The Importance of SEO in Web Development

by Evyn Stevens, Digital Marketing Specialist

Programmer working in software development and coding technologies.

Search engine optimization is the practice of enhancing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP) and getting your content in front of your target audience. Web development involves creating and maintaining websites. Implementing them together strengthens your digital presence.

Why Combine Web Development and SEO

The two processes are closely connected, and decisions made during web development impact your website’s SEO performance.

User-Centric Focus

Designing a user-friendly website is a fundamental practice in web development. Creating a quality user experience and engaging content is essential to a successful SEO strategy. Search engine algorithms value a user’s perspective and prioritize websites that offer a positive experience.

Mobile Responsiveness

A mobile responsive website allows visitors to view your site on screens of different sizes without warping the content or elements. Mobile friendliness is a critical SEO ranking factor because a large portion of internet users access websites via mobile devices.

Website Speed and Loading Times

Website speed and loading times affect user experience. Your website is more likely to rank higher on SERPs if pages load quickly and effectively. You can optimize loading speed during web development by reducing image size, limiting redirects, removing unnecessary render-blocking JavaScript and using browser caching.

Structured Data and Schema Markup

Implementing structured data involves organizing the information on your website in a way that makes it easy for humans and site crawlers to consume and understand. Schema is the code required to format structured data and helps search engines read your content. Providing search engines with more context about your content enhances visibility on SERPs.

Crawlability and Indexability

Structuring your website’s code and sitemap allows search engine bots to easily comb through each page. Keep crawling and indexing in mind during web development to create a site that is easy for search engines to discover and add to their database of information.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Some CMS platforms offer SEO-friendly features, while others require additional optimization. The functionality of a CMS affects how well you can optimize your content for SEO. It also impacts mobile responsiveness, load speed and data structure.

SEO-Friendly URL Structure

Your web developers must create an SEO-friendly URL structure. That requires concise, descriptive URLs to improve the user experience and make it easy for search engines to understand the hierarchy of the content on each web page.

XML Sitemaps

Generating XML sitemaps allows search engines to discover and index your web pages efficiently. Sitemaps should include relevant pages, especially those with multimedia elements like images and videos.

Prioritizing Key Pages

Work with your web developers to prioritize key pages in your sitemap. Homepages, high-level category pages and important landing pages should be detailed and optimized to ensure they’re crawled and indexed promptly.

Content Planning and Structure

Identifying target keywords during web development can help you create and organize your website’s content and structure. Doing so provides your web developers with a sense of direction so they can structure content strategically.

Competitive Advantage

Early keyword research may identify gaps in your content and opportunities to reach your target audience. For example, you could target keywords that your competitors have overlooked, giving your website a competitive advantage in search engine rankings.

Content Quality

Knowing your target keywords helps you understand what your target audience is searching for so you can create valuable content centered around those topics. That’s essential for SEO because search engines favor content that answers questions and addresses user inquiries.

Technical SEO

Implement technical SEO best practices during web development such as proper header structure and internal linking. Doing so allows you to develop a visually appealing website that’s also search engine friendly.

SEO Tips for Web Developers

SEO is an ongoing process, so these tips should be considered throughout your initial web development and maintenance. Regularly monitor your site’s performance, stay up to date with SEO best practices and adapt to algorithm updates to maintain and improve your website’s SEO ranking.

Prioritize mobile design: Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in search rankings, so that’s critical for SEO.

Page speed optimization: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify and address speed issues.

SEO-friendly URLs: Create descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords and avoid long, complicated phrases.

Header tag hierarchy: Use a logical hierarchy of header tags to structure your content. Coding H1, H2 and H3 headers help search engines interpret your content structure and importance.

Optimize images: Compress images to reduce their file size without compromising quality. Use descriptive alt tags to make them more accessible and improve SEO.

Schema markup: Implement schema markup so search engines understand the context of your content and include the most relevant information in featured snippets.

XML sitemaps: Generate and submit XML sitemaps so search engine bots can crawl and index your website.

Canonical tags: Use canonical tags to indicate which page should be used on SERPS if duplicate content exists.

Internal linking: Incorporate internal links to connect related content across your website. Internal links improve navigation for users and establish SEO authority.

Collaboration Between SEO Specialists and Web Developers

Early involvement: Include your SEO specialists will make recommendations on website architecture, URL structure and keyword research. That ensures your site is SEO-friendly and saves your developers time down the road.

SEO-friendly code: Clean HTML code that complies with SEO best practices is critical. Header tags, meta titles and meta descriptions are easily customizable, and SEO specialists can provide suggestions to enhance them for search engines.

Performance optimization: Prioritize page speed and performance. An SEO specialist will identify performance bottlenecks and work with developers to implement improvements.

Testing and Q&A: Collaborative testing and quality assurance are crucial. Both teams must review your website to check for proper indexing, correct canonicalization and technical SEO issues like broken links or duplicate content.

Website Optimization Services at TouchStone Digital

Our expert team of web developers and SEO specialists work closely throughout our web build process. We’ve created specific reviews and collaborative strategies to ensure each website is optimized for search engine crawlers and users.

Call 419-299-9000 or send us an email to schedule a meeting.

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