Today, we want to talk to you about a field that is a priori not so closely linked with the code: SEO. However, on closer inspection, the two are more and more inseparable. In fact, SEO is far from just a matter of marketing and web copywriting. Apart from the semantic aspect of the discipline hides a whole part linked to the technical optimization that a developer must know today.
Whether you have to optimize yourself the sites that you develop or that you work with or in agency, you will have at one time or another of your dev career to rub you with SEO specialists. This is for example the case of the SEO Agency. So do you prefer to wait until you are done and miss a mission or do you want to rub shoulders with the trend today?
If you choose the second answer, we tell you everything there is to know about the links that unite SEO and Web Development.
Natural referencing: what is SEO?
Good French speakers will prefer the term natural referencing. However in the professional world, because it’s cool or because it’s shorter, it depends, we simply talk about SEO. SEO, for Search Engine Optimization, is the art of referencing a website organically, that is to say making it appear at the very top of search engine results pages. Besides, in the jargon, we say SERP.
Does it sound pompous? We do it again, in a simpler way: SEO is the set of techniques that encourage Google to show your site first when someone types “the best developer in the world” (for example).
For this, SEO is based on three pillars:
- The semantic optimization: Based on an analysis of keywords detail and content strategy unbeatable.
- The technical optimization: One that interests you, since it will tickle close the bowels of a site, so its code.
- The net linking: It is interested in hyperlinks and therefore the reputation of a website.
SEO: semantic optimization Vs. Technical optimization
Or rather SEO = semantic optimization + technical optimization. Because one cannot go without the other. Rich and regular content on a wobbly performance site is almost as good for SEO as a coded little site that never receives fresh content to put in the mouth of Googlebots. That is to say, it is not used for much.
If as a web developer you care more about the syntax and cleanliness of your code than the semantics of blog articles on the site concerned, you are right! However, you are going to have to make sure that the work of your referencing colleagues, copywriters and graphic designers is not used for nothing! The heavy responsibility of the technically optimized website is therefore yours.
Develop for SEO
To deliver a web project worthy of being referenced, you will have to create a site:
Mobile friendly- There was a time, long before our era, when websites were designed for the desktop and its big screen. Those days are over. We have since moved on to responsive sites, mobile first and perhaps very quickly to mobile only. In short, whatever you code, it must do it on screen, tablet and smartphone!
Fast. Google loves speed, performance tuning, and most of all, a great user experience. So no question of hanging around. As a web developer, you have to make sure you design a site where the pages load quickly and the servers are responsive.
Well structured. The site tree plays an important role. So no question of creating a page or a menu entry just because it’s practical. Everything must make sense to structure the information and that Internet users can find it. A lot of elements can contribute: breadcrumb, sitemap, silo structure (by strict category), etc. In short, the internal network is not decided lightly!
SEO black hat, the dark side of strength
When we talk about SEO, in short, we usually talk about what we call SEO white hat. It is in direct opposition to black hat SEO. Simply put, the difference is the same as in magic: white magic is used wisely, black magic to achieve its ends through questionable processes. Did we get your attention? Well.
Let’s be clear from the start, black hat SEO is not illegal (in most cases). However, it comes into direct confrontation with the rules erected by search engines. That is to say that if you put yourself in the black hat, the police will not come knocking on your door (within the limit of legality). By cons Google will get angry. And if you really, really pissed it off, it de- indexes your site.
Dangers and technicality of SEO black hat
Well, you will understand, SEO black hat is not without danger. When used with care, however, it allows you to better reference a site, faster. Short term jackpot in sight, which could turn into a disaster if you get caught. Consume with moderation therefore. The link with development? Black hat SEO techniques often require advanced computer skills.
Among the most frequent techniques, we find for example:
Cloaking: A cloaked page has the capacity to display two different contents, a pleasant to read for the users, and a full of attractive keywords for the robots of Google. Will you be able to find the trick to display different content if the visitor is a bot?
Hacking of high authority websites to take it over.
- Spamming comments from blogs or forums to place automated links to a given site.
- Text invisible to visitors, but not to search engines. Hello front end developers and other CSS professionals.
- Misleading redirects: the search engine notices a page, but the user is redirected to another.
There are many black hat techniques and guess what? The best are the ones you won’t find in a list on the web!
You will understand, if you want to work as a developer specialized in the web, you will not be able to miss SEO! This is rather good news, because SEO is a varied field that offers something for everyone. Sometimes technical, sometimes marketing, sometimes purely applicative, others creative, natural referencing stands out as one of the main themes of the web of today and tomorrow. So do not hesitate to take a look and add a more than attractive string to the bow of your CV.