS must have paginations, Intuitive pagination boost UX score and ultimately helps in better SEO.  

7. Not using Semantic HTML

This common SEO mistake practice and developers are solely responsible for this because old style practicing of scriptwriting.

Semantic HTML convey meaning to code what developers write and maintain complete separation between the markup and visual elements in the page.  

Right HTML tag gives clear path search bot to understand. for example developers uses <div> used as general purpose elements to create a header to the footer to articles. see the below images to get clear idea.

Semantic HTMLImage Source : internetingishard.com

read this reference article for more about semantic markup

8. Interlinking for Better Crawling and Indexing

Interlinking helps both user and search engine to follow links and find relevant and important pages of your website. it is common seo mistakes can fix easily.

Title Anchor text used as ranking signals and search engines handle linked parameter URLs for indexing.

It is always suggested to make interlinking of your important pages to get crawled and better indexing.

You can search about it, you will found tons of article on search related to interlinking, read it to get more information.

Wrapping Up !

Hope you liked this common SEO mistakes list article. If you found any important point which is missing and should be there please comment your feedback. You can also write me here. Thank You!

Atul Kumar
Atul Kumarhttp://kumaratul.com
Atul Kumar is digital marketing and analytics from New Delhi, India. intend of this blog is to create simple and easy-to-understand content on digital marketing and analytics.

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