Importance of SEO
Imagine the following scenario. You’ve build an application spending a huge amount of time and money, but still not many users notice it. This may be the result of a low position on browser searches on Google. In fact, there are 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. It creates an enormous business potential, but you need to know how to leverage it. Increasing your position in browser searches with SEO and SEM can be a good solution for the above described problem.
What is SEO
According to Moz, SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. SEO can help you increase organic traffic on your website and improve revenue by reaching out to more people that are potentially interested in your offer.
Many businesses struggle with specifying who should be accountable for SEO. I’ve often encountered the approach where all those responsibilities are put on the content team, underestimating the developers’ role in achieving favorable results. It can be a deleterious strategy. As Mozilla defined, SEO consists of not only creative elements but also a lot of technical aspects. Your developers have a huge influence over SEO. Moreover, your dev team’s wrongdoings might cause an absolute failure of your SEO activities, so keep them focused on SEO.
What affects your SEO
First things first. The content you put on your website needs to be relevant from your visitor's point of view and reflect the offered value. When your web app connects travelers and hotels, the content should be focused around traveling, accommodation for tourists etc. It’s also recommended to make your content keyword-rich, but don’t exaggerate. Google crawlers matter, but at the end of the day you write for human-beings not machines.
As much as you need to take care of your content, you should also keep your eye on the technical stuff. Things like the title attribute, alt attribute for images, subpages naming, domain and many more are important. Browsers will search for your web app and then qualify it based on the mentioned factors.
How web development company can impact SEO
As it was mentioned before, a good web development company has a significant influence over SEO. Developers can substantially improve your position on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), but also their mistakes in crucial areas may blight all efforts of the content team.
In order to avoid such scenario, here are some tips on how to improve your SEO from a developer’s point of view:
Improving your page speed
Page speed is one of the ranking factors for Google mobile searches. Improving the speed of an application should start with code and database optimisation. Remember that high quality of your code can prevent the vast majority of bugs and app crashes. Also think about minimization of your apps js files. It will speed up your app. The size of images also matters. Optimising images is probably one of the easiest tactics to start from, but also a very effective one.
You can take advantage of the tools that enable you to both measure your website condition from the search engine’s perspective and help optimise different variables to improve app performance. We can recommend Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and Lighthouse - an easy to use tool available as a Chrome extension that analyzes your page and provides you with advice on speed optimisation.
Using proper title tag and meta tags
Other quick wins in the area of HTML syntax include using proper title and meta tags for every page on your site. Use clear and accurate descriptions for each page and consider generating meta descriptions programmatically in case of large web apps. Add proper meta keywords tags and configure the meta viewport tag. Also remember to add correct alt attributes on images and CSS classes instead of inline styles.
Implementing a secure SSL certificate
On top of that you should implement an SSL certificate on your site. It will activate the padlock and the https protocol, making connections from a web server to a browser more secure. Finally, we recommend using Schema.org for structured results on Google.
Using server-side rendering for Single Page Apps
Making use of the Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is a free but extensive tool for measuring your site’s performance on Google. It provides you with various tools and reports about your page overview’s performance, the index status for all the pages of your site, mobile usability, security issues etc. On top of that, it allows you to monitor your site’s behaviour and ensure proper indexing after content changes. Also, if any unusual event occurs on your website, the Google Search Console will notify you with an email.
Helping Googlebot crawl and index your site
Add sitemap and robot.txt files to tell Googlebot to crawl your web page more intelligently. The sitemap file provides valuable information about your site content, for example correlations between pages, files and media, alternate language versions of a page, last updates, and changes to your webpage. The robot.txt file tells Googlebot which parts of your site not to crawl, as they are not valuable for the user’s search results.
Developers are important in fulfilling your SEO strategy and they should be involved in planning, execution and analysis of your web app accessibility through search engines. Keep in mind that building a position in search engines is a complex process and it can take time before it brings results. But don’t get discouraged. When you combine a great content team with support from developers and incorporate SEO in regular activities, the strategy will soon bear fruits.