How to Master SEO: a Web Developer's Dream
Let me guess...you finally made a website but it isn't anywhere on Google? You're in the right place.
My Experience with SEO
I remember my first time making a website vividly. After a month of meticulous work, I corrected margins, animated keyboard actions, and perfected responsiveness. Yet, when I went to Google, my website was nowhere to be found.
I thought I did something critically wrong. But apparently, I just had to wait for Google's crawlers to index my webpage.
Is Google a Spider?
So I waited. Two weeks later, the website still wasn't on Google. I knew I had to take action.
SEO is crucial for web developers. It enhances your website's visibility, making it easier for users to find you. It's cost-effective, targeting quality traffic without the expense of paid advertising. SEO also provides valuable insights into user behavior, informing your marketing strategies and improving user experience. In today's digital age, mastering SEO is a necessity for a successful online presence.
Check if Your Website is on Google
Before your website ranks at the top of search results, your website must be indexed. Here's how to check if your website has been indexed already.
Type the following in Google for whatever your domain's is.
So, for my blog website domain (evolutionarywheels.com), I'd type
If a result shows up, you're GOOD. If not, there are some more steps to take.
Steps to Index Your Website
Go to Google Search Console
Create a Property. Using a Domain property will be best to ensure all of the webpages are indexed together.
You will be accessed to verify the website is yours using a DNS record.
- Once your website has been added to the search console, it should be indexed in a couple of days.
Improving Ranking on Google
Although your website may be appropriately indexed and appear on Google results, it may be near the bottom. There are a couple of ways to improve how your website ranks on Google.
Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.
To get Lighthouse, you can download it from Chrome extensions
After downloading Lighthouse, pin it to your Chrome taskbar.
Then, go to your website and click on the Lighthouse icon to run a report.
Once the report is generated go through the report and see why you have got the score you got and then try and improve those aspects.
Easy SEO Fixes
If you're unsure what aspects to fix, here are some common fixes that can be implemented. I have listed them in my personal order of importance.
Title tags refer to the HTML elements that specify the title of a web page. They should be different for each page on your website.
For example, when I google "best phones," the title tag for the first search result is "Best Phone to Buy for 2024"
You can add the title tag in the "head" section in the HTML file.
<title>Best SEO Practices for Improved Website Visibility</title>
Meta tags are similar to title tags but are longer. The Meta description shows up under the title tag. So in the previous example, the meta tag is "Whether you want a cutting-edge phone..."
You can add meta tags in the "head" section in the HTML file.
<meta name="description" content="All about meta tags and how to add them to your website.">
<meta name="keywords" content="meta tags, meta description, meta keywords, SEO, search engine">
A sitemap is a file that provides a structured and organized list of all the web pages, documents, and other resources contained on that site.
Get an XML Sitemap
Upload the sitemap file to the root folder of the domain.
Add the Sitemap URL to Google Search Console
Often, if images are not properly sized and are large in memory, they can slow down loading speeds. I recommend using Pixlr as a nice way to edit images.
ALT Tags for Images
If an image is unable to load, the browser will automatically display the alt text. For an image, you can add the alt tag as follows.
<img src="example-image.jpg" alt="A red bicycle parked against a brick wall">
Create robots.txt file
robots.txt file is a way for website owners to communicate with web crawlers or robots about which parts of their site should or should not be crawled or indexed.
Although it may seem a bit confusing, SEO isn't too tough. If you focus on the basics, your website will be well-ranking on Google.