10 Vital SEO Requirements For Web Development In 2024

From Experts
10 Vital SEO Requirements For Web Development In 2024

Web development requirements are constantly changing. However, multiple trends are built to last for years to come. We gather all of them in this article to ease you through the optimization process. Implement them today to see the first results tomorrow.

Some are already established standards, while others are trends in their beginning stage. Implement them to earn the trendsetter’s fame and increase your chances of promoting your business organically.

We, a Corpsoft.io team, want to provide you with the 10 most important SEO requirements for web development in 2024. Try them in your work to witness how it boosts organic performance.

Ensure That The Website Is Search Engine and User Friendly

Just ten years ago, most developers weren’t bothered about the user-friendliness of their websites. They either didn’t have understandable texts, since they looked more like a “gather all keywords” list rather than a plain article.

Those who grew up in the 2005-2015 version of the Internet remember that most sites were glitchy. During those “dark times,” developers were only interested in making the website readable for search machines.

Sometimes, those decisions led to situations where one service had different back and front sides. But as of now, if you decide to do it, you will immediately go to jail. No, not literally, but more like a symbolic one.

Modern Google search engines won’t show your website in search results when you have different backend and frontend side parts. But why does it happen? Google SERP bots see extreme differences between versions and become confused about what they must show to the end user. So, the search engine chooses the easiest way to solve this situation — ignore you.

That’s why it will be better to keep it simple, so your potential users will spend more time on your site, positively affecting your SERP. If you are still considering a suitable programming language, pick PHP or Python. You can quickly scale up your website in the future without worries that there is something “falls off” unexpectedly.

If you use more complex languages and frameworks, like Vue.js, React, or Angular, it’s vital to pre-render and test the website before any public releases. Ensure that Google bots can freely browse the website while it remains user-friendly to any user.

💡 Valuable Tip. To check whether Google and the user view the website similarly, just turn off all the site’s scripts on the browser. If the page becomes glitchy, there is something wrong with your web service.

Develop a Sitemap To Ease Google’s Web Crawling Process

Google’s search bots check that the information on the web page matches the keywords. If the text/video on your page matches the user’s search term, the system will display your page even if it doesn’t have this particular key phrase.

You can speed up this process by adding the detailed sitemap. It won’t be the instant check, but it can save you weeks of waiting. While adding a sitemap, you provide Google’s bot a route to check. Imagine it like someone giving you a detailed map with must-see attractions when you visit a new city.

Create and set up the sitemap.xml file to list all pages you want indexed by Google’s crawlers. There are two types of maps:

  1. The XML file that you should OBLIGATORY share with Google Search Console. The bot uses it as a reference.
  2. The HTML file you add to your website is later inspected by the crawler. You can check our sitemap to see how it may look in your situation.

Both of these types of sitemaps can be generated by a tool such as Netpeak Spider. While it might be tempting to create only one of the sitemaps, best practices dictate creating them both to speed up the crawling process. Become that guide for Google’s crawlers.

Google’s search crawlers are not friendly with Java scripts or forms, since they are highly dynamic. Thus, if you want to ensure that you meet the web development SEO requirements, we recommend you use a traditional <a> tag to ensure that search machines correctly list all your links and pages.

The <a> tag is the golden standard way to define a hyperlink in HTML. Using it ensures consistency and clarity for both developers and browsers. Without the <a> tag, browsers wouldn't be able to recognize the text as a link and wouldn't trigger the appropriate action (e.g., opening the linked webpage) when clicked.

Search engines like Google use the <a> tag to identify and understand links on your website. It helps them index your website and rank it higher in search results for relevant keywords.

Using the <a> tag with appropriate attributes allows you to provide search engines with additional information about your links, such as the anchor text (the clickable text) and the relationship between your page and the linked page. It can improve your website's SEO performance.

The <a> tag also allows you to specify various attributes that improve accessibility and usability for users. It will make your website more accessible for users with disabilities who rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies.

Double Check The robots.txt File

Ensure that it has pages that you want to share with search engines. If you just launched the website and are unsure when and how you’ll expand, index as many pages as possible. It takes weeks or even months for Google to index new pages on your website correctly.

As we said, the robots.txt file guides search engine crawlers by telling them which pages on your website to access and index. A correctly configured robots.txt file ensures crawlers focus on essential pages for SEO, optimizing website discoverability.

So, if you initially add just ten pages and lately incorporate 100 more, at least for a few days or weeks, nobody will need help finding those pages on Google. But why? As we said, it takes time to index pages. So, you will need to wait, and no one can fasten this process. Even Sundar Pichai (current CEO of Google) and Larry Page (co-founder and control packet shareholder of Google) can’t help you make this process faster.

Unintentional blocking of essential pages, like product pages or blog posts, can negatively impact your SEO. Checking and correcting your robots.txt file prevents unintentional disallow rules, ensuring crucial pages get indexed and appear in search results.

Ensure The Correct Usage of Canonical Tag

A canonical tag, a "rel=canonical" link, is a snippet of code placed in a web page's <head> section. It tells search engines like Google which version of a page is the "canon" or "master" copy in cases where there are multiple pages with identical or very similar content.

Let’s imagine that you have a shop that sells used iPhones. The page about the iPhone 14 Pro will be canonical, while sub-pages about available colors aren’t so important to get the Canonical tag. You should do this, so Google can concentrate on promoting the master page without spraying into dozens of sub-pages and losing SERP rankings.

If you decide not to use canon pages, your sub-pages and duplicates may cannibalize traffic, leading to even lower rankings.

