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March 2016

SEO Tips for Computer Programmers

March 21, 2016   

Computer programmers have subtle yet diversified roles from just the title ‘people who code’ to being crucial contributors and facilitators for better SEO rankings. Their work has become integral to the overall success of any form of SEO strategy. In fact, our friends at SEO Elements have some great tips that you can incorporate straightaway. Learn more about them with their SEO Wellington video:

So, here are some tips for programmers to make any website they develop commercially successful.

Strategic Meta Descriptions, Titles, and Keywords
Meta Descriptions, keywords, and titles have continually gained much significance in the various algorithms for search engines. For this reason, they have a significant role in the overall ranking as well as the indexing of pages.

The Meta title is ideally the same as the subject or the topic while Meta description provides the first few words and characters for the topic description. Therefore, although the same page is being processed, the Meta tags will be dynamic in that they change according to the post. The admin can also have the options to have the title and description appear as wished for each topic. Two additional fields will have to be added in the admin.

You should also consider optimizing not only your website but all associated social properties. For example, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are go-to options that you should take care of. In fact, SEO Elements has their own SEO Wellington LinkedIn page along with a Facebook page, which should show you just how important these social properties can be.

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SEO Friendly URLs
URLs that are search engine friendly will help the search engines to crawl web pages even faster. Since search engines usually index pages depending on the URL, friendlier URLs will essentially get index much faster. In addition, the URLs that are based specifically on categories prove much more effective for any SEO strategy.

As a programmer, you should keep in mind that the URLs generated are valid. The use of .htaccess and the apache’s mod rewrite rule may significantly help you develop SEO friendly URLs. Moreover, since we are going for SEO friendly URLs, relative paths will not work. In this case, all of the links regardless of whether they are images, js, or css should be absolute.

Page Loading
Pages that load faster and are better optimized will be crawled by search engines bots faster than thaose that take more time to load and doesn’t feature any page optimizations. For better page load times, here’s what you have to consider:
a)    Image optimization
This is very important for SEO and it should be done properly. Be sure to create thumb images where a smaller version of the big image is needed. Many websites do this by altering the image dimensions (height and width attributes). However, this is not the way to go, and you should never do it.

b)    Cache
Cache is the method where the contents from a database are taken and then written to a file on regular intervals. The programmer controls this and the update intervals will depend on the frequency in which the file contents are being updated. In this case, if your site uses massive amounts of data that need to be loaded from a database or a web service, the excess server requests could slow down the page load times. The use of cache files will reduce the load times significantly and even give a ‘relax time’ to the server.

Iframes, JavaScript, and Ajax
All these are not SEO friendly and should be avoided or minimized in use. Opt for server side validation instead of using JavaScript For dynamic pages, avoid the use of Ajax for fetching records since the search engine bots can’t read the contents generated through Ajax. Keep in mind that Ajax is PHP plus JavaScript and most bots will avoid JavaScript. However, Ajax can still be used to check login credentials and load image galleries, but don’t use it for any content related areas.

These are some of the essential tips for computer programmers in SEO optimization. Consider these coding tips to help any website you develop never miss out on the great benefits of SEO.