SEO for Software Engineers
Why it’s important and 4 best practices
Let’s state the obvious: businesses cannot survive without a website.
In this age of digital transformation, there are over 240 million active sites on the Internet. However, only a few of them outperform the rest with the help of a process that, if done right, guarantees enhanced quality and quantity of website traffic.
The process is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
Popular search engines, like Google and Yahoo, utilize bots that scan webpages, collect data, and place them into an index, which then becomes a massive online library with the exact information you might be looking for at any time.
A crucial caveat here is that you can’t pay Google or Yahoo to achieve a higher ranking in organic search. At the same time, if a website is seen more on search engines, it becomes a brand that dominates the field and outperforms its competitors.
Why software engineers need SEO?
In addition to creating a top-notch website, developers need to constantly focus on driving its profitability and elevating user experiences, which may be done with the help of SEO.
Software engineers usually have control over meta description, image optimization, headings, and a title tag. Performing alterations of these elements based on search engine optimization will help a website be more visible on search engines.
#1: Meta description
As an essential HTML element, a meta description gives a concise summary of a web page. The user can see it in the search snippet on a results page to get a general understanding of what the web page is about.
Software engineers can take this element one step further and make use of meta keywords. This way, a search engine itself will be able to determine the overarching topic of the page.
To make sure that meta keywords play out in the best way possible, it’s important to perfectly match each term to the web page’s content.
#2: Image optimization
Often times, web pages take forever to load because the file size of images is too large. Photographs then need to be shrinked in size without lowering the quality, which exactly where image optimization comes in handy.
The best formats based on the following criteria include:
- images with color — JPEG;
- simple/transparent images — PNG;
- animated images - GIF.
This SEO step also facilitates a correct identification of said images by search engines and leads to a better grasp of the context of the page.
Structuring headings well leads to an upgraded user experience. Likewise, if the text isn’t structured logically, the user will find a website less appealing. In this case, there is a risk of losing to competitors in the search engine game.
The most effective approach entails concise headings used with a reasonable frequency and in appropriate places throughout the text.
#4: Title tag
The most crucial step of SEO deals directly with a title tag. Why? Because it an excellent opportunity to share what the web page is about.
Tip: include a target keyword in the title.
A title tag should be 10-70 characters long.
Being aware of the importance of search engine optimization and taking SEO-driven actions gives developers a competitive advantage. If a website ranks higher, the brand itself gains more popularity and dominance in a field.
SEO is a data-powered game that software engineers play best if they are equipped with the top practices to help them win.