💡 Valuable Tip. Ensure that the Canonical tag has the correct URL. If your main website version runs under HTTPS protocol, canonical should also have HTTPS, not HTTP.

Properly Write the Headers

Each page should have meta tags (title, description) and multi-step headers in the text. You need to have at least a title and one H1 header. That’s how you show the page’s content to the Google’s crawlers.

Don’t be afraid to use a hierarchy. Corpsoft.io experience shows that pages with expanded structure range far better than simple ones. You can write an article with an H1 header and multiple H2 headings. You can add a few H3 to add more details and keywords to better determine the page’s content. Ask the copywriter to write a short yet compelling text with multiple headers.

If you’re unsure whether your meta tags and headers are effective, you can perform a site audit with Netpeak Spider, which will provide an in-depth report on more than 100 SEO issues, organized by priority.

Check Domains Of Your Multi-Language Website

If your website has multiple language versions, develop a separate subdomain for each. For example, if your business is in the USA and France, your second website version should have a URL like yourbusiness.com/fr or fr.yourbusiness.com.

If you want to create an English-speaking version of your French site, it may look like fr.yourbusiness.com/eng. That way, the system won’t mess up between different versions, and each user will have access to the most suitable option for their case.

That’s how you will prevent traffic cannibalization. It allows you to ensure that users will enter the correct website version. It allows you to set a more precise targeting since you can paste the ad with the link on the French version to European French-speaking customers, so they immediately see the correct version.

Check the correct hreflang attribute. It is used to specify the page’s language and geographical targeting. Imagine you are a US expat in France searching for something on Google. The system sees that you preferred the English-language version the last time you opened a chosen website. So, if the website owner lets hreflang properly, you will see the European English version.

But why does it happen? You’ve already marked English as your preferred language on this site. So, a business with multiple language options for your region will automatically select your preferred option. That’s why if you fully reset the browser, you mostly get the default language option for your region, even if it doesn’t suit your case.

Once you’ve developed a separate subdomain for each language, it might seem that this multitude of sites will be difficult to manage. Not to worry — Netpeak Spider’s multi-domain crawling capabilities make analyzing and maintaining these sites a breeze.

Check the website Protocol, As It Should Be HTTPS

We beg you to forget about the old HTTP. There are several compelling reasons why your website should use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) instead of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

HTTPS encrypts all communication between your website and visitors, protecting sensitive data like passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information from being intercepted or eavesdropped. It is crucial for building trust and ensuring user privacy.

Google and other search engines increasingly prioritize safe HTTPS websites, boosting organic traffic. Modern browsers prominently display a padlock icon and "HTTPS" in the address bar for secure websites, signaling to users that their connection is encrypted, and their data is protected. It fosters trust and encourages users to engage more confidently with your site.

Most browsers warn users about insecure HTTP connections; some will not allow users to browse sites under the HTTP protocol. Moving to HTTPS now ensures your website remains accessible and secure.

Redirect Old WWW Versions To A More Modern Version

You don’t need to use the WWW prefix, since each publicly available website is part of the World Wide Web. So, there is no need to repeat it multiple times. If you already have a WWW version, redirect it to the new one to consolidate traffic from both sources and boost the SEO performance.

If you decide to keep both versions, you should understand that they will cannibalize each other's traffic, as Google will see them as two completely different websites. It will lower your SERP. Thus, we highly recommend you gather them in one.

It will provide more consistency and clarity for users while simplifying analytics for you. Redirecting eliminates the need to monitor and reconcile data from both www and non-www versions.

Add Breadcrumbs and Micro Markup

There are two critical elements that can improve your website, enhance navigation, add even more hierarchy, and boost user experience.

By clearly understanding their location and allowing for easy backtracking, breadcrumbs create a more user-friendly experience. It can reduce bounce rates and increase user engagement by making it easier for them to find what they're looking for.

While not a direct ranking factor, breadcrumbs can indirectly improve your SEO. Search engines may use them to better understand your website's structure and content, potentially leading to improved crawling and indexing. (To quickly analyze your site’s structure, you can use Netpeak Spider’s site audit tool.)

Micro markup provides structured data about your website's content that search engines can easily understand and interpret. Richer search results with additional information are often more visually appealing and informative, potentially leading to higher click-through rates from search engine users.

Case Study: How to Boost x5 Marketplace’s Performance

During 2020-2022, we collaborated with a niche marketplace that connects New York customers with local providers offering various services, such as fitness, beauty, coaching, household, etc. A different team initially created the platform, but it was not very successful. Due to an outdated interface, they faced a low conversion rate since their platform wasn’t attractive to the end-user. They have hundreds of registered providers but far fewer active consumers of their services.

The Corpsoft.io team was brought in to help improve the platform and increase its conversion rate. We’ve rebranded and refactored the online platform, adding new features like location and category filters, built-in free Q&A chat, and paid online consultations available 24/7.

We also updated the website structure, Sitemap, and robots.txt files to ensure they matched perfectly. As the cherry on top, we enhanced the breadcrumbs, making website browsing even more user-friendly to all users.

As a result, website traffic increased x5 in the first couple of months, gaining more organic traffic. We also witnessed the constantly growing amount of end-customers. As of February 2024, this marketplace has thousands of experts and hundreds of thousands of active clients.

This case study highlights the significance of comprehending your target audience and their needs and integrating SEO promotion at the initial stages of website development. By following a simple 10-point checklist, you can save valuable time and resources, enabling you to reach the market quicker than your competitors and capitalize on the opportunities available.