If you’ve taken the time to browse some of the innovative services that Ironistic has to offer, then you know we’re your one-stop-shop for all things digital. Our team has a wide range of specialties including everything from expert Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to website design and development. While our employees spend plenty of time collaborating on various projects, it’s safe to say that our diverse portfolio of knowledge is what makes our departments thrive. So how, you might ask, does the realm of SEO cross paths with that of a developer?
SEO is considered a smart marketing tactic for any business looking to increase their search rankings online, but there is also a lot of “back end work” that goes into heightening your website’s visibility. This is where technical SEO comes into play — which means optimizing your site for search engine crawling and indexing. Check out these tips for mastering technical SEO as a developer.
Use Proper Etiquette via Semantic SEO
Anyone who has dipped their toes in the world of SEO knows that this marketing technique places heavy emphasis on keywords. Semantic SEO, on the other hand, focuses more on tailoring content around topics that rank high on the web. Back in 2013, Google decided to adopt semantic SEO with the Hummingbird Algorithm. This changed how the search engine combs websites and prioritizes information based on keywords and topics. When it comes to content, make sure to use proper HTML markup using HTML tags. For example, paragraphs should be using paragraph tags <p />. Headlines should also be declared above the content <h1-h6 />. And many times, you’ll see <div /> tags over-used. This may have worked once upon a time, but search engines have redefined how they comb websites and prioritize that information.
Take Advantage of Robots.txt
Robots.txt is a file that will directly tell search engines if you want your site or specific site information indexed or not. When using Google, this file will help manage traffic to your site. Basically, it can be thought of as a set of “instructions” for search engines, alerting them of which pages to crawl or not crawl. Going back to the topic of traditional SEO, you may be wondering, “Why on earth would I alert Google to NOT crawl pages on my site??” For your website to get hits online, it is obvious that search engines need to analyze it first. However, deeming a site page as “no-index” with the help of robots.txt can help prevent private content from popping up on the web. And when we say “private content”, we’re not talking about top-secret pages here. This could refer to anything from duplicate content, internal search results pages, PDFs, and even images. Long story short — robots.txt is a tool used to put your best content out there online.
Put 301 Redirects in Place Where Appropriate
A 404 status code means the page you are requesting is not found on the website. 404 occurs for many reasons. Perhaps the page was moved or deleted. Maybe the link to the page was mistyped. There are other times where page URLs are case-sensitive and the letters do not match up correctly. If the search engine you are targeting is referencing a page that is no longer there, put a redirect in place. Also, make a note of if this is a temporary (302) or permanent (301) redirect. By doing so, you are doing a favor to both the search engine and users. Popular search engines will make the correction if the redirect is a 301, which is also highly recommended for SEO because it alerts the search engine that the content can be found at the new URL.