The title “Common SEO Mistakes by developers ” doesn’t aim to criticize developers. But, Over the last decade, SEO has played a vital role in the transformation of a web-based business.
Web developers work hard to build a complex web application and always focused on working on functionality.
They mostly care about clean code, functionality, and easy ways to create new content. An SEO guy obsessed with the way search engine indexes my website, internal linking, content delivery, breadcrumbs, alt texts, etc.
In the development team, you will find an SEO guy is asking his fellow developers if they followed all the SEO rules he gave to them.
And web developer annoyingly answer ‘Yes of Course’.
For all kinds of business, website/application development is the main engine, while SEO and marketing are the flying wings, good balancing of both can helps the business fly 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 the small business which either hurt the business’s goal or kills time to correct it after development.
1. Proper Site Structure
SEO professionals are always talking about a seemingly infinite number of elements that badly affect your website SEO health.
One element that isn’t discussed by them is website structure because it always falls into the developer basket.
Most startup and business website owners first think about development, SEO, and other marketing strategy take place after the development and this decision hurts their business very badly for a 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 and needs to be discussed in a separate posts. for more on this 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).
2. URL Related SEO Mistakes
The three most common SEO mistakes found related to URL are URL structure, Missing keywords in URL, and Canonical issue between www and Non-www.
URL Structure :
URL’s Structure is a completely different topic and depends upon website structure. web developers usually do not give much attention to the 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 on this read this Google search central article.
Missing keywords :
Putting keywords in URLs defiantly helps the search engine(At least in google). All SEO source and plugin suggest to add 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 this by an example, There is shop kshoeshop.it, who is selling Nike brand shoe, which has Himalayan shoe product specially made for trekkers
http://kshoeshop.it/store/products/111/view.htmlFirst URL contain clear search term(keyword) for they are targeting the customer.
Canonical issue between www and Non-www
The same website serves the same content on different URLs causes the canonical issue. For example, all listed URLs load the same content.
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 a google search bot selects a URL that is not the preferred URL you would prefer to index.
There are few other points in the 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 engines bot select default canonical URL.
3. Neglecting images Title and Alt Tag
Alt text gives the extra text that you can assign to your website/application images, which helps Google and other search engine bot to understand 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 results.
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 to wonder 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 jointly with most of the search engines to improve the quality of web search results. Structure data is basically a 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.
Suppose if we are talking about recipes then we should have a related microdata tag in our code.
Similarly, Google and other search engines display different types and format of search results for a different type of search query. 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.
A well written Robots.txt file can be 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 must for every website that wants to be get found in search result by similar keywords and phrases.
XML sitemap defines the roadmap of your website that which page is important for search engines and also helps to understand website architecture.
Every web developer should avoid these two SEO mistakes by giving more attention to these two points. For details about sitemap read this tutorial from google Learn sitemap
6. Understand Pagination and Canonicalization
Better canonicalization makes sure every piece of content on your website has a unique URL. It helps to bring good authority to your site.
Pagination splits content into multiple pages by providing a series of direct links usually you will find on the bottom page. Though this is not a top priority and depends.
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 of old-style practicing of scriptwriting.
Semantic HTML conveys meaning to code what developers write and maintain complete separation between the markup and visual elements on the page.
Right HTML tag gives a clear path for the search bot to understand. For example, developers use <div> as general-purpose elements to create a header to the footer to articles. see the below images to get a clear idea.
read this reference article for more about semantic markup
8. Interlinking for Better Crawling and Indexing
Interlinking helps both users and search engines to follow links and find relevant and important pages of your website. it is a common SEO mistake that can be fixed easily.
Title Anchor text is 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 articles on search related to interlinking, read it to get more information.
Wrapping Up !
Hope you liked this list of common SEO mistakes. If you found any important point which is missing and should be there please comments your feedback. You can also write to me here. Thank You!