It is no secret that working with a reliable software company can have a significant influence on SEO. As fun as it is to create amazing content on your own, keeping an eye on the technical side of things can give your website an edge over the competition. This way, resorting to outsourcing services for your software development needs can actually go a long way. Here are 5 ways software developers can improve your on-site SEO.
1. Crawl Efficiency
Any website may as well not exist if people can’t find it. Making sure that the Google “spiders” can crawl and index your site is perhaps the stepping stone for everything related to your site. Software developers can help with this issue by adding a sitemap and robot.txt files to a website, making it easier to digest by the spiders.
A sitemap—which has a pretty self-explanatory name—will basically identify valuable information within your content, which can later be easily analyzed by Google. This includes data like the files and media that have been uploaded, language versions, the correlations between webpages, and the most recent updates.
Additionally, a robot.txt file can tell the crawlers which pages or files should be analyzed, and which shouldn’t. It is also worth mentioning that the purpose of a robot.txt file is not to work as a mechanism for keeping a web page off Google, but rather to avoid overloading a site with requests. If you are looking for the former, it is best to use a noindex directive.
2. Boost your Page Speed
One of the main factors that affect your ranking is your page loading speed. According to Forrester Consulting, the average person expects a website to load in just under two seconds—and that number might go even lower in the near future. If you are at all concerned about being under that threshold, you should know that reducing the size of your images might not do the trick.
3. URL Optimization
The first thing crawlers see when analyzing a website is the URL. Ideally, just going over it should give them a pretty good idea of what the page and its content are about. That’s why a clean URL must be descriptive, easy to read and free of random characters and numbers—otherwise known as URL parameters. Using hyphens instead of underscores and putting keywords at the beginning is a great starting point.
Software developers can also help to associate relevance and authority values with each page by binding the destination URL with its respective anchor text. The resulting link is very much alike plain HTML, which can help your website send some tasty SEO signals.
Websites often reach a point where moving content around is unavoidable. This is done by hosting old or edited content in a new URL and setting up a redirect command that sends users to the new page. Although many people are unaware of it, redirects are actually beneficial for SEO, mainly because they help search spiders identify the official version of a piece of content.
Redirects can also save you from having two pages being identified as duplicate content, which is something Google doesn’t really like. In the end, you want both visitors and spiders winding up in the right place, and it is always better not to assign authority to outdated or inaccurate URLs.
To avoid forcing your users to deal with 404 pages and dead links, you can ask a web developer to help you set up 301 (permanent) and 302 (temporary) redirects. The main benefit of these two is that the can pass all of the link juice to the destination page. But avoid building redirects chains at all costs, as they are just too inefficient and not SEO-friendly.
Wrapping UpThese are just a few ways software development can help with your SEO. As complicated as it is to build a respectable position on search engines, having digital experts on your end can help smooth out the process. After all, becoming crawler-friendly will highly impact your rankings and search traffic, and, in the end, guide you to providing a better user experience.