Too many webmasters think of SEO in terms of things you do after a website is created, whether thats optimizing specific on-page variables in order to maximize the odds of being ranked for particular keywords or the process of soliciting backlinks from qualified sources to power off-page SEO.
However, ignoring the important role that your sites coding can play in its overall optimization is essentially the same as building your home on an unstable foundation. Consider all of the following ways that coding can help your sites SEO in order to avoid missing out on these critical benefits.
Keep in mind that the search engine spider programs have some serious limitations when it comes to crawling and indexing your site. Since they really only read text effectively, other elements on your site, including image, audio, video, and script files, can all prevent important site text from being crawled and indexed appropriately.
To see for yourself exactly how the search engines interpret your pages, use the Webconfs Search Engine Spider Simulator tool to review your website. If you notice that chunks of text are missing from your pages, validate your code correctly so that the search engines are able to find your information.
Creating search engine friendly (SEF) URLs is beneficial from both an SEO perspective and in terms of the user experience.The specific way youll need to modify your sites code in order to minimize the number of extraneous characters and codes that are present in your URL will depend on the specific platform your site runs on. If you use WordPress, Joomla, or any other CMS, you should have access to plugins or internal dashboard settings that will allow you to make the necessary changes. In some other cases, particularly when it comes to open source ecommerce platforms, you may need to address your permalink structure within your .htaccess file.
Although your sites code might start out clean, over time, its common for website modifications to result in a number of different errors that can slow down your sites operation. For this reason, its a good idea to perform regular checks that account for all of the following issues:
As mentioned in Tip #1, the search engines cant usually access information thats contained within image, video, or script files. However, as these elements can go a long way towards improving the user experience on your site, it isnt a good idea to eliminate them entirely.
Instead, a better alternative from a coding perspective is to serve up alternate, text-based versions of the information youd like the search engines to index. As an example, when serving up Flash files, consider using the SWFObject2 library, which will automatically deploy alternate text-based content whenever it detects users or search engine spiders that cant process these file types correctly.
While theres no way to control the behavior of the search engine spiders with 100% accuracy, telling them not to index certain pages on your site through the use of noindex tags on your robots.txt file can be useful from an SEO perspective. This tag should be added to your robots.txt file for any pages that shouldnt appear in the search results, including:
If you use a CMS program like WordPress, Magento, or Joomla to build your site, chances are youve got duplicate content issues that result from the way these platforms create URLs. Whenever you add a new post to your website, its not uncommon for these systems to automatically generate any or all of the following options:
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10 Ways Coding Can Help Your SEO