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There’s no denying that following an SEO checklist is crucial to establish your company’s visibility and authority online. Without good SEO, even the best content might not be visible to users, and therefore will not bring organic traffic to the website. Also, keep in mind that you always need to be on top of your SEO game. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, which means that if you won’t be able to keep up with the changes you might receive a penalty, and therefore have to use Google Penalty Recovery Service.
While most people can learn SEO, not everyone does it the same way – depending on your background, you might be focusing on different aspects of it. Take as an example SEO performed by a regular SEO practitioner and a web developer.
SEO from the developer’s perspective is a little different. While on most SEO practitioners’ checklists, we can find things like high-quality and keyword-rich content, as well as high authority backlinks, whereas, for web developers, the list looks slightly different – it’s a little more code-oriented.
That’s exactly what we will be focusing on today. So, if you want to find out more about what SEO checklists for web developers should include and why all you have to do is keep reading.
SEO Checklist Item #1: Properly Working Traffic Tracking Program
When it comes to traffic tracking programs, most websites use either Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. There are also plenty of other options available on the internet; however, even the best one will be worth nothing if not configured correctly. Proper installation is crucial – otherwise, the program might show you incorrect data, or worse, show an increase in traffic when there is none, due to duplicated data.
Pay attention to the tracking program tags – they should only be installed once on the page. An incorrect installation could become quite a nuisance in the long run. If you are faced with a more complex analytics installation, you should consider using Google Tag Manager.
SEO Checklist Item #2: Mobile Friendliness of the Website
Nowadays, people spend most of their time on their phones – according to statistics from this year, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, and the number is estimated to increase to 3.8 billion by 2021. So, how is that related to SEO?
As it was established, in 2019, more than 50% of all website traffic was generated through mobile phones, and the number continues to grow – especially with the 5G networks coming around.
What’s more, according to another report performed by Google, 57% of customers wouldn’t recommend a website that has a low-quality mobile version. 40% of customers decided to buy what they were looking for from a competitor’s site after having a bad mobile web experience. As you can see, the website’s mobile friendliness is important not only for SEO but also for overall sales.
However, what exactly does mobile-friendliness mean from the developer’s point of view? Well, it can mean two things:
- the site uses standard development techniques with responsive CSS stylesheet with media queries
- the site utilizes a separate mobile subdomain – m.domain.com
Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with using a mobile subdomain – quite the contrary, many websites do it. However, it can make SEO slightly more difficult. When using a subdomain, you are basically telling Google that it’s separate web property, making tasks such as link acquisition more challenging to manage.
SEO Checklist Item #3: Properly Coded Structured Data
Using Google’s Schema.org validation tool to check the structured data is always a good idea as if the data is not executed correctly, all you can count on is Google. Most common errors can be detected with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool – however, to err is human, so there might also be some small errors occurring that the tool will not detect. Fixing them is important, and here is why.
Let’s say that you are creating a website for a hair salon, and you want to include its name and address. After the first pass coding the structured data, you realize that there is some strange punctuation, as well as contextual errors within it. For instance:
<div itemscope itemtype="brand"><span name="organization">Copyright Company Name, All Rights Reserved</span></div>
If you didn’t notice this and continued with the coding, Google would show the rich snippet as ‘copyright company name, all rights reserved,’ as the company’s name is mixed with the copyright declaration. This is not what we want. Instead, we want this:
<div itemscope itemtype="brand">Copyright <span name="organization">Company Name</span>, All Rights Reserved</div>
As you see, here, the name of the company is placed between the opening and closing span tags. Thanks to this, the rich snippet will show the rich snippet as ‘company name.’
However, this is just one of the many types of errors that can go unnoticed by a monitoring tool such as Google’s Webmasters Tools. By checking the data manually before the site goes live, you can make sure that these types of errors do not happen, as they might seriously affect future SEO efforts.
SEO Checklist Item #4: Server Using the GZip Compression
As a web developer, you need to be able to determine whether the server is working correctly, or if it is causing some issues. If the second option is true, you need to figure out how to fix them, as they might affect your site’s speed.
You need to make sure that the server you are using utilizes the Gzip compression – meaning that it allows it to compress files in such a way to result in the faster transfer over a network. While most servers built nowadays already have this as a standard, it might be an issue for others, which is why you should check this by running a test on, for instance, webpagetest.org or a similar website.
The Bottom Line
There’s no denying that, nowadays, SEO is crucial for all businesses, no matter their niche. However, it’s important to understand that not all SEO is the same – in a sense that depending on your position or technical background, you might consider something else as part of your ‘SEO checklist.’
Even though the one we presented is directed towards web developers, others will benefit from it as well.