SEO tips for software developers

KG.codes · 3 minute read ·     
⁣What do you know about search engine optimization? SEO is extremely important for getting organic traffic from Google searches.

Search engine optimization is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine (Google).

Therefore, if you develop websites/web-apps, you must develop with SEO in mind. Here are some SEO tips for software developers:

Mobile-friendly/mobile-first




— Google uses mobile-first indexing
— Google will crawl your site with a bot that pretends to be a mobile device first
— What’s above the ‘fold’? Are elements not visible on mobile? Fix!
— Be sure to use the viewport meta tag

Static and clean URLs




— Each page should have a single URL
— Make sure that variations are re-written to the same URL (i.e. http -> https, ~/about/index.html -> ~/about/)
— If a page has been removed; return 301 status code for redirection
— Use human readable URLs with keywords (✅ /blog/new-seo-post/ - ❌ /blog/5dsHd7b or ./blog/?id=4566)
— Get an SSL certificate (HTTPS); Google likes this

Internal linking




— Use actual HTML links instead of JavaScript click events
— Make separate pages for content that makes sense and link to them
— Generate and submit site maps to Google Search Console

Page structure and tagging




— Use meta tags in the header to describe the page with keywords (title and description)
— Use header tags correctly to give hierarchy to the page (H1 - single title of page; H2 - sub-headers; H3 - sub-sections; etc.)
— Use social/schema tags - how it shows in Google structured cards and on Facebook for example
— Use alt tags on images so that they can be searched by text on Google Images
— Only hide content when absolutely essential so that Google’s crawlers can index it

Back links




Back links are links to your site from completely other sites
— Back links from reputable sites will built authority and trust with Google
— If developing multiple sites be sure link where it makes sense
— If you are a developer, link back to your developer site from your client sites (i.e. developed by KG.codes)

Page speed / performance




— How fast does it load? This is a ranking factor for Google
Minimize JavaScript files
— Use a CDN for resources (images, videos, third party code)
Optimize/compress images so that take less time to download
Defer blocking CSS and JavaScript resources

Single Page Applications (SPAs)




— A Single-Page Application (SPA) is a web application relying on JavaScript to dynamically add content to pages users visit.
— SPAs are often built using JavaScript frameworks like React and Vue.js in modern development
— By default, a SPA serves an empty container to the browser, then often use JavaScript to dynamically generate their content browser-side
— There can be negative affects on SEO from a SPA since Google may only see a blank container
— Google’s crawlers can get confused about what’s a separate ‘page’
— Use pre-rendering or server-side rendering when possible
— Set up actual URL routes in your SPA to help Google define ‘pages’
— Use tools like Next.js for React to help with making SEO-friendly SPAs

Helpful Tools




Google Search Console: get information about your sites ranking directly from Google; also lets Google know about your site (search.google.com)
Neil Patel SEO Analyzer: helps you find and solve SEO issues (neilpatel.com/seo-analyzer/)
Facebook Sharing Debugger: see how your link with look on Facebook based on the meta data on the page (developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/)
Next.js for React / Nuxt.js for Vue.js: frameworks for building SEO-friendly SPAs (nextjs.org, nextjs.org)
Must have meta tags for structured data and social media (moz.com/blog/meta-data-templates-123)


Although as a developer, you don’t create the content of a site, you still control other key factors for how a site performs on Google.

⁉️ Let me know if you have any additional SEO tips or comments(?)
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